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-Rixi t1_jawts7j wrote

How does this apply to the boss employee dynamic. Tit for tat would surely get you fired instantly


TryingTruly OP t1_jawv7gl wrote

That's where the word "generous" comes in! You can't go head to head in an office setting. What you CAN do however, is attempt to co-operate as much as you can, while doing your best to firmly maintain your boundaries.

As it says in the beginning, you can't negate the need for some form of strength. Whether its your leverage as a valuable employee / having alternative employment options / a boss's fear of the cost of replacing you should you quit / or whatever other form of a-symmetrical strength you have at your disposal - there's usually some form of bargaining power (strength) you can have.

If you truly have no cards, and your boss treats you miserably, you should be working to acquire some form of leverage, or leave the miserable bastard and pick your battles elsewhere!


fencerman t1_jaxdzgh wrote

All games of this type are based on both parties having some power to affect each other. If one is powerless then their preferences aren't going to matter.

Which coincidentally is why more egalitarian systems breed more cooperation.


[deleted] t1_jaxzbb5 wrote



fencerman t1_jay5ue5 wrote

> My answer is: no human being is ever truly powerless.

That's nice in theory, but anecdotal examples aren't the same as practical reality for most people.

MLK, Gandhi and Nelson Mandela only had "power" because of massive international pressure, cold war balance of power issues and a large, potentially violent movement behind them. They weren't individuals and pretending their actions didn't benefit from real hard power is erasing history.

In a similar vein, Ukraine is surviving in large part to massive foreign military aid making it possible for them to resist an otherwise vastly more powerful military.

And most people, especially in western society, don't have the backing of foreign military powers or an armed resistance movement behind them.


emelrad12 t1_jb00d7n wrote

That is not really true when comparing 1:1. Besides when we say powerless it means that the power they have is disproportionately going to bring negative consequences.


Sawses t1_jaz4jdx wrote

You'd be surprised.

Sure, I can't be too blunt about it, but if my manager makes my life difficult, then I'm not going to do the thousand little things I usually do to ease their path.

One example not too long ago was that a task wasn't communicated to me by my manager so my manager skipped about 3 levels of authority to tell a high-level manager that I wasn't doing my job and that was why her projects were doing poorly.

So I just...stopped smoothing over her breaches in policy and picking up her slack. I didn't do anything, I just stopped doing things she'd never asked me to do, and never knew I did. It ended with her losing major points with the people she'd talked to about me, having another resource allocated to her projects (because I was already 100% booked), and her having to take on all the blame for the stuff she screwed up on.

Tit for tat isn't always as straightforward as it sounds.