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What if being power aware is bad for (spouse) relationships?

I've been reading PU for the last year or so and taking copious notes. I've been reading and contributing to this forum. And my power awareness has skyrocketed. I'm grateful for that.

I'm also in a relationship. And I wonder if something happened to me that made me less apt for relationships. I had a stupid argument that snowballed into something major, where the relationship was questioned.

I wonder if I caused it because of my mindset.

  1.  I read about 1hr per day PU/forums and the material is highly cynical, all about how to defend from manipulators, aholes, takers, dark triad people.
  2.  Even though PU recommends to not do any value/power accounting in a close personal relationship, I cannot help it. It's not something you can switch on and off at will.
  3.  I'm reminded of the PU video examples, the names for manipulations... when I'm around people, including my significant other.

Before PU, I might have been missing a lot of what happens in a relationship. I didn't have tags to label things. I didn't see the matrix. I was more naive. But now, a year later, I'm socially aware. And perhaps bitter. I read so much into every interaction, and I can't turn it off. With that naivite, I may have lost some empathy; I may have turned more like the dark triad we now identify and learn to defend from.

Now when someone does something that feels off, I go into thinking "is this something a sociopath would say" or "is this (insert concept for PU that pattern match)". The cynicism in PU percolates my perception of reality. And the cynicism is strong in it: there's something for everyone in your life, your boss, your girlfriend, your coworkers.

I know this is an overgeneralization and perhaps ridiculous (or poetic!), but it could be that studying power dynamics prevents you from being able to love fully.

What is the solution? my gut feeling is that for every hour of PU reading I should spend another hour reading something that portrays humanity in a more positive light. I should spend time talking to people who are in good, positive relationships. I should stop thinking in terms of power dynamics, because the end result could be nefarious.

Have you guys experienced something like this?


Lucio Buffalmano, Bel and Power Duck have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoBelPower Duck

I don't see that way.

But it might be a question of stages and mindsets.

I think this topic may require a proper article.
There are red-pill inspired articles already on "stages of unplugging" -and some books too which we reviewed here-, but I think there may be some better way to explore that topic.

Just some quick notes relevant to this topic:

  • Blissful ignorance, a concept that in my opinion seldom applies. When it applies depends a lot on individual's mindsets

Allegory of the cave - WikipediaThe cave allegory might apply, but it's only blissful ignorance if one were to focus on the negatives of the "tough world out there" rather than, say, the beauty & empowerment of seeing the light, no matter if what's revealed are snakes or butterflies (butterflies also exist, so why focus on the negative?).

  • Harsh truth or "just how it is": many authors in the red pill often write about "harsh realities" to confront on the way to better real-world awareness.
    I personally found it such a disempowering frame. I've never seen any of that "harsh". Just (a slice of) how things are.


  • Cynicism or more realistic win-wins? Also, I don't see PU as cynical at all.
    It makes clear that one can win being an asshole, and that sometimes you need to be an asshole.
    But it also says that those who can cooperate, recruit others, and set up win-wins tend to be more effective, higher power, and do better -including for the psychological sake of happier lives-.
    Many of the strategies and techniques are to increase and strengthen those win-wins.

And probably the most important one for this thread:

  • Power awareness shows you both snakes, and butterflies, and how to make the most with them: while the naive caveman sees butterflies and unicorns everywhere, the power aware sees correctly.
    He spots the snakes, and the butterflies -both of which exist in the real world-.
    And since the world is not black and white, he may be able to get some value from the snakes as well.
    And spot the butterflies' power moves as well -may be that's only depressive if one had unrealistic expectations of unlimited, angelic innocence and goodness, and secretly keeps on clinging to that ideal? I need to further explore this topic, glad to read more opinions-
    Seeing those power moves, one can handle them in a way that maintains respect, win-win (and in sexual relationships, attraction), as well as teaching the butterfly how to better cooperate. And that helps him set up better win-wins, including with spouse relationships.

Happy to read what others think as well.

han160891, Bel and 2 other users have reacted to this post.
han160891BelleaderoffunPower Duck
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My take is that PU’s underlying philosophy is a cooperative, optimistic, and positive world-view.

It teaches how to spot and check power moves, and even how to identify really bad people, but that’s a portion of what’s necessary to have a good life: one because, if one can’t, then for sure one’s negativity is going to be casted on the whole world; two because, if one can, then one can limit  anger, moodiness, and cynicism and confine it to situations that really deserve it.

I also think that the tendency to see the world as a dark place full of bad people may be both a necessary stage in one’s development and, at the same time, an indication of past accumulated anger and pain wanting to be released. After all, many of us who got here probably already knew that others could be bad.

The following is also a concept that strikes me as underlying PU: sure, there’s a limited number of dark triad people who cannot change even if they wanted, because they were genetically born without a conscience. But most of the people are simply people: and some people may suffer greatly, be unaware or unable to work on their traumas, adopt defensive mechanisms that are counterproductive if going over the “optimum balance”, possibly start behaving bad, and maybe even convince themselves they are bad. But they could also choose to stop adopting those defenses and work on themselves to heal.

PU implicitly recognizes that everyone can change, no matter what the starting point, provided one is willing. The world is what it is, but everyone may be capable of positive change.

Lucio Buffalmano, Kavalier and 3 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoKavalierhan160891leaderoffunPower Duck

Your post @leaderoffun resonates with me. I do see the benefits of all I am learning here, and that it is most and foremost an advantage to be aware of power moves to navigate successfully in this world. One part of me though, want to believe that one can put away the sword and armour (this is how I feel about power moves right now), and just feel safe and know that the other person wants the best for both of you. Not letting your guard down necessary for the whole world, but especially in a circle of two loved ones. That is, in my opinion, a pre-requisite of being a couple. Even though you mention that you can't turn "it" off, I would guess that that is the way to juggle power moves, when to analyse and when to just experience life - I do not know how to do it in practice though.

It seems to me that there IS a silent place in the middle of the storm. I also read that @aliscarlett experience this in a friendship

Ali Scarlett and Power Duck have reacted to this post.
Ali ScarlettPower Duck

My 5 cents.  I feel like when you change your world view there is a bit of a pendulum effect.  You have to overshoot to come back the middle.  And here on the forum you have to be tolerant of people who are jumping at shadows seeing power moves in every post.  They are just processing - engaging deeply and doing the work.  It's a good thing.  And on the other side I m confident they will use their powers for good.  TPM values relationships.  Relationships  always have ups and downs.

And i should say you are at different stages on different topics.  Some I can contribute and some of the threads here and I think wow guys take a bow.  I never would have thought  of the nuances you all found.

Lucio Buffalmano, Ali Scarlett and 4 other users have reacted to this post.
Lucio BuffalmanoAli ScarlettKavalierMaya88Mats GPower Duck

Yeah, I may not be the best person for this type of reflection.

My position is still the same, and it's quite strong and defined: there are absolutely no drawbacks to being power aware.

In my opinion, longing for a stage of "not seeing things" is misguided and self-defeating.

It comes either from misguided idealization (and then realizing that one is not in a good relationship), or from a poor understanding of what's possible.

Not going to link to the posts, but based on the series of threads from the original poster here, it feels to me that the OP was the former case.
He was originally in an idealization phase (edit: part of me wanted to warn him about it, but then didn't to avoid being the grinch since very few people would understand when talk about idealization and risks on a thread that is all about falling in love. And instead failed by watering down the message in this thread here and calling it "love" instead of the more appropriate "idealization"), and then later slowly came to see more and more of the partner's power moves -and some guys here may have helped him realize that with some "tough love" feedback-.

Then, it feels to me that as he realized things weren't as ideal, he wished to go back to "when things seemed so perfect and rosy" except that... That person and relationship never really existed.

Albeit I may be wrong about OP, this is how it often goes for people who wish they'd never see the faults in a partner they previously idealized.

When you idealize a partner that wasn't so good, you also enter into a win-lose as a lamb partnering up with a wolf.

Generally speaking, to wish to go back to being unaware is to wish to go back to being taken advantage of.
In my worldview, I just can't see a way where that makes sense.

As for not appreciating what's possible... It is possible to have great and win-win relationships, including loving ones where you can "put the shield and sword down" as a power-aware person.
As a matter of fact, being power-aware is exactly how you increase your odds of having such a win-win, mutually loving relationship.

Of course we're humans and (almost) nobody is a saint and even when not from maliciousness, people may still do things that disempower you, demean you, or that you just don't like -knowing that, power aware people tend to be less likely to fall for "idealization" and "pedestalizing"-.

So sometimes you may have to clarify a few things or tell someone you felt something was not cool. But still, good people in good relationships will make amends.

Those amends are part of the rails that keep the relationship loving and win-win.

And they require your awareness/skills.

Kavalier, Bel and Power Duck have reacted to this post.
KavalierBelPower Duck
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