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The "give them rope" microaggression response - TV example

Hi everyone,

I recently started watching a new show that had a fun example of the "give them rope" technique being used on a microaggression.

https://www.screencast.com/t/vRuRT4pKy39d

Lizardman: (microaggression) "You will all serve under me (refuses them the power to say "no"). Consider this a great honor!"

Goblin: "Ahem (appears aware of the power dynamics). Forgive me...(gives him rope using submissiveness) You called yourself Gabiru, yes? This request to serve you is rather sudden... (frames the lizarman's sudden order as a request)".

Lizardman: (takes the rope/bait) Good grief. Must I spell it out for you? ...I, Gabiru, will protect you weaklings (one-up power move) from the threat of the Orcs! Weaklings! (that last comment levels up his microaggression to aggression)

The funniest part is that they all just met.

I said that the "Weaklings!" note levels up the microaggression to aggression because, at that point, you've blown your cover. It's very hard to backtrack now and say, "Oh, I was just joking," and have anyone really believe you.

I'm testing out the ClipChamp video editing software and it's easy to edit, but not so easy to share...hope you guys enjoyed this case study!

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood

Ali, I'm not sure I'd consider this as microaggression, since that was quite a major power to tell people they will all serve under him.

It was a good "give him rope" though if "Gabiru" is a positive adjective.
In that case, the moment he starts confirming that, yes, he's a great Gabiru/leader, then he also starts looking too full of himself to be a good leader, and he hangs himself.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
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OK, thanks for the note! It's still sometimes hard for me to tell microaggressions from aggression.

Lucio: "Ali, I'm not sure I'd consider this as microaggression, since that was quite a major power to tell people they will all serve under him."

Yea, I've been assessing value-taking behavior on the aggression scale by how easy it would be for the aggressor to say, "I was just joking," and be believed. From the course, I figured that if they still have that cover, it's still around the microaggression level.

BUT, it seems you're saying that the initial comment was powerful (direct?) enough to have blown his cover straight from the get-go. Is that because everyone opposite of the aggressor already felt angry about the Lizardman's behavior and wouldn't have believed him? Social proof that the "joke" wasn't actually a joke from the entire group would make sense in helping to blow off his cover.

How do you tell microaggressions from aggressions, Lucio? I reviewed my PU course notes from this lesson, did I miss something?

Hey Ali,

Yeah, I might not even call the "you will serve under me" a "standard aggression".
It is an act of aggression in the sense that would have certainly limited the people's freedom, but it was more like bluster and a "power take over" attempt.
"Weaklings" is more like a "proper" aggression.

Check out this feedback also, when you're not sure of something, it's better not to turn it into a "case study", as that might confuse people.

These concepts can be fuzzy but, ultimately, if it's not clear then it means I wasn't clear enough in the lesson.
Feel free to open a new thread for "what's a microaggression", so we can zero-in on it, collect ideas, and come up with better definitions and examples.

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