This is only available in one place on the internet and it has changed how I interact with difficult people. I'll explain below, hopefull this will fit here, it's worth the read.
The Art of Psychoanalysis
Enough research has been done by social scientists to corroborate many of Freud’s ideas about unconscious processes. Yet there has been surprisingly little scientific investigation of what actually occurs during psychoanalytic treatment. Fortunately this situation has been remedied by a scholar on the faculty of Potters College in Yeovil, England. Assigned a field trip in America, this anonymous student spent several years here studying the art of psychoanalysis both as a patient and a practitioner. His investigation culminated in a three-volume work entitled The Art of Psychoanalysis, or Some Aspects of a Structured Situation Consisting of Two-Group Interaction Which Embodies Certain of the Most Basic Principles of One-up-manship. Like most studies written for Potters College the work was unpublished and accessible only to a few favored members of the clinical staff. However, a copy was briefly in this writer’s hands, and he offers here a summary of the research findings for those who wish to foster the dynamic growth of Freudian theory and sharpen the techniques of a difficult art.
Unfamiliar terms will be translated into psychoanalytic terminology throughout this summary, but a few general definitions are necessary at once. First of all, a complete definition of the technical term “one-up-manship” would fill, and in fact has filled, a rather large encyclopedia. It can be defined briefly here as the art of putting a person “one-down.” The term “one-down” is technically defined as that psychological state which exists in an individual who is not “one-up” on another person. To be “one-up” is technically defined as that psychological state of an individual who is not “one-down.” To phrase these terms in popular language, at the risk of losing scientific rigor, it can be said that in any human relationship (and indeed among other mammals) one person is constantly maneuvering to imply that he is in a “superior position” to the other person in the relationship. This “superior position” does not necessarily mean superior in social status or economic position; many servants are masters at putting their employers one-down. Nor does it imply intellectual superiority as any intellectual knows who has been put “one-down” by a muscular garbage collector in a bout of Indian wrestling. “Superior position” is a relative term, which is continually being defined and re-defined by the ongoing relationship. Maneuvers to achieve superior position may be crude or they may be infinitely subtle. For example, one is not usually in a superior position if he must ask another person for something. Yet he can ask for it in such a way that he is implying, “This is, of course, what I deserve.” Since the number of ways of maneuvering oneself into a superior position are infinite, let us proceed at once to summarize the psychoanalytic techniques as described in the three volume study.
Psychoanalysis, according to the Potters study, is a dynamic psychological process involving two people, a patient and a psychoanalyst, during which the patient insists that the analyst be one-up while desperately trying to put him one-down, and the analyst insists that the patient remain one-down in order to help him learn to become one-up. The goal of the relationship is the amicable separation of analyst and patient.
Carefully designed, the psychoanalytic setting makes the superior position of the analyst almost invincible. First of all, the patient must voluntarily come to the analyst for help, thus conceding his inferior position at the beginning of the relationship. In addition, the patient accentuates his one-down position by paying the analyst money. Occasionally analysts have recklessly broken this structured situation by treating patients free of charge. Their position was difficult because the patient was not regularly reminded (on payday) that he must make a sacrifice to support the analyst, thus acknowledging the analyst’s superior position before a word is said. It is really a wonder that any patient starting from this weak position could ever become one-up on an analyst, but in private discussions analysts will admit, and in fact tear at their hair while admitting, that patients can be extremely adroit and use such a variety of clever ploys that an analyst must be nimble to maintain his superior position.