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A power move is an action or statement to establish dominance or deliberately exercise power over others. The range of possible power moves is infinite but some common ones include making people wait, ignoring decorum or courtesy, showing off especially when you know the other person has no way to reciprocate, asking for an opinion and immediately contradicting it, constantly changing your apparent attitude toward them to keep them off balance. The core notion behind power moves is asymmetry. If it left the individuals involved in the same place then it would fail as a power move.

Power moves are a mainstay of the cult of confidence/alpha person/aggressive self help trend that frames life as climbing and staying on top of hierarchies. As a part of that cluster they have a sort of winner take all mentality to social interactions which tend to generate what could charitably be called toxic behavior. While I'm not going to claim that there are never legitimate uses of this concept anybody who would explicitly suggest or make a power move raises my hackles. There's a certain narrative frame where life is a constant struggle by sociopathic agents to forward their interests and that all of human history with its wars and conflict is just proof of this claim. I'd counter by saying that the historical record is a cherry picking of the more interesting times and conflicts are inherently overrepresented for that reason. While power moves may be endemic to social life it's worth noting that the single best counter to them is typically to ignore them. The only winning move is not to play.

IRON NODER XIV: THE RETURN OF THE IRON NODER