What does it mean to have power in a relationship?
Updated: May 18, 2021
Many people spend most of their lives not getting their needs met, and feeling powerless. We either do not say what we need or stuff our feelings or try to appease someone else. But there comes a point in time when we get tired of this and we decide to start standing up for ourselves. “I will no longer stifle my emotions!” we exclaim! Which is great, however most people do not know how to get what they want or how to express emotions in a way that works. Often people think that yelling or acting aggressive, accusing or criticizing are the tools to use to stand up for ourselves. I find that this is where most couples end up in trouble, we feel hurt or angry and yell or accuse to get heard. Then the other person in response gets defensive and either shuts down or fights. The cycle begins, the spin cycle, rinse repeat, rinse repeat. No one gets heard and nothing gets resolved, leaving both people feeling powerless. The perception of having power and standing up for ourselves gets turned into this endless cycle.
Power is in softening; anger keeps us stuck. When people stop to think about why they are angry or hurt and learn to ask gently for what they need, it is much easier for their partner to support them. Power is in kindness, and connection. Power is in vulnerability. That is what effects change and ultimately can get us what we want. If we can learn to discuss what we are longing for with love and kindness, we can make progress and find a powerful connection. #relationships #conflict #couples #communication #therapy #counseling