Sunday, March 12, 2017

Real World Domming: Personal Experiences

I recently started a new job despite a few reservations I felt regarding the boss. Once I began the job, my worst fears were confirmed. He was, frankly, a bully. A control freak, macho, a braggart, unbearably patronizing, and often taking pleasure in sadistically mocking others - he behaved this way towards everyone in the office and eventually towards me as well. At moments he would admire something I did, but soon afterwards he would return to this dark alter ego. I knew that I, and most others working there, were performing stellar work; however, part of his control dynamic was to always find something wrong with people's work and to reject the first draft of any job, by principle. He was the stereotype of the boss who scares everyone into overworking themselves to death and then brags about it. Nevertheless, he himself was notoriously disorganized, impulsive, easily distracted, terrible with communication management, and unreasonably close-minded on certain things. In other words, macho, entitled, and hypocritical.

I dealt with his bursts of temper and punitive psychological abuse like a rock, truly unimpressed and unintimidated, patiently holding my tongue and waiting to get back on track with the actual business at hand. I truly had no time for theatrical monologues and implied threats. Since he was in his 70’s I didn't take his unpleasant behavior personally since I figured he was from another era as well as possibly senile. When he mocked me I would stand up for myself while keeping my disagreements with him “light and bright” so as not to undermine my employment with him.

However, the day came when I had to get more confrontational. He had scheduled a meeting between me and a new client, and in his typical terrible-communication-management fashion he gave a 20 year old guy, with no professional experience in my field, the job of prepping me for the meeting. Of course, the 20 year old was not prepared to provide me with relevant information such as the client’s business name, the purpose of the meeting, who would be attending the meeting, and other useful information like that.

I knew my boss would be unreasonably close-minded about me bypassing the 20 year old to get the information I needed directly from him, thwarting his chosen communication-management strategy and interrupting his morning meeting schedule. Yet there was no way I was going into a meeting blind and having my professional reputation suffer for the sake of his eccentric whims. Like hell.

I had had it and didn’t care at this point about getting fired. This guy was steering his business into a ditch, so I was going to have to manage it for him.

I came into his office without warning, in between meetings. I sat down and got right down to it. “So, Dan, I’m really excited about the meeting we’re having this morning. What’s the name of their business?”. He stared sternly at me, “ Well, they don’t really have a name yet”. I continued, “What’s the purpose of the meeting?”. At this point he protested, “You were supposed to talk with (the 20 year old) about this. Did you talk with -“. I interrupted him and over spoke him, “I ALREADY spoke with (the 20 year old). WHAT IS THE PURPOSE of the meeting?” I get icy in a controlled way when I’m angry and it tends to unnerve people. He was shaken but hid it well, and started answering my questions… respectfully.  And I got the information I wanted.

After that encounter, something had changed. He treated me like we were in collaboration with each other. He admired my psychological prowess with clients. In private, one day, he fondly reminisced about his mother, how she used to run the family business and how her temper used to terrify people.

One morning soon after, he greeted me and asked what I was working on for the day. I told him I was printing out sample booklets (for one of the clients) and (hand) binding them in the workroom. He joked, “You're practicing bondage with the binding machine in the workroom?” I quipped, “No, I'm already adept at that.” Either he hadn’t quite heard me or he couldn’t believe what he had heard, and asked, “What?” When I verified my response for him, he literally chuckled like an excited boy and happily joked, “In that case I'll leave my door open”. He has treated me with respect and quiet interest ever since. No more mocking and pointless criticisms. Now he appreciates my first drafts and recruits my input. How did I get from "outsider" to "insider" with this guy? Patience, consistent displays of psychological independence, and selective displays of aggression.

I learned a while back that dealing with bullies works in the opposite way one expects. When male customers would try to yell and intimidate me across a desk or over the phone, I found that I could change the dynamic by playing "bad cop" and out-intimidating them. They would grow quiet and become pacified, even mystified. They would seem to go into sub space, accepting that I was the alpha dog and that it would be a cold day in hell before they were going to get what they wanted from me by coming out-the-gate swinging. Acting like a drill sergeant in those situations served the purpose of chastising their attitude while addressing their concerns and getting the issue resolved. 

It's rare that I have to use that tactic these days, as I limit my exposure to such people; but when I encounter people who use intimidation to try and control others I find this is the only way to redirect their compulsion and bring them into submission.

What does this story demonstrate? A number of things, I guess. It demonstrates that sometimes macho bullying behavior is a mask and a symptom of an underlying desire to be topped by a woman. It demonstrates that people with a bullying worldview often only understand love and reliability when it comes in the form of domination. It also demonstrates the wonders of taking the upper hand and turning the tables when it comes to bullies. Exerting intimidation techniques back in response to the male bully speaks to him in his own language and has the power to pacify him when executed selectively and in a justified fashion.

For the women out there, what I have found in dealing with men is this: under most men's machismo is the desire for a woman to take the upper hand with them. Some men, however, are so in denial about this and so broken from lack of a strong maternal figure that they are simply too contrarian to be worked with. The way to tell the difference is to flex your will, ever so slightly, when they try to push their will on you, so that you get them to bend; then increase that dominance more profoundly at times when their willfulness is simply too much to bear to emphasize that you are ultimately in control due to their dependence on you and that you can take that control over them at any time you wish (and believe it is necessary). See if he encourages your Dom nature by setting up situations for you to assert yourself in, or if he just acts afraid and avoids you. Either situation is an improvement.

For the men out there who enjoy provoking me and other women, keep this in mind: flaunting your spite only comes across as a desperate plea for someone to Dom you; also, just because you’re begging for it doesn't mean we're going to give it to you. If you're consistently unlikeable and unbending, we're just going to block you from our life. We women simply have too many actual admirers to waste time responding to your testing behavior. You have to earn our attention by displaying vulnerability in response to our direction and will, coupled with ongoing acquiescence. Without that, you just come across as a whiney, needy child. The true sub man will suffer a woman's reprimand with grace, then offer to cook her dinner in exchange for working her up.

There is something to be said for cutting male bravado down to size, which is - It needs to be done, it’s fun to do, and once you get the hang of it relationships with men of all kinds seem to improve.






7 comments:

Frank said...

Well done, Mistress Christina. You certainly know how to put a man in his place. Men are entitled in society. From what I have seen in the work place, most women work twice as hard as men and they still don't receive the same level of respect or pay. It is improving, but slowly. Assertive women like yourself do get more respect because they voice their opinions. Their knowledge and expertise is valued and rewarded. I am not assertive like you, unfortunately, but I still manage to voice my opinions. I like the way you don't let any man talk over you or disrespect you in any way. Why should you when you are smarter, work harder, a better problem solver, and you have better organizational and leadership skills. I know you are superior to me in all these areas. That is why I humbly accept your criticism and correction. I learn from your vast knowledge and experience. It is a lot easier than making the same dumb mistakes over and over. You keep me humble and help me to recognize your superiority. Women are superior to men at school, at work, and at home. I think most women and men already know this. It is just that many men are afraid to admit it.

Blanche Black said...

Frank,

Thanks for the feedback. I find it interesting that I am most inspired to lead when I am so appalled at how men are f**king an organization up that I am convicted that taking leadership of it over is essential to the group's welfare.

Ego truly destroys relationships and communities, and this is why the patriarchal male ego is so dangerous to humanity as a whole. Our survival depends on relationships, trust, and community. Perhaps the failure of male leadership is an essential stage in the evolution from patriarchy to widespread Matriarchy, as it increases women's confidence in their own collective judgment and abilities.

-Ms. Black

FLRCandidate said...

Ms. Black,
You hit the nail on the head - women are in fact desired by men who understand their place is in unquestioned service and submission to feminine authority. You and other strong women who recognize and assert your power need not stoop to the stupidity and childish impulses of unworthy disrespectful men.

Thank you.

Deferentially,
john

Frank said...

Obedience is the key to a man's success and contentment in life. Submission of will requires training, discipline, and sacrifice. Miss Christina knows how to make men submit their will and obey her will. They want to submit to her, to please her.

Frank said...

Submission and obedience are not weaknesses. They are strengths.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms Christina, I liked your personal narrative and the lessons you drew from it. To me, the story is both thrilling and comforting. As you’ve pointed out before, cutting the male ego down to size is a win-win-win.

It’s a win for men because having to put so much energy into an outsized ego is draining. I really believe that men are followers by nature and not suited to leadership. Pretending they are is hard work. It’s a relief to see that male bravado can be so easily tamed. As you point out, men, even if they are not fully aware of it, want this to happen.

It’s also a win for women. As you say, it’s fun, it’s important for women to learn how to do it, and it’s not that hard. Women don’t have to back down from bullying is your lesson. I love that phrase: “flex your will ever so slightly.” To me it grasps how a woman can effortlessly counter and control male bullying simply by using her female power without becoming a bully in return. The key is confidence, which is thrilling to men.

In that regard, I just love your statement that “The true sub man will suffer a woman's reprimand with grace, then offer to cook her dinner in exchange for working her up.” It’s the female counterpart of male bravado: the gentle seduction into male submission practiced by the confident woman.

The third win is for the whole community. It’s worth repeating: Patriarchal rule has created enormous disharmony and suffering in the world. The fact that so many women can see through the fa├žade is evidence that “the end of man” is near. The author of that book didn’t men that men as a gender are dying out; it is rather that a civilization based on men’s values, norms, and ways of seeing things, is at an end. That end can’t come soon enough.

Richard

Blanche Black said...

Yes- We are on the brink of mass disillusionment with the patriarchal social model. The only way to speed up it's death is to equip liberated women and men with the mindset to diffuse it. With male bullying, it seems the only way to disable it is to take the upper hand and the role of the aggressor in such a way that the male bully feels vulnerable. Their shame over their vulnerability is the very reason they bully. Demonstrating that I see a male bully's vulnerability is the quickest and most efficient way to disarm their machismo.