How to Avoid Power Struggles in Relationships
There are inevitably going to be power struggles in some, if not every one, of our relationships.
The answer to coping, surviving and perhaps thriving in these relationships requires less energy than you might think. Simply own your power and you won’t have to fight for it.
There are relationships we can control by getting out of them, but more often, we have relationships that remain on-going (i.e. spouse, parent, sibling, boss, in-laws, ex…) whether we want them to or not.
We can end up in power struggles that feel like we’re endlessly battling, and rarely winning.
We find ourselves relinquishing the “win” for a host of reasons, including to keep the peace. The most long-term harmful underlying reason we raise the white flag of surrender can often be self-doubt.
Is that you? Are you grounded in knowing you are deserving of your thoughts, your stance, your voice, your space?
Getting grounded is a whole other enchilada we can bite into on another day. But for our purposes today, let’s assume you do feel grounded and know that you own your position and believe wholly that your beliefs and values and position are rock solid and coming from your gut.
The first part of sidestepping power struggles in your relationships is to understand and accept that we can not change the other person. Who they are and how desperately they will fight for power.
You may speak your truth, voice your stance, hold tight to your argument for or against the topic at hand with all the energy of a spinning tornado – and still not be truly heard by or affect the other person.
You can’t fathom why they don’t understand your point.
You are frustrated and aggravated that you don’t seem to have control over their viewpoint. Over their actions. Over their need to be right. Their need to have control. Their need to make the decisions. Their need to have to power above you and/or others.
You can’t change them. We can talk and argue and struggle to make our case. It’s important to communicate and express our thoughts. But it may not make a difference to the person listening.
Instead of continuing to expend energy and emotion and time in power struggles or in trying to gain control, avoid it.
That’s the second part. Simple, right?
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t express yourself fully and clearly in your relationships. That you shouldn’t make yourself heard, feel what you feel, say what you need to say.
But there is no point going into the ring, head to head, to battle a bull for power.
Simply own your power and you won’t have to fight for it.
Owning your power means you value yourself. You understand your worth. You come to acknowledge that the power is always yours.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker, writer, poet and activist
We each have our own power. You make your own choices. Even when you compromise or completely allow your will to be plowed over in your relationships, that is a choice. The power is always yours.
You have the power whether you decide to enter the ring with the bull or not.
Surrender the need to fight for control. You are already in control. Of you.
Trying to control others is futile.
Surrender doesn’t mean you’re giving up, giving in, or that you want to be controlled. You are not giving anything to anyone.
Surrender simply means emotionally letting go of the energy of struggle.
Releasing the tension and the need to control others and situations.
“A power struggle collapses when you withdraw your energy from it.” – Gary Zukav, best-selling author and spiritual teacher
You don’t have to fight for power, understand that it is already yours.
Release the power struggle that you’ve held tightly gripped in your hands. That have wastefully consumed your energy and taken away from allowing you to move forward in your own personal growth.
If you need help believing and feeling that you have power, start by going inward. Get quiet with yourself. Consider what self-care, morning routines, affirmations, meditation, journaling, therapy, reading, you can do for yourself to build and ground yourself.
Your power is always there. It never left, it doesn’t take a day (or year) off, even if it sometimes feels that way.
Cheers to not having to fight for power. To releasing the energy-draining power struggle, and to recognizing, claiming and owning your power.
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