One thing I notice in relationships is the influence of power and control. The misuse of power and control in relationships is what makes them abusive in nature. Someone attempting and even succeeding at violating thee boundaries of their significant other through force or manipulation is an example of an extremely dysfunctional and unhealthy relationship. Power and control can also show up in other ways. I’ve also encountered it in the therapy room when I’ve worked with clients who are resistant. The whole thought behind power and control in this context is that people want to be in control of something. When their values or beliefs are challenged they immediately put up their guard and even subconsciously seek to manipulate the situation so that they remain in control at all times and they never have to change their faulty belief patterns. It’s the avoidance being honest with oneself and being in a vulnerable place. It’s almost like playing a game because as a therapist I’m trying to challenge them in a way that won’t make them defensive but will also be effective in helping them make necessary changes. Recently, I found myself in an unfamiliar environment where power and control dynamics came into play. I’m the type of person who likes to be in control at all times. Not necessarily in charge of what happens to me because I know that’s impossible, but I like being in my right mind (to a reasonable degree) without being impaired by various substances. I want the ability to exercise self control so that I don’t have to face the unpleasant consequences of a stupid and impulsive decision later on. That being said, this environment was very unfamiliar and out of my comfort zone. On paper it was a great opportunity to experience something new. However, it required a level of trust that I did not feel was warranted. So I did what any human who feels threatened in some way would do or would at least attempt–took power and control of the situation. While it was definitely an overreaction, I preferred it (at the time) to giving up power and control. It was a learning experience to be on the other side of a power and control dynamic where I was in a similar position to that of some of my clients and had to take action to remain in control. Interesting.
Tag Archives: trust
The answer is yes!
So the hopeless romantic side of me definitely shed a few tears after hearing this but this song is amazing! It’s a tribute to true love and commitment and a reminder that both can still be found by some.
Letting People In
I totally agree with this picture. While I don’t think that you have to be standoffish and mean, I think that less is more when it comes to letting people get super close to you. I know that everyone is human and we all make mistakes and that we can’t expect perfection from our friends but it’s still ok to be cautious before spilling your guts to someone you call a friend but have only known a short time. Someone once said that you should never trust anyone who only has new friends because that’s an indication of the quality of their prior relationships and friendships. Sometimes doing more groundwork on the front end of a friendship or a relationship can save you a lot of heartache and hurt down the road. One thing that I’ve noticed is that I’m somewhat of an extremist when it comes to putting the words in this picture into practice. For instance, every person in my life that I consider close and feel that they know me well I’ve known for three years or more. This was not a conscious decision, it was just something that happened and can probably be blamed in some way on my upbringing. But I digress. My point is that it’s good to screen people and to let them prove that they can be trusted before you open the floodgates of your heart and let them 100% into your life.