How Greta Thunberg Uses Positive Assertiveness and Social Power

by | Leadership

Greta might be a very divisive figure that drew quite some (sometimes well-founded) criticism, but you can’t deny that she’s become the leader of a larger movement that, for better or for worse, has the planet’s best interest in mind.

And, you don’t become the leader of such a large movement without some power skills and high-power attitudes.

So, let’s see a couple of times when she shined.

#1. Greta Thunberg Assertively Shares the Spotlight with Her Peers

See below a great moment from Greta where she builds others up on a panel interview:

Journalist: [Asks Greta a question]
: “…and…anyone else wants to answer that question? I can’t speak on behalf of everyone.”
Moderator: “Anyone else wants to answer?”
Group: [Group remains silent.] (Everyone knows Greta is what everyone’s interested in and they recognize her as the sole leader and speaker)
Journalist: “What would you say to Donald Trump?”
Greta(Probably annoyed that her spotlight and the journalist’s search for a scoop was diminishing the other people in the panel) “I think maybe you should give some questions to the others as well?

I was just telling myself, “Last Greta video, I don’t want to hear any more of this garbage,” and then…then I was wowed by this.

Truly eagle behavior.

To follow this discussion, check out the forum thread here.

#2. Thunberg Makes Andrew Tate Look Like An “Obnoxious Wanna-Be”

In brief, the story:

  1. Tate provokes Greta by “bragging” about his high-consumption cars (searching for some more publicity)
  2. Tate tells Greta he can send the “full list of his cars” to her
  3. Greta replies: “Send it to”
It was a very effective, high-power-IQ move.

It was effective because Tate’s popularity stems, in part, from three sources:

  1. The cool aura of being “anti-establishment”
  2. The cool aura of the “asshole”
  3. Breaking this particular mainstream virtue-signaling culture

What many liberals, vegetarians, feminists, and various “greens” don’t realize is that they feed these personalities themselves.

They’ve gone too far.

It’s because of the extremists in their own camps that Trump and Tate can be extremists while also making plain sense.

When Trump says “Europe should pay for its defense” he’s not being an asshole to his allies: he’s telling the truth. When Tate says that (many) women like successful, high-power, and more dominant men than they are, he’s not being an asshole: he’s also telling the truth.

When people call Trump and Tate idiots or antisocial for saying stuff like the above, it’s the liberals who look like idiots.

That’s what provides fertile ground for folks like Trump and Tate.

Non-liberals and meat eaters, tired of the liberals’ extremisms, latch onto the part of Trump’s and Tate’s message that make sense and support them to provide a counterbalance to the oppressing and equally deformed mainstream culture.

Plus, the Tates and Trumps have the “cool aura” for being underdogs and high-confidence assholes.

Or, at least, until the leftists confirm those frames.

Enters Greta’s power move.

Greta broke that dynamic by effectively attacking, removing, and turning around the “cool auras”.

The initial move from Tate was:

  • Asshole-style one-up to the obnoxious green extremist who tries to curtail the fun for everyone else

And, Greta turned it into:

  • Insecure and childish guy who plays (and over-plays) the asshole while chasing social recognition and attention from the girls

That new frame works because people have a social archetype for that type of over-investing, trying too hard guy.

It’s the obnoxious schoolyard “wanna be tough guy” who rolls the windows down, blasts his music way too loud, and burns tires in the hope to get some attention, recognition, and status.

Except, he tries too hard, his actions far outstripping his true personal value, and he turns into a hot-air braggart—all sizzle and no steak. And, he’s also socially naive because he doesn’t realize that it doesn’t work and all that effort is only digging his own hole.

In other words, from the asshole who wanted to poke fun at the girl, the joke is actually on him.

In good part, that’s thanks to Greta.

Had she gotten angry, she’d have confirmed Tate as the cool asshole, and she as the girl who gets angry…but may actually be attracted. That’s the guy that Tate’s followers aspire to be.

Had she taken him seriously, she’d have validated his point of view as an anti-establishment hero. That’s the guy that some conservatives aspire to be.

Instead, Greta managed to turn Tate into the obnoxious wanna-be archetype. And, that’s the guy that nobody wants to be.

To follow this discussion, check out the forum thread here.

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