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When Is Hiding Your Power A Good Strategy?

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From the other post,
Wearing Different Hats - Viewing Power Dynamics, Negotiation, Persuasion Under the Bigger Umbrella of People Skills

I have been thinking about this topic.
Usually, framing yourself as high-power is good.
It suggests high status, being good with people, and being high-power allows you to go higher warmth as well.

However, there are times when you should hide your power.
For example, in dating and negotiation.
Basically, whenever your opponent can make use of your power to your disadvantage.

Let's discuss several cases.

Negotiating A Deal

You don't want to paint yourself as the sole decision-maker.
This would allow your counter-party to force you to concede more value, knowing that you have the power to do so.

This is why people play games like higher authority and good cop/bad cop.
It allows you to tell people that you are constrained and have to stick to this higher-valued deal.

Dating

Lucio has advised about this.
Showing higher power in dating would gain you more attraction, but this makes screening the woman harder.
The woman may not show her true colours until much later.
Power parity allows you to see people's true colours better.

Making Friends

I believe sometimes when making friends as well.
Leave some stuff out of the table and see how they treat you.
This would allow you to discern people better as candidates to allow into your social circle.

Dangerous Streets

You need to portray yourself as difficult to mess with and a person with little to take from.
Paint yourself as a dominant man through posture and the way you walk.
If street hustlers interact with you, follow the street-wise techniques that Lucio has outlined in this thread.
How to Outsmart Street Hustlers?

In the Office

Bosses and Higher-Ups

You don't want your bosses and higher-ups to see you as a threat.
Showcase your "power" in terms of how you can achieve their interests.
While minimising any power that can potentially compete against their interests.

Colleagues

Preferably, downplay the competition and play up the collaboration in front of them.
You don't want to showcase your power and value too much.

Great idea of a thread, Matthew.

I'll come back with more thoughts.
To begin with:

Quote from Matthew Whitewood on February 15, 2021, 4:11 pm

Dating

Lucio has advised about this.
Showing higher power in dating would gain you more attraction, but this makes screening the woman harder.
The woman may not show her true colours until much later.
Power parity allows you to see people's true colours better.

True.

When it comes to seduction / approaching, when not sure, higher power is "safer".

But there are plenty of situations, especially in cold approaches, where making oneself more "friendlier" and less "dominant / edgy" (higher power to harm) is the best way to lower a woman's defense and gain her trust -which is what the "be as confident as you can be" common type of advice misses on.

Have you checked this thread?

It's a great example of how to strategically lower your power:

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Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Exactly. An example from my life:

On a daily basis at work

As I said, I don't tell my colleagues my age (unless they ask and even then I evade the question now), or that I have more education than them.

Getting my flat

I got my flat through a woman who's working in the same department in the same hospital. She's one rank above me. She did not know me before. So to her I'm a resident (below her). I never told her that I'm older than her by a large margin. That made her at ease and made here want to help me. Of course, it was win-win. But I could feel she was happy to help a fellow resident like she was helping a student. This was in my favour of course.

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One more example:

HIDE YOUR FINANCIAL WEALTH IF YOU NEED COLLECTING

If you're in a position of collecting money from people -say, a rent-, and you're financially well off, it might be a good strategy not to let them know about it.

Why not?

Because it can create resentment or envy.
Some people will then hide behind socialist / communist ideals and that it's OK to cheat you because you "already have a lot".

The opposite might help you instead, to say for example that you need money because you have heavy payments to make, a mortgage to make good to, launching your business, etc. etc.

In a similar example, @aliscarlett opened my eyes that my picture "looking cool" might have lead an Indian-based freelancer to complain harder about money and trying to frame me as a money-hungry cheater who was out to swindle "poor her".

I don't know if that's the case, but it's very possible that the combination of my picture/name might have contributed to it.
Had I had no picture, maybe she wouldn't have gone that far into that self-righteous BS.
The thread is here.

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Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 15, 2021, 4:23 pm

I did come across this thread.
It's a very interesting strategy.

Renting is one of the personal situations that cross over to a business context.
Maybe this can be applied to buying insurance and renting cars as well.

High-powered business people and salespeople are very ruthless at negotiating as well. (Donald Trump personas)
But lawyers seem to have the reputation of nitpicking legal terms and suing people though.

Maybe saying hostage negotiator and high-level diplomat work as well.
Though a lawyer is more common and easier to pull off.

Dating (Continued)

-which is what the "be as confident as you can be" common type of advice misses on.

Probably, it helps a bit for beginners.
Though it is so vague that no one knows how to act upon this advice.

You probably already have the flirty vibe, seduction intuition, leadership down.
This "friendlier" and less "dominant/edgy" vibe portray yourself as a charming lover.

For beginners, they get too friendly in the sense that they are afraid to lead the interaction.
The problem is that people conflate dominance with leadership.
They do have some overlaps.
But it's more of getting the woman to want to follow your leadership rather than the coercive, dominant leadership.

The general strategies of this website:

  • Mix power with warmth
  • Collaborative leadership
  • As little dominance as possible

In a similar example, @aliscarlett opened my eyes that my picture "looking cool" might have lead an Indian-based freelancer to complain harder about money and trying to frame me as a money-hungry cheater who was out to swindle "poor her".

I don't know if that's the case, but it's very possible that the combination of my picture/name might have contributed to it.
Had I had no picture, maybe she wouldn't have gone that far into that self-righteous BS.
The thread is here.

This is interesting.
Usually, looking better is advantageous.
But when you are asking for something from someone, it could be wise to hide your material possessions.

Maybe this can be extended to power.
If you are very powerful, avoid making huge displays of getting more power.

This is what Peter Thiel said about monopolies.
Monopolies frame themselves as part of a larger industry to avoid scrutiny.
Google frame itself as part of the advertising industry rather than the search engine industry.
While the powerless businesses need to play up their unique value proposition.

This is interesting.
Usually, looking better is advantageous.

Yes, in that specific case, I expressed myself badly for BS self-PC policing.
In truth, what I had to write was "looking white, and with expensive clothes / accessories (sunglasses)".

Then I pressed enter and didn't edit.

Will come back to this thread again and will link it from PU as this is something that I've noticed more than one person struggles to comprehend, as the mindset is "more is always better" -instead, "more is most of the times better, but important exceptions apply-.

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Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 15, 2021, 5:24 pm

This is interesting.
Usually, looking better is advantageous.

In truth, what I had to write was "looking white, and with expensive clothes / accessories (sunglasses)".

It could pay for a woman to look less pretty sometimes.
Maybe when working under an alpha female as a boss.

I guess people consider Mediterranean people as white.
Like how some Westerners group Chinese, Koreans, Japanese under the same umbrella.

Yes, that one too, Matthew.

Or a very attractive woman might overplay her dating woes, just to avoid the other women might end up hating her and ostracizing her.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

Also, hiding your power can be a more mundane thing to fit better within a certain a group.

Or to strategically start lower, just to test the waters.

For example, while traveling I wouldn't introduce myself saying "I'm a world traveler, I don't plan and just go with the flow, I'll always have a chance to do whatever is on offer here somewhere else anyway".

What if the people I'm talking to are going through a hard-earned vacation, and they planned everything because they need to squeeze as much juice as possible from a single week?

Immediate disconnect, it'd seem like I'm from another world.

In general, I'm also more on the warmer/friendly side when first meeting people than on the power side.

Then, if you realize it's a group of ballers, you can hike up your self-presentation, talk a bit less, slow down your speech, share more thoughtful, deeper, or business stuff, etc. etc. -there is always room for going up, while going lower can be more challenging-.

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Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?
Quote from Lucio Buffalmano on February 16, 2021, 10:23 pm

Also, hiding your power can be a more mundane thing to fit better within a certain a group.

Or to strategically start lower, just to test the waters.

In general, I'm also more on the warmer/friendly side when first meeting people than on the power side.

I was studying presentation skills and went back to one of Lucio's videos.
By accident, I noticed that Lucio intentionally self-deprecates because of the nature of the topic of talking about power dynamics in presentation skills.

I believed that the 3 points above are covered in this video example

  • hiding your power to fit better - at a University, more academic setting, it makes sense; maybe in boardrooms, you can go higher power
  • strategically start lower to test the waters - it was at the start of the speech; it's good to gauge the audience
  • warmer/friendly side - it makes sense to put warmth into your presentation to build a more personal connection with your audience

This is not to say that you should be lower power in presentations.
Quite the contrary, the video talks about the importance of being powerful when speaking in front of an audience.

It was this particular moment at the start that was a strategic move to put people more at ease.

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