Pivoting to Partnership

by Scott Noelle

In any relationship, at any given moment, you’re in a position of...

  • power-over (dominance/control),
  • power-under (being dominated/controlled), or
  • power-with (partnership).

When you feel powerless and stuck in a power-under position, a shift to power-over feels like an upgrade, but power-over is a downgrade from power-with. In other words...

“Control feels better than powerlessness,
but it’s nothing compared to the power of partnership.”

Improve Your Groove

Today, pay attention to your emotions and notice that many “negative” emotions — like fear, worry, or even mild annoyance — are often followed by an impulse to control another person such as your child, spouse, or co-worker.

Controlling usually has major downsides, like sucking the fun out of a relationship, but underlying the impulse to control is a very healthy drive toward self-empowerment. So rather than suppressing the impulse, you need to redirect it from controlling to partnering.

As soon as you feel the impulse, pause and take a moment to appreciate your drive toward empowerment. Then tell yourself that you deserve more than the fleeting pseudo-power of control; you want to connect with your authentic power through partnership. You want to enjoy being powerful with the other person!

You might be surprised at how easily you can transform a “negative” emotion into a positive, pleasing, powerful connection.

Originally published on 2015-03-25
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