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What do you think are the most PU link-worthy threads?

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Had an idea:

Why not create a thread to share links to others threads that we feel are the most PU link-worthy?

Happy to read your thoughts below and, Lucio, if you're not a fan of the idea, feel free to delete this thread.

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Lucio BuffalmanoJohn FreemanSerena IrinaBel

It's a valid idea, Ali.

I think that in good parts the good threads will self-select, plus sometimes I ask if it's link-worthy or someone pro-actively says so -which is always helpful-.

However, much can still go lost.

So if this thread can collect more feedback on what was an enlightening response, technique, strategy, or mindset, that it will be golden.

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Quoting from typos and fixes thread:

Quote from Bel on May 17, 2022, 10:58 am
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on May 17, 2022, 5:45 am

Public VS not public is one of the main variables that moves a power move in the "harm" scale.

And also says a lot about the person who does it publicly.
They're either really clueless -but most people do have a feel for this, so cluelessness is rare-, they don't give a s*it about you, or they willingly wanted to double harm you.

This is very helpful, and I think this should be in PU if not present already, maybe in that same lesson.

Another thought I had about another lesson here:

You mention here that one should almost never defend. When I read it, it was immensely helpful. I wondered what defending subcommunicates: as to this, PU mentions that defending makes you fall in the accuser power frame.

Later, I was listening to this video:

He mentions (from here up to 4:18) that people who defend subcommunicate on an instinctive level that they are not so sure of themselves. Because when a person really believes something, that person does not defend, but just totally discount, in thought, words and action, what the other person says.

If it's not already present in PU, maybe a mention of this point could complement what's already there on this topic.


Thank you @bel haven't watched that video yet, but now it's on my to-do list and flagged as a potential PU upgrade (and that's huge ).

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The "One-Up opening gambit"

As in "one-upping, disrespecting, or disempowering early on to set a favorable frame for the aggressor".

From this thread:

Quote from John Freeman on May 24, 2022, 6:45 pm

I agree with Lucio about the initial contact.

It's something that took me a long time to learn. I had the example today as a colleague (equal) tried to task me via email ("call me at this number, I'm available from 11am"). It was the first time we collaborated even though we met many times in the hospital. I tasked him back (and ignored his last message) as he's supposed to be calling me to report about the patient that he saw in hospital communication habits ("Please call me at this number when you're available").

It worked: he called me and now he's all collaborative with me. He knew he was pulling a power move. He's treating me like an equal, even slightly submissive (I'm an elder to him in experience and age).

If I had not read this thread before I would have missed it: power-savvy/dominant people go high power/dominant first and if the person resists as in my case they go lower-power. If the person caves in: good move, now they are in the higher-up position.

So it's a cheap power move: you get to be the dominant for not too much effort: on the first encounter you set the frame.

By cheap, I mean it does not cost a lot of energy (not as in stingy or low). It's smart.

Thank you John, this is helpful.

I think this may be worthy of mentioning in PU.

There are a few notes here and there on different "power tests", including the "aggressive gambit opener" in the introduction power dynamics lesson.

But I think it could expanded and improved to workplaces and more "formal" as well as more "covert" aggressions (the example right now is of your run-of-the-mill meathead who opened with a "yo", so I think it's good if it covers more refined, professional and manipulative approaches as well).

If anyone has any comment on it, happy to read.

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Nice exchange here, thank you for the feedback.

Do you think this is PU-worthy?

Quote from Bel on May 27, 2022, 4:16 pm

Your explanation about straight talk not working when the other party has leverage is also very enlightening. Whoever I tried it with had leverage on me, in fact. They made sure I was somewhat dependent on them. And they always punished me.

Is it something that "clicked", or made things clearer at a high level?

Or more like a detail?

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Thank  you, Lucio, for your help, which allows me every time to go further.

I feel I need to think about it more to answer this.  Right now it feels more of a detail, but I sense something I do not yet grasp coming into consciousness.

From this thread:

Quote from Bel on June 12, 2022, 11:07 pm
thanks for sharing this. It is very helpful.
The breakdown of the power moves in her answer is very helpful. Without it, it would have taken me one month to begin to understand what was the subcommunication!

I'm wondering now about a potential lesson on PU and/or a section on TPM on how to read sub-communication.

There are examples and case studies scattered all over the place of course, and I think those examples are a great way to learn "how to decode sub-communication".

Covert power moves are also all about sub-communication.

However, I'm thinking whether a single lesson/article explaining why it's important, and then adding steps to learn and examples might be helpful.

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Ali ScarlettTransitionedMats GBel
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Quote from Anon on July 6, 2022, 10:03 pm

I want to point out that after reading this part:

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on July 6, 2022, 4:48 pm

LOF's reply used Kavalier's mention of chess as a quick bridge to something very different, and that might feel like a brush-off (Kavalier can confirm that or deny).

I've also previously noticed that LOF sometimes adopts a "free-flowing" debating style that does not always take much of the original reply into account.
That can irk the person who took time to write the post because the person feels ignored. The exchange doesn't feel like a two-ways influencing street as all exchanges between equals and people who respect each other should be.

When we feel we're open to being influenced but the other person skips our good points, the feeling is that we are giving with our openness, but the other person isn't.
So it's a sucker's trade of persuasion (ie.: it does feel like the other person is playing a win-lose game).

Ignoring large portions of what one says can be good when debating to win in front of a public, but it's something to be careful with when one wants to exchange opinions, build bridges, or learn, because the feeling is that one is not interested in exchanging ideas, but in monologuing and/or winning.

To avoid that issue, if LOF wants to avoid being sidetracked or stick to his proposal, he should first validate the other person's point of view, and clearly state that he's going to skip a longer reply.
For example:

Great message!
I partially agree with some but not with all. I will reply later if I find the time. As of now, I want to stick to the original idea of testing PU's ideas because I think there can be much added value there.

− there was a *click* moment for me and a lot came together.
Now I get -why- it is so important and effective to validate what others have said and why that builds rapport, and why certain things break rapport. I had an intuition and knew it works, but until now I didn't really get why:

It's because a good conversation or persuasion is a flowing exchange where both sides have to be -open- and are constantly -giving- and -receiving-.

And that's why there is no real rapport with people who push an agenda (like stereotypical salesman or street preachers) −they are not open, but they want you to be open and try to change your thoughts. And that's not an exchange of equals, so we close and shield ourselves from either their agenda or them.

Being aware of this simple yet powerful rapport building process consciously will probably improve overall conversation skills and intuition significantly, and will make difficult situations - like criticism, easier.

In my opinion this is PU worthy, as it is both very important to realize and there are countless situations where we can benefit from it.

Off Topic

Thank you so much for the note @anonymous_user!

I agree with you, it's an important concept that can help connect the dots and internalize the concept.

It's also a good example of how the foundations extend to everything (in this case, the exchange rule and how a "fair" exchange is, VS an unfair one that turn's into a sucker's trade).
It's just about extending the meaning of "giving" VS "taking" into persuasion dynamics (in this case, taking time to write/share and being open to accepting other people's point of view is giving. Ignoring and not being open to changing one's mind is taking).

I'm thinking where this could best fit.

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I think these are PU-worthy:

- a powerful stock comeback to publicly surface that a person is making nasty remarks and public disrespect just to retaliate:

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on July 11, 2022, 10:34 pm

You: do I owe that type of kindness to the fact that I just told you I'm leaving?

Kinda of a one-up joke, but the great side benefits here is the reputational self-defense.
You let everyone know that it's YOU who rejected them, and she's being nasty because THEY are losing you.

Then stick to the frame that she's retaliating and it's not cool.

This seems replicable in a variety of situations where you want to expose the person trying to publicly retaliate, and subcommunicate that you won’t tolerate disrespect.

- how to deal with manipulators trying to involve you in smear campaigning and triangulating people:

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on July 11, 2022, 10:14 pm

In these cases, my take is that the more you engage, the more flank you give to these types of people.

Seems like his objective was to tarnish Mary's reputation, and that's what he was also doing with you -really a lowlife move-.

You went assertive, which is OK.
The thing is... Sneaky fucks don't deserve assertive -it's time-consuming and high investment, can make you enemies you don't want, and still involves you in the interaction, both timewise, and emotional-.

As soon as you smelled the rancid, I'd have kept my replies more spaced out in time, and far briefer.

The reason is simple, yet so effective:

The more out of reach you are, both in time and emotionally, the more out of reach you are for his games and manipulations.

As for maximum effectiveness, it's "out of reach, but still with just enough politeness and responsiveness to avoid a total cut".


Him: Mary is threatening suicide and won't answer my calls. I'm kind of panicking, can you call her? Please, I'm sorry. I just don't know what to do. I called the police. I really don't know what to do.

You: (5h later) hey Dean, sorry the delay, only see this now after a long day. Worry not, Mary is a cool lady, she'll be fine. Stay strong (slight power move on your own. Sub-communication being: you're the bitch who's panicking for nothing)

After that, expect he contacts you right away saying that no, Mary is not ok.
To which, you do not reply. Then the day after or later say something like "so nice of you to worry about her, but trust she's good :). Cheers Dean!"

Just invaluable! Knowing this would have made it so much easier to deal with these types of people.

- how to keep your power when people joke about you taking too long a vacation from work:

Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on July 10, 2022, 8:47 pm

You: yeah, you can take vacation independently of when I take them

= in this frame you're higher power and so important for the team that your boss reacts and moves around your schedule)


You: feel free to go now, I'm back here now making sure things are fine (smile)

Again, you take the opportunity to showcase how important you are in your team.
All in jest, but still shows high confidence (plus, we know that humor almost always has a backdrop of truth).


You: Yeah, was great, I hope you didn't miss me much

This is more of a classical one-up back.
If you have enough power and leverage in the team, it's a good one to enforce boundaries and display (and increase) that high-power (personally, I'd have gone for something similar). That sends a strong message you're not to be F*** with.

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Lucio Buffalmano

Thank you so much, Bel, incredibly helpful!

I'm now thinking of a bonus lesson on the "best power moves & responses" and list them there, together with an explanation.

The goal of course wouldn't be to list them all, but to help grow the mindset and thinking processes behind them.

And the side benefit is that new mindsets / strategies and techniques may emerge after we spot a trend (as per your great "ignore the power differential" thread).

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