I've been focusing on the idea of Frame lately, and how frames interact during conversations or disputes. Obviously, the process of unplugging involves working through the phases, which hopefully most of us have read about. We begin to STFU in response to shit tests. As we build this necessary detachment from the emotional states of others, we can find ourselves effortlessly using AA and AM. <-- (This post lays out the natural STFU-to-AA progression very nicely.)
These strategies allow us to stop DEERing. Here's one of my favorite lines from this foundational text (bolding mine):
By committing the sin of explaining yourself to a woman, you instantly throw her into the role of authority. You give her the sub-communicative position of approving or disapproving your decision, and squander your credibility.
This is the definition of Operating in Her Frame. This quote resonates so deeply because a lot of us feel like we've known this all along, but never saw it stated plainly. But it got me wondering... are there other ways that we might be giving away this "sub-communicative position" of authority?
In my own marriage, I have noticed my wife's tendency to obliviously drop throwaway remarks into interactions that hint at the expression of a power dynamic, or her being in the position of approving/disapproving decisions, without any kind of shit test being involved whatsoever. An example:
Me: Hey, I'm going to the pharmacy to pick up [our son]'s prescription. Be back in a bit.
Her: Okay, that's fine.
As if I was asking for, or needing her sign-off on this. Another example:
Me: *sits down on the couch, grabs the TV remote*
Her: *just now walking into the room, playing on her phone* You can change it to whatever, I don't care.
As if I needed her approval, or as if she was even paying attention to the TV in the first place.
I usually A&A these moments with an over the top mocking and sarcastic, "Oh, thank you very much for your permission!" But it makes me think there must be other ways this kind of sub-communication is happening that I haven't noticed before. She is strongly Type A, so it may simply be her default method of communicating with everyone. But it could also be an indication of where she believes the power lies in our relationship, whether that's real or imagined.
Has anyone else experienced this? If so, how did you deal with it?
EDIT: to be clear, these moments don't bother, perturb, or otherwise have any effect on my actions or emotional state. These are just observations, and I'm simply curious about sub-communicative behavior in these sorts of power-exchange relationships.