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Equals

 

Explanations > RelationshipsStatus Games > Equals

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

 

Description

An alternative to trying to achieve higher status is to show you are an equal, with similar status.

Talk adult to adult rather than parent-child. See the other person as a peer, an equal. Take status off the agenda and just talk. Ignore any attempts to turn talk into a status competition or declare these irrelevant.

Use 'we' language rather than you-me language. Talk about doing things together or just person-less things. Give and expect respect. Be assertive in an even and non-dominating way.

Example

Let's look at this together. We've different experiences which we can blend for a better way.

This is not about who is best, but how we can best solve this problem as soon as possible.

Discussion

This is a good game to play if the other person is either of naturally higher status or is better at playing status games.

By effectively saying 'We're both adults' you create a bind whereby if they try positioning themselves as the parent, they are admitting they are not an adult and therefore cannot be a superior parent.

When you act as an equal, you remove the threat that is implicit in many other status games. Many people will appreciate this and, as long as they do not feel manipulated, will enjoy the ease of an equal relationship.

So what?

This is a generally useful long-term, high-integrity general strategy for bypassing status games and getting to more substantive action. By playing the equal to people below you, you can legitimize playing equal to those above.

People will suspect you of still playing games if you have done so in the past, so you may need to play the equality card consistently for some time before they accept it without question.

See also

Transactional Analysis, Assertiveness

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