How to Power Shift with Social Cunning and Savvy | Girls Chase

How to Power Shift with Social Cunning and Savvy

power shiftPower, often thought of one of the driving forces behind man’s will (see Nietzsche's concept of “der wille zur macht”) to live.

We see it every day, and it invades our interactions as well as influencing our every action.

Take a look at a couple of these scenarios:

Scenario A

A man walks into his boss’s office and requests a raise. He gets turned down.

Another man walks into the same room and proposes a similar offer, with the intention of walking away. He instead gets the raise.

Scenario B

Two students are studying together, the girl mentions, “You’re a good friend.”

The male rejects the notion of just friends, and begrudgingly utters, “Friends? Hardly.”

Scenario C

Two friends are together chatting in high spirits, when a cohort suddenly comes along.

“Ah, are you this little boy’s friend?” one girl asks flippantly.

The male looks at her slowly, as if only realizing that she might be talking to him. “Who?” he powerfully and quizzically asks almost as if in genuine confusion.

The girl corrects herself, “A-ah, are you this guy’s friend?”

... can you see it more clearly now?

It’s not until you reach the upper echelon of dominance that you start to cherry-pick these shifts of power (hence force called a power shift) out from everyday situations, and are able to take advantage of navigating through the ever-changing tides of social dominance.

But using power shifts, and maintaining an air of respect and power about oneself can be taught and learned, and in today’s article I’m going to pull off the veil that shrouds these common occurrences in subtlety and nuance from the eyes of those who haven't paid as much attention to them yet.

Eric ReevesAbout the Author: Eric Reeves

Eric Reeves is a member of the Girls Chase Forums and an occasional contributor to Girls Chase. His focus is on strategy, analysis, and power dynamics in social relationships.

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Flames's picture

While reading this it reminded me of Ghandis passive resistance, which is the old immovable force. :)

A lot of this stuff is the thing I have pegged, you can come off as an incredibly strong guy by not doing things that the weak and meek would do. As an incredible stubborn guy I find this tactic the best way. I don't make a big deal about anything really if a problem needs sorting out then it gets sorted out, otherwise it's not a problem and that's a philosophy I've stuck to. Also being non-judgemental is a part of this.

I'm finding it really hard to think of what I wanted to say right now, but this is every bit as good as some of Chases posts (and I'm sure he'll agree).


Eric Reeves's picture


I actually love Ghandi's practices and I try to use that for some basis for my moral constructs. I wrote this article without happening to think of him though, and I might have incorporated some of that into this article if I had remembered.

You're spot on, the most vibrant people I have met throughout my life are the ones who are ecstatic and non-confrontational. They diffuse tension and conflicts simply through their immovable nature that absorbs those around them. It's hugely about being non-judgemental, and I want to make that the subject for one of my articles. Thanks for reminding me.

I find myself in the same position, I can't put my thoughts into words.. And when I do sometimes it can get a bit too long and I end up writing 5k+! It's difficult.


Glad to see I have a fan.

- Eric

Vaughn 's picture

Hey Eric, I was just thinking about how to get in contact with you. I just wanted to say thanks for writing the article about stress coping and I wanted to ask, what's the fastest best way to burn belly fat? (specifically the lower abs)?

Questions about the article for you and Chase. what if you laugh just because you think everything is funny, should you tone it down and not laugh like you said?

What kind of compliments are you giving people to buy you things and ask you on dates? How do you not look like a suck up?

The jist I got from your post was, ignore everything. How can I ignore when I have anger problems and rage builds up inside me because I'm feeling like a punk by not saying anything back? Thank you!!!!!

Eric Reeves's picture

Good to hear from you, Vaughn.

What you're talking about with belly fat is spot-reduction, and while the main consensus is that it's impossible this isn't actually true. There's multiple ways -- liposuction, cryotherapy, subcutaneous mobilization with yohimbine.

What you need to focus on however is lowering overall body fat, and gaining muscle. If you're already in the 10% bodyfat range (which is unlikely, but still possible) and having trouble with abs, then look at the leangains site, he has some good stuff covering stubborn fat mobilization.

I tend to have the bad habit of laughing a bit too much, and I could serve to reduce some of it. I'm unaware of what Chase does, but typically you want to be more stoic as it's often seen as a very manly and attractive trait.

Compliments is a bit hard to specifically point out, but I used it as a general example in this article to shift focus. Focusing on other people and making them feel worthy/special is key to getting them to do things for you. Another is having a high value, and being very attractive. Being a suckup is when you are on the opposite end of this, by giving gifts/compliments in return for value. Just compliment as if it were simply a comment -- "Oh, you look nice", "That's a cool shirt", etc.

And it can really suck bottling things up. It's an image thing (also working on article for this), where you kind of hide a part of yourself from others. In time it will go away, but just relax a bit. If you're worried about being a punk then you're already assigning too much value to this stuff. There are 7 billion people in the world and hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of interactions that you'll have, so getting angry isn't a good use of your energy (or stress!).

- Eric

Garrett's picture

Hey Eric, I really enjoyed your post, there are a few things I don't understand though...

Sometimes you guys say to ignore people, then you say it's not good to ignore people, now you're saying don't react, other times flash them a sexy smile. Also, I've read in a post how if someone slips up in a social interaction, as the alpha male you should react so the person doesn't feel stupid, now you're saying don't react and don't try to make people feel good/suck up and climb the social ladder. Then at the end of your post you say it's good to give people compliments because they'll come give you gifts...?

Could someone clarify this for me? A lot of times I feel I read the blogs and there's a lot of 'back and forth' going on. Maybe it's my interpretation, but this has happened more than once, and without a clarified interpretation it's hard to understand what you're truly advocating!


Walls's picture

I feel this way too. Is it just that seduction and social skills are two unrelated topics? Because I don't believe this to be so.

By the way, Eric... Thank you! One of my favorites on the site. I look forward to reading more of your social psychology stuff.

Eric Reeves's picture

Garett, Walls, I'm a bit late on answering these but...

It's hard to teach something like seduction or social skills, because there are a lot of possible solutions. It's like playing golf where you have multiple clubs/putters to choose from, all of which will work but some better than others.

There are also optimal strategies, and suboptimal ones. There are also paths that others take that are optimal, and also suboptimal, and having to deal with those.

For power, the most optimal one is not receiving any confrontation or having to respond in the first place.

So let's take the question "Do you like me?" as the confrontation.

Optimal Route: She doesn't ask in the first place as you're too high status for her to take a risk like that.
Suboptimal Route 1: She asks, but right after she does something in the distance (like a group starts a fight) grabs your attention, and then you come back to her with a new question to change topics. "So what have you been up to?"
Suboptimal Route 2: She asks you but you just stare at her in confusion, she quickly adds "I'm just kidding! haha"
Suboptimal Route 3: You smirk and respond, "Why do you ask?"
Kinda Bad Route 1: You tell her you really really like her
Bad Route 2: You hide that you like her and say "You're just a friend".

The list of possibilities is endless, and some are correct, some are perfect (like not having to deal with the situation in the first place) and some are bad but you can still get away with. It's also really hard to rate each response, because the tone is vastly important, and the situation can be widely different in every scenario.

These things really add up over time, and it's less than the actual responses themselves but the cards you let be shown. If you're showing your cards and she knows you really like her, then you're giving power over to her. Likewise the opposite is true, and you can "use that against her".

It also gets even more complicated with exchanges with groups, and everyone's status. To tell you what to do exactly for every situation is just a nightmare, and mostly it should be done based on gut experience. The article was intended to bring to the surface of some possible exchanges and their effects on the shifting of power, not to control it.

The compliments is again not about what you actually say, but the cards you hide. Like my answer to the previous comment above, it's easy to say something like "Oh, I like your shirt" with no strings attached. If you go up and say, "Hey you're really adorable" that shifts power over to the girl. Despite shifting power, it's still better than playing the nice guy and not showing any cards at all and not playing the game.

Hope that cleared up some of the confusion.

- Eric

Ali's picture

So If I understand the concept right :
I'm thinking that what we should do usually in these situations is to think what James Bond would do in that situation and do exactly what our logics would tell us he would do. Is that right?

For example, on the occasion when everyone just laugh at what we're saying when we're being serious, we should just give them a Wise over Stupid look and smile and slowly turn our head towards another side. Just ignoring them since they will not listen.

Again Thanks for a great Article Eric.


Eric Reeves's picture

This is not really the answer you're looking for, but James Bond might not always be the right guy for the job..

Imagine being at a house party having a beer with friends, not exactly the scenario you would place him in, right?

In general though we can take some of the archetypes that he is known for (in particular: suaveness), and apply them to most situations.

If you always ignore, you might even be thought of as a chump. It's really hard to say "always ignore, never stick up for yourself" and be correct. It's a good practice to get into, but again -- these things are always situation and more of a gut feeling.

I will say however that if you're put in a situation where you are trying to be serious, and you're being laughed at then you've got a problem. People need to take you seriously, and if you're having this problem then it's a problem with status.

Raise that first before trying to figure out how to respond.

Anonymous's picture

Then how should you raise your status?
Are there any posts on this site about it?

ASky's picture

Power is not about status. It's about knowing what you want from life and going for it. Everyone has power, but not everyone knows how to exercise it properly. For that all you need is experience, and you get it by going after what you want and learning in the process how to achieve it :-) And you can never have power to control others, only a blind illusion of control. If you try to control others you will live a very miserable life. Pursuing women is an exercise of power, but getting women or even money doesn't make you powerful. It's what you do after you get them that tells the world who you really are... a god or a poodle :-)

Humpert's picture

Wow, excellent article! Excited about this Eric fella now ;) More like this, please.

Also, I too wouldn't mind a straight forward post about things you can do to palpably raise status.

Thanks, boys!

Anonymous's picture

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being friends, provided it is quid pro quo.

If you are only after the woman for sex and she mentions friends, a reply is not even necessary. The one-up of information and subtle, careful use of it greatly roots dominance. A direct, prolonged, probing look into her eyes after such a statement should quell that. If not, move on.

If the woman may be able to help you advance your career, gain you important contacts, insights into a competitor or another woman of your desire, then it would be childish to dismiss her as a friend because of your sexual ego.

Go with your intuition on it, but any such friendship should have a well-defined and productive gain for you.

Anonymous's picture

Hey Eric, great article
However, I have a situation:
I met someone I knew from long ago as I was speaking to a girl, and he tried to bully me (I was a different person back then). So I was talking to the girl as he called:" hey, assh*le"! I followed your advice and slowly turned to him and said:" who?, but he simply repeated:" yea, you, looser." I was caught of guard by this and returned an insult, but I'm not sure if this was the best of of answering. What should I do next time? Please answer!
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