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The Eagle Mentality

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Hello guys,

this is a draft inspired by Lucio's answer in this thread about a Whatsapp group hijacked. I don't have a clear framework yet for the Eagle mentality. I understand it's different from being high-power, high-quality or having an anti-fragile identity.

It's about being above or at least seeing things from above. It's about detachment at least in part.

I would say it starts with these questions:

  • What would an Eagle do?
  • What would an Eagle say?

Feel free to contribute if you have more ideas to conceptualize this mindset. Maybe it has already been done as well.

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Lucio BuffalmanoAli ScarlettBel

Great thread, John!

The "Eagle" attitude / mindset / approach to socialization and life is also an unpublished draft lesson in PU -and probably an article after that as well-.

It will probably be a foundational lesson/article in both PU and TPM, but it can't be rushed (it should be a sort of "this is how it looks, feels, and flows once you reach that last level").

This thread might help a lot in helping shape that lesson / article, so thank you for the idea!

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Mats GBel
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Wondering if an article on "the eagle mentality" can have a sort of 48 Laws of Power style to it.

For example:

#7. Eagles Elevate Themselves Above the Situation

“Elevate yourself above the battlefield [situation] (think strategically, not tactically—everything you do should be purposed with achieving your long-term objectives).”
— Robert Greene

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Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanMats GBel

Great input Ali, thank you.

The priority is of course the content, but if the delivery of that content is well-served by that format, absolutely (and that format style might even enhanced the content then).

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And a some examples with eagle behaviors and attitude in them:

Address the journalist / moderator instead of even responding to the guy who's trying to get under your skin

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on October 12, 2021, 3:33 pm

Turkeys Cannot Cancel Eagles

I also personally add another variable that makes canceling much easier to deal with -also at a mental level-.

And that approach is to believe and see the "cancelers" as a bunch of turkeys (some exceptions apply, of course, and sometimes a cancel campaign can be called for and value-adding).

That doesn't necessarily mean bad people -although some might as well be-. But it often does mean hypocrites prey and clueless of their own dark sides without even realizing it.

The eagles don't usually join the frenzied crowd of murderers to stone the (supposed) sinner.
They either suspend judgment, try to better understand the facts, or see the humanity and the sinner's point of view before committing to action.

There is an example in PU where one guy threatened to sic his 30k Instagram followers against me in what seemed a cancel-moment threat (with a typical cancel-culture hot button such as "gender discrimination").
And albeit in my strategizing I wanted to avoid that battle -including not to waste time-, I wasn't that scared.

Because, in my mind, the attackers would have all been a bunch of turkeys, led by a low-quality turkey-in-chief.

Even in the worst-case scenario of me dying at the hand of turkeys, I'd still think "you're still a bunch of f*cking turkeys". And I'll die here, but I die an eagle, and that's etched in the universe, and you'll still be for ever a bunch of turkeys.

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on January 14, 2022, 7:19 am

Several "conversions" to better intentions already happened in my opinion.

And they happened without any "direct encouragement" to morality but simply by showing a more "eagle" mindset and approach.

This is from the thread on song analyses:

Quote from on December 6, 2020, 12:49 pm

I buied your course and beggined to follow your site because i wanna know how  to manipulate and make people dependent of me.But through this annalisis and the course i see that this way is not so rewarding as i think.I learned its much better if you pull prople up in the same time you pull you up.

Pretty awesome, I thoguht.

And I remember another user here who was constantly looking and seeking manipulate-hypnotize type of information, and then eventually started "seeing the eagle win-win" light, so to speak.

Those are just two that are visible and that I noticed.
There might be more who never showed up on the forum side.

And that win-win, "fly higher with your approach/intentions" ethos might be one of the most important contributions of TPM.

Someone plays a "that's why I like you" power move on Matthew.

Instead of fhgint back, he caps it with a win-win move:

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on June 17, 2021, 8:53 am

I encountered this during a meeting with a potential business partner.
He was sharing a story at some point over video conferencing.

Him: (talking about a story)

Him: Sorry for the long rant. (He did talk for a bit too long)

Me: There are 2 things I enjoy.
Ranting and making money. (The making money references something in the story)

Him: That's why I like you Matthew. (He frames himself as the judge now. Social climbing in my opinion)

Me: I'm glad that we can get along. (I thought that I should make the liking 2-way)

It's high power because he reward him for getting along, but also warm and refuses to play one-ups.

When late to a meeting:

Quote from Mathieu on November 19, 2021, 3:45 pm

Hey guys,


Like: "Hey, you're right, I'm late. This is my fault. I didn't prepare for a contingency plan. I'm gonna do one now so it won't happen again".

As  rule of thumb: Take the blame, it disarms the other person and give you full power.


Yep, it's often a great move.
And a very eagle-style approach.

And there were a few good more on mindsets.
I remember two with Zendencer and Bel at least but can't find them.
But some of them found their way into the "Start Here" page and there will be more anyway and we can collect them here.

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Ali ScarlettKavalierBelleaderoffun
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  • Flying higher with the philosopher's frame

I think this suggestion you gave me also qualifies:

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on December 19, 2021, 3:05 am

Personally, I'd also consider flying higher though:

Him: I told the counterparty I am paying you too much, and that I would prefer not to continue having to involve you as my lawyer and solve things soon
You: It's always preferable to cooperate or to solve things amicably. When not possible, that's when good lawyers can make the world of difference

A bit of a philosopher's frame that caps and ends the "discussion".

  • Ambiguous answers: win-win or one-up?

Also, Matthew's wonderful answer "I'm glad that we can get along" to the power move "That's why I like you" reminded me of something happening to me two weeks ago. I sent birthday wishes to a former client, and received this answer:

Her: Hi Bel, thank you. How are you? I have a very positive memory of you. Talk soon.

I thought: she may be honest here, but she is still taking an unneeded judge role. I answered with:

Me: Thank you X, the estimation is mutual. Talk soon.

In my mind, the idea was for the answer to be ambiguous as her message. So if she was honest, she would get respect back; if not, she would get the message "I know what you're doing". But this latter intention could only be "read" by a "bad power mover", not by a "well-intentioned person", nor by others.

Another similar situation. Guy sends me the following message:

Him: Bel, this chat is becoming used only for wishes and birthdays, but I still wish you a merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I feel he is trying to also assume a judge role here. In fact, some previous messages from the same guy felt also slightly demeaning (e.g. the year before: "I don't know if you care about Christmas, but I like to send wishes anyway"). My answer after studying PU:

Me:  X, it's good to hear from you, and who knows where keeping in touch may lead us. Merry Christmas and Holiday Wishes to you.

"It's good to hear from you" is a positive statement, but subcommunicates "It's you who never writes". And "who knows where keeping in touch may lead us" can be read as recognizing the value in the superficial interaction as a prelude to something good, but it also slightly demeans the wishes (exactly like what he does on his end).

So the idea basically was to send a message that the other person would interpret on the basis of his good or bad intention: hopefully a win-win, but also a possible one-up if the other person was power-moving.

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Lucio BuffalmanoKavalier

I have a question for you Lucio.

In PU you say that sometimes when we're attacked, we should "get nasty back" at the person. However, this is not Eagle-like? Or am I missing a subtlety? As in when is it appropriate for Eagles to be nasty and/or aggressive?

Because when being nasty, we are on the same level. And when being aggressive we're not emotionally detached.

What do you think?

Hey John,

Do you have a link to that lesson?
I remember for sure that's an approach in:

  • Relationships (lesson on aggression and relationship module)
  • Shame attacks

And there is a reason for it in both cases.

In other situations, it might also be OK depending on situations and personalities of course.

I'm also curious to hear what you -or others think-.

When should you go superior and when should you get nasty back?


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Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 27, 2022, 11:48 pm

I'm also curious to hear what you -or others think-.

When should you go superior and when should you get nasty back?

My take from PU is that you should go superior when:

  • there is a higher authority who will eventually intervene, and showing you didn't get down to their level works in your ultimate favor (example: if a Judge is going to review your message exchanges, it does pay to let them be nastier than you, as long as you are also able to reassert your boundary politely; at the extreme end of this strategy is the "give them rope" tactic for responding to microaggressions, where you just don't respond verbally, because the higher authority is likely to intervene immediately)
  • dropping down to their level elevates them (example: they are a newcomer and you are the established authority);
  • other people are looking at you, and appearing as the more reasonable person is the most important objective in the situation;
  • there is still a possibility of win-win, and you want to exhaust all avenues in that direction;
  • irrespectively of their move, you have the ultimate leverage in the interaction and are ready to use it soon afterwards;
  • in general, dropping down to their level makes reaching your ultimate objective ("winning the war") more unlikely even if you "win the battle".

Get nasty back (go down to their level temporarily) when:

  • getting nasty back is the only way of reversing a dangerous social situation that is gaining too much momentum, and you need a big shock effect to reestablish your frame;
  • you have let disrespect go on for too much, and now no normal assertion will convince the other person that you can't be pushed around and dominated (example: my palace's concierge always used to ask "Where are you going?" in a nasty way when I went out; eventually I started not answering in front of everyone, and he stopped asking);
  • the disrespect comes from a person who, until then, has faked being emotionally close to you for a long time-frame, so other people are going to believe he must be somewhat "right" in disrespecting you (example: if a father humiliates his adult son in a professional situation, bystanders are going to assume the father is right, just because of the fact that no normal father would otherwise do so);
  • the disrespect encroaches on fundamental values, entails evident abuse, or otherwise humiliates or demeans you as a person;
  • in general, there is no likely way for you to "win the war", and "winning the battle" or at least making a draw is all you can accomplish; or, when "losing the battle" evidently means also immediately "losing the war".
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Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanKavalier

Yeah, right: my own answer would be:

  1. To go higher in public as often as possible
  2. To be nasty on the same level only when it's a red power move in public AND the person is same level or lower AND it feels like the person is disliked by the group AND everybody has been waiting for someone to be nasty with the offender.

However, since I'm asking the question I'm not so confident in my own perspective on the topic.

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