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"Permission to be frank": great technique to unload politically incorrect truths

A good and simple pre-frame to speak your mind:

Permission to be frank...

And then you can share more assertively and directly what would be normally considered hard-hitting, politically incorrect, potentially critical, etc.

It helps preserves rapport and also reputation because the frame is that "you normally are more considerate, but, in this exceptional situation, you'll make an exception to that rule".

In the right situation, it also often shifts the blame to them for your harsh words.

Just an example in dating:

Her: I'm not coming to you, you should come pick me up and ask my father
You: Permission to be frank. I like you until now. But I really do NOT like these "chase me please" games. There are also a 100 women who'd like to meet me and you know full well I'm busy with my business and don't have time for that.
So if you want to meet at the subway station, happy to see you. If not, your choice

That way you can introduce the colder transactional side of many relationships, without looking like you only look at that.

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Ali ScarlettKavalierBel
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Would it be better to say "I'd like to be frank, good with you?" or "I'm gonna be frank because I respect you enough to be straight" etc since that frame would be more high power? Asking permission implies a subordinate position where theres clearly a superior party. Reflecting on this, whenever the word permission is evoked it always takes place when a superior party grants a subordinate party the right to do something(ie teacher/student, parent/child), so I think that prefacing something blunt by asking permission inherently opens at a low power position. I think the adjustment to more assertive language could be more socially effective. However, I'm still learning the ropes of Power Dynamics so I'd be happy to be proven otherwise and learn.

Lucio Buffalmano and Ali Scarlett have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoAli Scarlett

Great notes!

Both your versions, can work, yes -and they're great in the right situation-.

And maybe I should have been more specific with my initial post, but the key is that "permission to" is a figure of speech, and you give yourself that permission already -or, if you prefer, you take-.

If it's a text/voice note, you type it or record it all at once -or in quick succession-, so it's obvious you're not really asking for permission.
And if it's in person, you don't stop or pause.
Also, the way you'd deliver something like the above is very high power, and half-annoyed at her game-y request.

The example above also ends up being a "take it or leave it": play it straight, or I may not have any more time for you -simply no way that any receiver would mistake that for low-power permission-seeking-.

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Ali ScarlettZathrianBel
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