The Power Moves pioneered “power dynamics” as a novel approach to social skills, self-development, and life success.
One might ask:
Isn’t that “bad”?
No, it’s not.
Self-development without power dynamics, strategies, and Machiavellianism is not enough.
We live in a world where the cream doesn’t naturally and necessarily rise to the top.
And working hard, providing value or “getting better” also don’t guarantee your success. We call that approach “naive self-help” here.
And that’s where power dynamics, (dark) psychology, and Machiavellianism enter the picture.
It’s the necessary other side of the coin, it’s the “street smarts” on top of the “book smarts”.
If self-development means “growing in your personal value and ability to give”, then this other side of the coin includes foundational steps such as:
- Knowing who to give value to (character assessment)
- How to get value back (setting up win-win)
- How to get the biggest bang for the buck (strategies)
Heaven & Hell Are Other People
This website is built on the belief that both halves of this statement are true:
Hell is other people.-The Power Moves
And heaven is other people.
The first part of the sentence alone is over-cynicism. Not good.
The second part alone is naive. Also not good.
Power intelligence is what allows you to reduce -or eliminate- the “hell” part while expanding the “heaven” part.
That’s how you become an effective human being, achieving goals, developing great win-win relationships, and generally getting the most out of people -and life-.
- Why Power?
- The Power Moves Values
- Power starts by choosing never to be a victim
- Seek growth, rather than help
- Learn to navigate the darkness, but never lose sight of the light
- You’re only as free as your personal and mental power allows you to be
- You’re only as virtuous as your personal power allows you to be
- Don’t necessarily fight authority, but it’s your duty to assess it and question it
- Empower yourself to effectively question authority & leadership
- Before you join any group, walk and grow as an individual
- Fighting and war is a serious endevour. Make that decision very carefully
- Fly higher than the turkeys and their petty games
- About The Author(s)
The main training grounds of this website include:
#1. Social Skills / Power Dynamics
Mastering social skills requires learning power dynamics
Most people-related resources shy away from power.
The Power Moves instead believes that you can’t be socially skilled without learning and understanding power dynamics.
Becoming a high-value individual also entails mastering power dynamics.
It’s a contradiction in terms to think one can be high-value without being powerful, in one way or another.
- Social power dynamics: the overview
- Start here: how to acquire power-IQ
- Overview of the most important articles on power
- The fundamental laws of power
- Best books on power
#2. Dating & Seduction
Everything is about sex. Except for sex. Sex is about power
The dating advice for women is, on average, very poor.
Check these posts to upgrade your dating skills:
The non-mainstream dating advice for men is much better than the one for women.
When it comes to game and techniques, today there are many good resources for men.
What’s lacking is a good, evidence-based overview of dating psychology, and dating power dynamics.
And that’s what I focused on so far.
Both are shortened versions of corresponding chapters in “Dating Power Dynamics”.
I know, I know what some will be thinking:
“relationships are not about power, they’re about love!”
The mistake there is in thinking that it’s a question of either/or, or that the two are in antithesis.
But they’re not.
A good understanding of power dynamics preempts abuse and does promote healthy and successful relationships.
- How to maintain attraction and mutual respect in LTRs
- The stages of power in intimate relationships
- How women control most relationships
- Relationships overview
#3. Business / Career Strategies
Being good at your job is 1/3 of the battle.
The other 2/3 are being good at selling it and being good with the people that matter.
Money and resources confer power.
That’s why office power dynamics and career strategies are also one of the major topics of this website.
For external resources, see:
#4. Influence & Persuasion
The highest form of power is making people want to do it
In the free world we live in, power is exercised less with coercion, and more with persuasion and influence.
- The judge role: it’s those who assess others who also influence and control others
- Soft-power: the invisible power dynamics of socialization
- Best resources on influence and persuasion
But some do it more. And some always fall for it.
Learning how manipulation works make sure you’re not part of the second group.
Plus, there is tremendous overlap between persuasion and manipulation, so you can hardly learn one without the other.
What’s manipulation: Manipulation is persuasion that either harms the victim, blinds the victim to better alternatives, or makes the victim feel good while actually disempowering them.
These posts will give a good idea on how manipulation works (and how pervasive it is):
- Manipulation overview: a bit of a lengthier post, but manipulation is crucial to understand power dynamics
- Dark psychology: an overview of how psychology can be applied for manipulative and potentially harmful ends
- Machiavellianism: an overview of the Machiavellian personality with pros, cons, and strategies
- Machiavellian Life Strategies: the forum side of manipulation
- Corporate manipulation: warning, you might start looking differently at your employer
- Best resources on manipulation
Power without freedom is like a Ferrari without a steering wheel
This section overlaps most with general self-help, focusing on personal freedom, mental resilience, and self-development.
The most important from a TPM’s perspective into life and self-empowerment:
And some other important articles:
Business & Entrepreneurship
Business and entrepreneurship are not “core” to TPM as they’re not strictly part of people and human exchanges.
But they are also important building blocks of a good life, empowering you with money, freedom, and, ideally, a life’s purpose.
So I also often share information about the business side of ThePowerMoves.
One of the motivators that got me started on this website was anger -anger towards gratuitous abuse and the world’s injustices-, coupled with a desire to empower people to stand up for themselves.
And the second is a burning desire for freedom and independence.
Entrepreneurship can combine the two with a financially viable business. You can read more about the values behind The Power Moves:
And me sharing decisions, results, and lessons learned in the forums:
An enlightened leader is a value-adding leader driven by values, tempered with real-world knowledge of power dynamics
Leadership is the tip of the pyramid in our self-empowerment efforts.
The ultimate goal of learning power dynamics on this website is to make you an enlightened leader.
That’s the final stage on your path of self-development.
Funny enough, once you correctly follow the steps of self-empowerment, leadership is also the natural consequence.
And if you also add the personal growth and value-adding concepts that this website espouses, then great leadership is also the natural consequence.
You won’t need to convince anyone.
People will want you to take that leadership.
The most important articles:
- Forums: here you can see short-format examples of leadership and real-life case studies
- Recognizing toxic employees: good leadership means knowing who should not stay in your team -or around you-
- Best leadership books
#8. Real-Life Case Studies
This website is built on this idea:
Knowledge that changes lives is knowledge that must be simple to understand, internalize, and apply.
And for that, I am convinced that text alone can’t do it. And people delivering information standing in front of a camera, or a classroom, can’t do it.
For that, we need a mix of all mediums. And we need clear examples from real life.
That’s why my articles and products have so many videos, charts, screenshots with notes, and “mock dialogues”.
And that’s why there is a whole section of “real-life case studies”, where we analyze and break down the social and power dynamics of real-world interactions.
Some of the most popular include:
- Elon Musk analysis (abusive relationship & low EQ)
- Tai Lopez sales techniques (manipulation techniques)
- Ben Shapiro (debate techniques)
Wisdom seekers who combine thirst for wisdom with an acute allergy for unsubstantiated claims and personal opinions and biases presented as facts
The Power Moves also offers one of the web’s largest selections of free book summaries and reviews, and some of the very best courses’ summaries and reviews.
I read and research a lot, both for personal development, and for writing great articles for the readers here.
Many of the books I read, I also summarize and review publicly.
As you might have noticed, I’m not one of those reviewers who sees the positives in everything he reads.
I believe that poor information is not “just” poor information, but it’s actively harmful. Not only it wastes the most limited resource we possess, but it also makes us worse human beings.
In my view, bad content also speaks badly about their creators.
I believe it’s a moral duty and a moral obligation for every author to fact-check their content with as much evidence, science, and logic as they can muster.
And when I see some authors doing everything but, I see it as a slight to everyone of us.
So on this website, you get very straightforward reviews and summaries.
- Best resources: start here to go straight to the best of the best
- Book reviews: all reviews on one page, ordered by rating
The Power Moves Values
These are the values underpinning this website’s approach to self-empowerment:
Power starts by choosing never to be a victim
There is no shame in being a victim when you didn’t know any better or couldn’t have done anything about it.
But it is immoral staying a victim when you know you are one and when you have the power to change.
You might not always have the power to change right here and now, but it’s your duty to look for a way as hard as you can. Even if it might take you a lifetime of looking (and you will almost always find a way much sooner).
Sometimes choosing not to be a victim is about emotional pain and wounds.
Then it’s less about fighting it, and more about self-love and letting go.
And that’s also empowerment.
Yes, it was painful and you got all my sympathy. Truly. But it comes a time when you must say “f*ck your sympathy” and get going.
Seek growth, rather than help
Ask for all the help you need. But work on yourself while you do it.
It’s immoral to expect others to help when you aren’t also at least trying to help yourself first.
Plus, it doesn’t work.
Sure, sometimes someone will rescue you. Just don’t bank on it.
Instead, seek to help yourself first.
Ask for a fish, and you’re back begging the next day for another. Learn to fish, and you can even help others.
- The best way to stop abuse is power dynamics and self-empowerment
And it starts with you.
Thugs actively seek the easiest victim looking at how they walk. Manipulators seek the most gullible people. Abusers pair up with partners who are easy to control. And even good people can sometimes push your boundaries to see if you will stand.
Powerlnesslenss leaves you open to abuse.
Power instead allows you to enter value-adding social exchanges.
A world where more people seek self-empowerment is a world with less abuse, and a world where more well-meaning people can reach the top.
So do your part, and stay on your self-empowerment path.
You don’t want to be a lamb hoping to be in a lamb-friendly world.TPM & Ali Scarlett
Because it’s not.
Plus, there are a great many wolves who target naive lambs.
Remember the mantra: there can be no good without mastering evil.
- The best bet for a better world is learning power dynamics
Learning power dynamics and effective life-strategies is good for you, and for the world.
That’s because the cream doesn’t naturally rise to the top.
In truth, the scum, power-driven and with no moral qualms, is more likely to reach the top than the cream is.
That means that for a better world, we need a more power-aware cream to reach the top.
That’s the bottom mission of this website: equipping value-adding leaders to reach the top.
Cream and scum rise together.
Power-aware cream rises the highest.
TPM is about learning both the “cold” and calculative side of social exchanges, as well as the “dark” side of socialization and life strategies.
When learning the darker side of socialization some people can either lose their moral compass, or become so cynical and disillusioned, that they fail to appreciate the full beauty of human interaction, and the possibility of win-win.
However, the goal of this website is to move beyond the dichotomy and combine both: the dark side, and the light. The dark side is there to empower the light.
In more practical socializing terms, TPM combines both with the “high-power, high-warmth” approach.
Skills can be used to become a better human being, or a better dickhead. TPM is for the former.
Two quotes are relevant here:
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.Nietzsche
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”Plato
You’re only as free as your personal and mental power allows you to be
Freedom is both a mental and pragmatic achievement.
Practically, you can’t be free if you are overly dependent on someone to keep you in their group -or on the payroll-.
Emotionally, you can’t be free if you’re overly dependent on someone to approve of you, or make you happy.
Freedom start with personal empowerment.
- To be truly free you must understand your genetic programming: what’s good for the selfish genes is seldom good for you -or for those around you-.
You cannot be free unless you first learn how your unconscious drives are pushing you around.
Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs
-Richard Dawkins, “The Selfish Gene“
You’re only as virtuous as your personal power allows you to be
This is something that Jordan Peterson often says and that we wholeheartedly agree with.
Peterson says that a harmless man can’t be virtuous.
It’s the power of choosing your favorite course of actions that underpins virtue.
Individuals without the power and strength of making their own decisions cannot be virtuous.
Kindness and “yeses” are only virtuous if have the power of saying “f*ck you”.
There can be no good, without mastering evil.
With power doesn’t come virtue.
Many individuals in power will want you to do and believe what benefits them, not you or the greater good.
In business, the world’s narcissists and sociopaths are counting on you to close your eyes to their moral failures and to exchange your freedom for their success.
At the extreme, organized evil is only possible thanks to followers’ acquiescent execution.
The worst cases of “following orders” without questioning authority slaughtered millions.
The best cases, only killed their souls.
Power requires checks and balances to make sure it stays fair.
Those checks and balances are only possible with the followers’ own empowerment.
It’s your duty to analyze and correctly assess the quality of your superiors.
The world will only go slower and worse if the quality of your superior is lacking and if you keep following unworthy leaders.
And if you find your leader unworthy, it’s your duty to find a way out (or vote them out, or overthrow them).
Let’s be honest: if your boss is a piece of shit, what does that say about you when you’re still calling a POS, “boss”?
You don’t have the right to call him a POS if you’re not seeking a way out.
A poor leaders’ dream is a disempowered and naive follower.
Before you join any group, walk and grow as an individual
Similar as above:
A poor leaders’ dream is a disempowered and naive follower.
To empower yourself, you may have to walk alone -as an individual- before joining any group.
Evade social policing, seek your answers from the most disparate sources, and escape any ideology-based group.
It’s more difficult, of course. And that’s the whole point.
If you don’t, you can rest assured that someone will try to make you walk their path. And again, that’s not always the path that better serves your interests.
Then, once you found yourself, join others to increase your leverage.
You will never find your unique voice if all you do is singing on someone else’s tune
- Be wary of groups and ideologies. When in doubt, revert to enlightened individualism:
Groups are great and can allow us to multiply our power, and flourish.
But group psychology also lends itself to easy manipulation to bring out the worst of human nature.
The worst of humankind originated from power-hungry sociopaths, bullies, and megalomaniacs, leading people who surrendered the self to join the group.
And your average Internet group probably takes way too much of your time.
Join any group you like.
Just be wary if it’s trying to override your independent thinking, and if it’s taking too much time away from your individual pursuits.
Ideologies is where weak egos go to hide.
That’s enligthned individualism
Fighting and war is a serious endevour. Make that decision very carefully
And do it based on enlightened individualism first.
That will help you avoid the dark calls for inter-group hatred.
Many of us have it inside of them, especially men.
It’s a natural drive to form bands, take up arms, and fighting “the other”.
If you’re a man, this is a reality of our nature. I know it is for me, too. Denying that drive is pointless, and even harmful.
Plus, that drive can be a good thing.
But it’s your duty to make sure that the causes you fight for are valid.
What would you take up arms, and risk your life for?
Doing it to defend your beloved ones might be a duty.
Fighting for people’s basic freedoms might also be worth it.
But for a flag, or in a war for oil, it might be not.
Anybody can call for war -that is easy-.
But to wage war at the right time, for the right cause, and while maintaining our basic humanity, that is difficult. And that is what you are called for.
Fly higher than the turkeys and their petty games
The eagle of this website represents the final stage of a high-quality, effective, power-aware man/woman.
When you first enter into power dynamics, you start seeing lots of games and power moves.
And it’s easy to get caught up in them, feel slighted, angry, wanting to get your revenge and “show them”.
And that’s totally fair.
However, eventually, you want to reach a point where you start seeing the game “from above”.
What TPM generally moves towards is an approach that is “superior” and “above” to the “little shit” the turkeys play -hence the “eagle”-.
You see the games, but you’re not overly worried and bothered by all the games.
If anything, you’re disappointed by the person who does it.
Of course, you WILL intervene if it’s truly disempowering you -that’s part of being an effective man-.
But otherwise, you go through life that all those games are like water off a duck’s back.
You see that game, but you look at the turkey and think “what a turkey”.
You may want to kill the turkey, and potentially (figuratively) plot to kill the turkey -that’s totally fair and sometimes exactly what you gotta do-.
But ideally, never to the point that it pollutes your mind and life.
Even after a scrap that gets you emotionally, you want to soar back higher.
The Power Moves offers the following fast-track learning options:
Power University Course
There are over a thousand articles and reviews here.
Power University, the course, ties it all together.
It’s the quickest way to learn real-life social skills, upgrade your emotional intelligence and, of course, learn and apply power dynamics to empower yourself.
Power dynamics and best strategies in the service of both:
- Effective dating to find a partner(s) in the quickest and most reliable way possible
- Seducing people’s minds and hearts
About The Author(s)
Lucio Buffalmano is a social scientist on a mission.
The mission is to codify and teach the power dynamics and strategies that are going to allow tomorrow’s high-quality, value-adding leaders and eagles to reach their goals, reach the top of their chosen professions, and change the world for the better.
As time went by, several people supported TPM’s mission.
TPM, power dynamics as a discipline and the products that apply those concepts into real-life strategies have become a collaborative endeavor.
Some of the people who advanced the discipline and mission include: