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My Journey to Power

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Update: something else I'm realizing is that now I have peer groups: at work and in my private life.

Before, I was kind of socially isolated (I did it to myself) so I was not comparing myself to others.

Now I do compare myself to others even if only automatically.

Actually, I realize that I do need a new psychotherapy. It's also something that I've been post-poning thinking I can do it on my own.

I admit that I need help and I'm actively seeking a therapist. Ideally it would be someeone specialized in gifted adults as it is my particular challenge. However, any therapist is better than no therapist.

I’m finding that it’s better to suffer in silence than to talk openly about your difficulties. It’s better to ask for feed-back to a friends or find a friend to vent. However just sharing what are your current challenges is often not helpful. People will think less of you if you are not close enough.

I agree with you. In the past I lost the respect of many friends, and of people who could have been friends, by oversharing my struggle.

People don’t understand, nor they probably should: most people go on living without asking questions and without thinking. They assume things are normal and don’t see how the path works. They think those who ask too many questions and try to understand things are crazy. And they don’t imagine that some people can have had a really tough start.

A person to whom you can tell just a little bit of the real you is a rare friend truly.

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Lucio BuffalmanoJohn Freeman

Thank you very much for your answer, Bel!

Going back to the topic, I'll write a post about it.

2 new power moves from my friends

You don't have a couch?

You don't have a couch? When are you going to buy a couch?

So basically I moved a year ago and have been working a lot. Also had big expenses on my teeth treatment.

I haven't bought a couch yet and this is a topic of making fun of me from my friends (3 of them talked about it so I think it's a topic among them about). Of course this is turkey move.

The frame is: "you don't have enough money to buy a couch?" meaning "you're poor", meaning you're low status.

My answers so far

You don't have a couch? When are you going to buy a couch?

If you want to buy one from me I'm happy!

Next time:

No, why?

You prefer board games to women

We were in the car with some friends and talking about women. My friends implied that I preferred board games to women. I forgot the exact sentence and did not reply. It actually hurt me as it came from a friend who I thought was a close friend. And he used it to social climb me in the car. So from now on I know he's just a regular friend.

The frame is : "you're an asexual geek".

Next time:

Well, I like them both. What's the problem?

I realise that my friends' turkeyness is actually fuel for my self-development, so I'm grateful for it.

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My mother...

My manipulative mother needed some administrative info from me so we can get money from my late father's bank account. It was 48 hours ago. She procrastinated on it. When I asked her the deadline she would not tell me. She tried to guilt-trip me and micro-aggressed me. I was assertive all along and I won.

The last exchanges via SMS:

Her: .... Please let us avoid negative interpretations. If we desire it you and I, we can communicate benevolently again (she was the one to try to guilt trip me and to micro-aggress me)

Me: No interpretation on my side. I spoke to you respectfully since the beginning. You have received the email.

Her: Thank you very much my dear. Good afternoon. I love you (whereas there is was no love in the exchange, only her getting what she wants, plenty of smileys in there as well).

Me: BTW, your allegations are false. As a reminder, I called you recently to have some news from you. That is not your case. Good evening. (she tried to guilt trip me that I was not calling her and she's the one who is not calling me, I don't remember the last time she did. Even for my birthday I just get a WhatsApp message)

Her: I present you my apologies, I'll make progress (more smileys, she's been using this as long as I knew her and then she does absolutely nothing, I heard her making hundreds of promises without any real action)

Me: It's all good on my side. I don't expect anything in particular. (power move from her: I need her to call me. I take her power away: I don't need you to call me, just stop reversing roles, try to guilt trip me and be aggressive towards me).

As an outsider it might look as I'm overreacting and she's a loving mother. Well, I can tell you she's not. I would love it to be otherwise as I'm the on the receiving end of my narcissistic mother.

Taking some distance from my friend

I had a friend whom I thought was a close friend. I realized he was not. He thought I needed him more than he needs me. I'm proving him the opposite. I'm taking my power back. I keep him as a friend and will see him often. I just won't be as vulnerable and as close as I was. Because he proved that he did not deserve it.

These posts might seem dark and I understand. However, I'm opening my eyes to some power dynamics I'm not comfortable with anymore.

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Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from John Freeman on June 30, 2022, 9:19 pm

These posts might seem dark and I understand. However, I'm opening my eyes to some power dynamics I'm not comfortable with anymore.

Not dark at all, positively realistic actually.

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John Freeman
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Thank you, Lucio. This helps me to consolidate my perceptions about how the World really is and how people really are.

This morning is full of realisations.

I had impostor syndrome and listened recently to "Impostor cure". This helped me a lot. One of the aspects of the impostor syndrome is that I cheated once in an exam in medicine. It was an exam where I was the only one to take it. There was a question about an EKG. None of my colleagues had such a question and it was not supposed to be part of the exam. I was the only one to get it. I felt guilty for years after that and that I betrayed my new value which was honesty.

Now I feel like I was right to cheat as the people making the exam were not honest either with the exam. I'm speaking on the machiavellian side.

I also realize that me not feeling like I was legitimate I sabotaged myself. I realize that I do have a huge potential and that I am not yet exploiting it to the max.

This is changing from now on. I am able to do more and better. I was not giving it my full because I was a bit depressed because of my environment and because I was feeling inferior to my peers. This is ending now. I'm going "all in" from now on. That means:

  • Doing exercise everyday instead of watching Youtube (already started it)
  • Study every morning (I still have to finish some unfinished work to be able to start this, so it's from next week)
  • Go for win in board games
  • Extend my social circle
  • Play bass again at home: I was the one who did not play. I could have played at home all these years. I sabotaged myself.
  • Approach and talk to girls

Yes, in case it's not clear. As I have said in previous posts, I realized that my core problem was self-sabotage. And this affected all aspects of my life. So I'm now listening a book about self-sabotage and getting rid of it. It was all in my mind all along.

I call this new phase of my life: "My transformation"

As I was in a toxic competitive environment I let it affect me and accepted the projections put on me by other people: what they think I can do or cannot do.

It's all in my hands. I feel more confident in the past to achieve this because in the past there were a lot of emotions associated with working, success, friends, exercise.

I was fighting an inner battle about "shall I do it?", "Not feeling like it" and subconsciously thinking about what other people would think about me.

Now in this new phase I just do it.

I'm moving away from hedonistic pleasure to Eudaemonic happiness.

I also realized that we can live vicariously or by curiosity through watching celebrities lives or things like that. These are distractions that prevent us from reaching our goals. A little doesn't hurt. However, it can quickly become a habit.

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Lucio Buffalmano

I realize what happened in the past year: one of my dream died and I got discouraged and felt lost.

Because I realized that an academic career is all-consuming and would not lead to my happiness.

Therefore, I need a new dream with goals aligned on my values.

I listened to Tom Bilyeu and it's clear to me. The dream provides the emotional motivation. From the dream, goals are derived.

So I need a new vision board to update my vision.

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Lucio Buffalmano

The chief dietician is not happy

Context: I'm working with children from third-world. So there is a lot of obesity when they arrive in Switzerland as the diet is different and they eat Fast-food, sweet drinks, sweets, etc. So when the child is obese, we ask the child and the parent if they agree to talk with the dietician to learn about food. If they say yes, we send them to the dietician.

However, my predecessors were not sending as many children as I do (it's a severe problem that need to be dealt with). So I get this email from the chief dietician where she basically ask me (I'm shortening for the sake of space):

Her: "do you ask for the agreement of the child and parents or do you "impose" a consult with a dietician?" (attacks our professional ethics/proficiency as it is basic to ask for agreement)

Me: Why do you think we would impose a consult? We ask the agreement of every child and parent.

Her: I never implied that you would impose consults (backtracks, it was written "impose" in her previous email). I'm wondering if the child is really willing or if you just show them the weight and tell them that they have to see the dietician

At this point, I was a bit lost about what to answer without justifying myself which would give her more power. So I ask my supervisor some help to write back an email which would be politically correct.

He read the email and found it nasty. He asked me if I was ok if he would write back. I said: "Yes, sure"

He wrote back an email, longer than what I would have. He explained the situation and how we were working. However, it was coming from a higher power (he's a Professor). He also proposed to talk about it around a coffee.

So of course, she backtracks completely, says that there are many patients coming to their consult from our unit now. She said that it would have been better to call and talk on the phone about it. She says she's happy to collaborate with us.

So she's quite a good politician but ran with her tail between her legs when the Prof. comes into play. He's a great leader as he backs us up. He trusted me that I was doing my work correctly, which I was.

It's a case of unvoluntary power-borrowing as he was the one who wanted to answer her. Anyway I was right to accept as I learned a lot. I also saw that she was coming after me because I was lower on the totem pole as she backtracked with the Professor.

Usually our supervisors don't have our backs and bow towards nurses, dietician and basically everyone else (politicians) so it is refreshing.

Alright, guys and girls. I have many threads and posts in my list. So I commit to 1-2 post a day which allows me not to flood the forum and at the same time keep up with the new situations/ideas I encounter/have.

First, I want to celebrate a new success and take this opportunity to thank Lucio again! I owe you a lot therefore I thank you a lot.

Second encounter with the big boss of my department

He's the big boss (head of department, Professor, high-power, etc.). I started this committee of resident physicians, 5 of us, to represent resident physicians (physicians in training) and communicate with the head of department. Our mission is also to contribute to improve the training of resident physicians and improve the organization of our work.

So I built this group of 5 people. We already met twice. I unfortunately included a game player, unknowingly. I know it from her text in the group and in person interactions: she's trying to dominate me. Another is also quite dominant but not a game-player. So I am learning also intra-group power dynamics as I have to stay the informal leader. I cannot be above them if I want maximum engagement. So I act as unofficial leader but without the title.

The meeting went quite well. He does have a vision and want to make things move forward. He really liked the presentation I came up with and our attitude of problem -solving ("I like that you come with propositions instead of problems").

We're going to make an official announcement of the creation of the group through the official media channel of the hospital. We're also going to get resources in terms of administrative help. People who we were depending on are now going to work for us (upper administrative agent and the lady managing the schedules). Talk about a power reversal!

So now we have access to the big boss and we share the same vision. So now we are much more protected than in the past. The lady managing the schedules used to cheat on us. Now he knows about it.

He's going to give us some time (maybe 1 day every 3 months) to work on that stuff, knowing well that it takes more time. But that's all what he can do.

One of my colleague interrupted me twice by saying: "Excuse me to interrupt you and..." Which made me lose some power. She did not do it on purpose as she apologised when I assertively told her via WhatsApp later on.

Me: Hello X, while I'm thinking about it, I think it's better if we don't interrupt one another. It makes us look as we are not united

Her: Hello, it's noted but I admit that I really did not do it on purpose 🙁

I was light in my tone and said it was ok. It's a case of clumsiness one-upping. In medicine people are quite individualistic so they don't really get the idea of working as a group.

There was also some tests from him as he asked me what date I was thinking of for the party to announce the group. And I proposed a date during the summer and everybody said (my 2 colleagues present and the Prof.): no, nobody is going to come".

I recovered later by explaining that I want the current people to know that we are doing something for them. I don't want to wait for the next batch in November.

He shared with us his vision and we learned a lot of insider information. So he trusts us.

I also get the opportunity to learn from a great leader with a vision as he advises us on the process of building this group.

I already know what I'm going to ask him at the end: I'm going to ask him a recommendation letter. That is what I'll ask as an enlightened collaborator. That is my strategic move. Helping the resident physicians, which is aligned with my personality and values (like contribution) and get my reward as a recommendation letter. I don't mind the visibility, but I don't really care.

Cheers! One more Success for TPM. Of course it's a work in progress but still it's a huge step forward. It's historical: there was never such a group created in my town in this department.

That's what I love to do: to create groups. It's one of my passions. I still make mistakes (including game players), but still I'm getting better.

I'm the learner.

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