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What's the 'drosophila' to practice power moves?

I'm digging into power university... there's a lot of good stuff there.

I fear that if I don't practice it in real life, it will stay in my notes forever but will never deliver value to me.

What's the 'drosophila' to practice power moves? For example frame control. I need a social construct where I have to defend my power or attack that of another person. Given that social circles (or social situations) are precious and hard to create in artificial conditions, I'm at a loss on how to practice this stuff.

Brainstorming...

  1. Youtube videos with debaters where one takes power from another. Pause and try to write a comeback that would block the attack.
  2. Whatsapp groups on topics that you don't care about. Try to destabilize the group (practicing attack). This is perhaps unnecessary harmful
  3. Real-life situations where one is low power, and has to gain power fast or eject. Example: cold approach in dating

None of these things sound too practical to me. Ideas? How do you practice this material?

OFF-TOPIC

Hey leaderoffun,

Check out the "guidelines" for effective forum use and this thread here as I see room for communication improvement (including very practical "how to get answers").

I'm myself curious about this question but it took me 5 minutes to understand what "drosophilia" meant in that title.

It's smart and it frames you as a smart guy, and it's super useful to know how to sound smart to succeed in life.

But it's also smart when to know how to "dumb yourself down".

In this case, you'll lose interest from a lot of readers who won't get -or won't have the time/motivation to dig deeper- into your question.

OFF-TOPIC

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

A few notes:

  • Are social circles precious?

Personally, I think that looking at social circles as so precious is "social scarcity".

There are a few key ones you want to be careful with, but others can be created at any time.

  • PU already helps you internalize

I think that just going through PU helps you internalize a lot of those dynamics because of the examples.

For sure by the end of it you'll be a more effective person.

  • How to further practice

Now if your question is how to be EVEN MORE effective and how to internalize it even better, I'm curious to hear what others say.

Personally haven't done those exercises myself but yes, they might be useful.

I see power dynamics every day in my life, I personally think it's one of the most natural things to practice.

As a matter of fact, that might be key:

  • Distributed, everyday practice

Switching from a mindset of "separate practice" to a "distributed practice".

The "big" power moves and one-ups might be rarer, but power dynamics are an everyday socialization thing.

The lessons on how to speak with power -and how to avoid speaking low-power apply every time you open your mouth, and so does body language.

Covert power moves are extremely common, and social exchanges are happening right now even without being in person (and this is why I've told you to check the guidelines, BTW).

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

I understand what Lucio means by drosophila being hard to understand.
What on earth is a drosophila?
I googled and an image of a fruit fly came up.

I don't really like drosophilas though.
They attack my food.

  • Distributed, everyday practice

Switching from a mindset of "separate practice" to a "distributed practice".

The "big" power moves and one-ups might be rarer, but power dynamics are an everyday socialization thing.

Adding on to Lucio's idea, I can't see how you don't encounter power moves every day.
Sometimes I wish for a peaceful day, and then I am shocked by reality.

If you want "big" power moves and one-ups, you can talk about controversial topics more often.
And publicly like on social media.
Albeit I wouldn't advise spending so much time on that.

Or you can launch a business that is value-adding but goes against lots of virtue signallers.
That will bound to have you dealing with virtue-signalling power moves everyday.

A Twist on Your Question

Maybe I can attempt to get at another question to touch on your original question:

How can I get a lot of social situations with good detailed analysis and breakdown alongside with someone to tell me the nuances and whether I'm correct?

Then, yeah I can see how that's challenging.

At the start, one doesn't really know what to look out for.
What cues, statements, dynamics.
There's no feel.
So you observe but don't really pick up on anything.

I would say that you have to force yourself to observe.

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Lucio Buffalmano
Quote from Matthew Whitewood on January 10, 2022, 11:40 am

I understand what Lucio means by drosophila being hard to understand.
What on earth is a drosophila?
I googled and an image of a fruit fly came up.

I don't really like drosophilas though.
They attack my food.

OFF-TOPIC

I think the intended meaning is that since fruit flies are frequently used in lab experiments, leaderoffun was by extension looking for some way/subjects to practice in a similarly controlled, safe environment.

OFF-TOPIC

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on January 10, 2022, 11:40 am

At the start, one doesn't really know what to look out for.
What cues, statements, dynamics.
There's no feel.
So you observe but don't really pick up on anything.

Yeah, that's a great point for those who start from "clueless" stage.

And, in a way, we're all clueless for some dynamics.

Those who are clueless for most dynamics, then don't pick up on almost anything though.

But once one expands his feel, his radar also expands.
And then "practicing" more and more overlaps with "living".

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Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on January 10, 2022, 4:30 am
  • Are social circles precious?

Personally, I think that looking at social circles as so precious is "social scarcity".

There are a few key ones you want to be careful with, but others can be created at any time.

For me this is absolutely the key. There are a handful of social circles that I don't want to use for exploring power dynamics... these are the one which are comprised of old close friend, which I have invested in over many years and while are really valuable to me... the thing is, those old, intimate, solid friendship circles are not places where there are unhealthy power moves taking place anyway... if there was a whole lot of power gaming going on, I wouldn't be invested in them in the first place... granted, I've come to see that power moves are at work to some extent in all social circles - including the close an valuable ones - and learning to navigate power dynamics more effectively allows me to manage those relationships better, both for myself and others... but the kinds of social circles where I might be practicing or even experimenting a bit are not the contexts where I'm dealing with what might be described as 'silly power moves'...

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Lucio Buffalmano

Yes, the beauty of the circles you mention Zen is that you don't even need to think much about power dynamics -or, at least, not so much in a defensive or offensive manner-.

Those are circles based on liking and appreciating each other, adding value, and having a good time together.

They're not so much about advancing or competing.

As you say, there are some power moves here and there, but it's not the main ingredient.

In many ways, a successful (social) life means building at least one of those circles and a few of those relationships.
And much of PU's high-level approaches -and supporting techniques- are geared at having more relationships like those ones -especially with the people closest to you-.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Hey guys,

Sorry about the Drosophila thing. It's a animal, a fly, that reproduces super fast (10 day cycles) and it's used for biology experiments. It's the perfect playground to see what would happen over generations if you changed something on the genes, or the environment.

I was looking for something similar in power moves, a practice place. Imagine how could it'd be to have some kind of simulator where you can try options, then revert to blank state and try again. While still experience the full consequences of your choices.

Example:

Option 1: I fire Ted. He goes away silently, but 3 months later I realize that 3 key members of his team left the company and joined him at a competitor's

Option 2: I 'promote' ted to another team, where his incompetence is not risking the projects he touches. I make sure he blesses the next person who takes his role

That '3 month later' makes every experiment really costly IRL. I thought the parallel to drosophila was spot on and that this was a mainstream thing (I'm not a biologist and I've found the word multiple times). But for sure, no disrespect intended. This was not a power move "haha, I know a word you don't" (lol, we are not in 3rd grade).

I was looking for something similar in power moves, a practice place. Imagine how could it'd be to have some kind of simulator where you can try options, then revert to blank state and try again. While still experience the full consequences of your choices.

That will be extremely challenging.
Because social situations are nuanced and challenging to replicate in artificial environments reliably and consistently.
And they are chaotic, meaning that a slight change in the initial social setup would lead to very different outcomes.
Replication has been a challenge for social scientists, especially in complex situations.

You could take a look at this thread:
AI Playing Power Moves

I think currently looking for similar situations in real life would be the best form of practice.
For example, if you date a lot over a period of time, you will be bound to observe certain unique power moves occurring in the dating arena.
I would say that, if you really want to be diligent about it, you would record all the power moves on all dates and then keep re-compiling & re-organising your notes to look for similar patterns & dynamics.

The issue with real life is that it lacks the focused repetition with feedback and analysis to hone a specific subset of power dynamics skills.
I very rarely or maybe never encounter the same social state (blank slate) twice.
So you cannot really know for certain if you chose the best social response.
Furthermore, there's an element of chance involved, and you may be fooled by the outcome.
Like you chose a risky power move and it paid off when the risk-reward was not worth it.

Some points that come to mind:

  • Join different social circles with similar dynamics to practise a particular dynamic
    Like different Toastmasters club
  • Gain status and power in these different social circles
    Generally, gaining status would expose you to more varied social interactions
    Like you would have to deal with the hiring, firing and promotion dynamics very often if you're CEO/executive
  • Constantly cross-reference and compare social situations for similarities and differences.
    Then, you would get more and more patterns.
  • See what's wrong with the patterns.
    Were you seeing patterns for the sake of patterns?
  • Be willing to walk away from social circles and abandon your status in current environments.
    Then, you get the blank-slate effect to practice again albeit with different initial conditions.
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