Power and Relationships

Sponsors, Mentors and Trust
April 27, 2013
Troubled Teens
May 10, 2013

Personal Power:  the influence one has over another person where the influence resides within the person rather than the position one holds.

Robert Firestone, Ph.D., in an article entitled, The Human Experience wrote that:  “Personal power is based on strength, confidence, and competence that individuals gradually acquire in the course of their development. It is self-assertion, and a natural, healthy striving for love, satisfaction and meaning in one’s interpersonal world. This type of power represents a movement toward self-realization and transcendent goals in life; its primary aim is mastery of self, not others. Personal power is more an attitude or state of mind than an attempt to maneuver or control others. It is based on competence, vision, positive personal qualities, and service. When externalized it is likely to be more generous, creative and humane than other forms of power.”

We all are able to recognize how difficult it is to understand our own personal power. It is even more difficult to understand our personal power within a relationship.  What is important to recognize is that each person comes into the relationship as a unique, whole being.  When people are secure within themselves, they are able to be secure within the relationship.  Patricia Evans explained some nice components in her book, “The Verbally Abusive Relationship”:

In order not to exert power over another person each must realize ideally how to:

  • Bring one’s thought and hear the other’s
  • Express one’s enthusiasm and to delight in the other’s
  • Reveal one’s self and to reflect the other’s
  • Value one’s self and to esteem the other’s
  • Pursue one’s growth and to nurture the other’s
  • Cherish one’s solitude and to honor the other’s
  • Follow one’s interests and to encourage the other’s
  • Protect one’s self and to comfort the other’s
  • Be one’s self and to let the other be
  • Love one’s self and to love the other.

Your own power is a wonderful thing when used in healthy manner.  Your power when in relationship with another’s power can be magical when both use their respective power in a healthy manner.  How do you use your personal power?

“What lies in our power to do; lies in our power not to do.” – Aristotle

Omega J. Galliano
Owner/Therapist - MFT, LADC, LP - Meg obtained a Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology and since college has been busy working in the behavioral health field. As a Nevada licensed marriage and family therapist, Nevada licensed alcohol and drug counselor, Minnesota licensed psychologist, and a Distance Credentialed Counselor, she has held various management positions in national corporations.