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Stopping a smart Alec shaming you with detail

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This is a very interesting case study.
Thanks to Transitioned for starting the thread and to Ali & Lucio for giving great insights here.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on April 25, 2021, 2:29 am (Quoted everything because all is relevant in my opinion)

If all that happened was that exchange, it's not a huge loss and I wouldn't address it anymore.

It's not as much about one-offs, but more about the general tone of your exchanges over time.
Those determine who ends up higher in the hierarchy, and eventually retained, or promoted.

And for when it comes to pulling people aside, it's OK, but:

  1. Better if it's a bigger thing: It should be a bigger thing, this was small-ish and too covert to pull her aside, I wouldn't necessarily advise it for this case
  2. Better addressing it in real-time and publicly; Working on your general attitude, power moves and frame control and executing in real-time is superior to pulling people aside

The risks of pulling aside are that there might no upsides, such as you won't get anywhere and there won't be any behavioral change, while there might be downsides.
Namely, you might further sour the relationship, and you "warn" her that you're in competition mode. Then, she will be even more cautious and Machiavellian. Unless you got a clear reason and goal for pulling aside, it might be better not to give her that warning.

Don't signal to her that you see her as a threat and competition, let her and everyone else know that you're simply a professional, doing a good job, and not to be fucked with.
It's also a better approach for your own self-esteem and self-image, it's a better path for raising with the eagles.

As a matter of fact, you might also want to be watchful that she doesn't start looming too large in your thoughts.
Train with her, plan and strategize, but always remind yourself that it's part of a larger strategy of you delivering value.

Linking 2 threads to this discussion:
Minor Conflicts: Ignore or Bring Up for Discussion
A mafia boss teaches power with collaborative frames: an example

The first thread helps to address whether to bring up minor conflicts or ignore them & move on. (thanks to Ali & Lucio for helping me to flesh out this thread)
The second thread helps to give a framework (thanks to John & Lucio) on asserting boundaries in a collaborative frame.


  1. Take a leadership mindset when answering questions
    • How is this question value-adding or relevant towards a project, team, or any other work context?
    • If unclear, get the person to be clear so that you can find a proper answer to give value
  2. Use a collaborative frame to resolve issues while stepping up to the leader frame
    • Offer external resources like linking the person up to experts
    • Offering your own resources like time in a high-powered manner on your terms
    • Selective generosity is leader-like and powerful
  3. Ignore minor issues. Pull aside for bigger issues.
    • You can ignore minor issues because how you come across in general is what's important.
    • You can afford to let minor issues slip because you are a leader who focuses on the most important priorities.
selffriend has reacted to this post.
Quote from Transitioned on April 25, 2021, 2:50 am

Thanks Lucio great advice on the mindset and calibrating response.

I think a lot of time these people win because they thrive on conflict and it disrupts win win oriented souls.  Similar to your run in with the overbearing AirBnB lady.  Lots of micro aggressions that can end up taking up headspace.

Exactly, true.

This was actually empirically tested.
While high-Machiavellians folks remain task and goal-oriented without letting emotions or other people "get in the way", non naturally high Machiavellians tend to get "lost" when there are interpersonal considerations with other people.

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