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Get Out of Stuck! Getting Back Power Back In & Out of Relationships (Part 1)

Posted Apr 14 2010 9:00am

woman jumping in freedomRight now, there are lot of women (and men) who feel powerless in their relationships or with dealing with an ex. In fact, I know of a number of people who feel powerless in life full stop. The other person (or people) are ‘all mighty’, ‘all powerful’ and you decide that they have the power to be and do a lot of things in the relationship, which automatically puts you in the position of being the ‘weak’ or ‘weaker’ party.

If you’ve been involved with people who are reliant on you having little or no boundaries, then you’ll know that the other party has appeared to hold ‘ the powerbase’ . I speak/correspond with women all the time who say stuff like ‘I don’t think I can be strong if he tries to come back’ or ‘I know that if he were to turn up right now, I’d be weak and we’d be back together in a flash’, ‘I feel bad about myself when I’m around him and I’m not sure I can handle him if we meet’ or ‘I feel helpless and I don’t know how to get it to stop’. I also hear from people who no matter what I or others say, they have an answer and an excuse for everything that gives them a reason to stay ‘weak’ and without power that they believe has been removed by ‘everyone else’ or ‘everything’.

If you put people on a pedestal, they’ll only look at you from above, which puts you below them.

If you think someone has all or most of the power, this means that you have none or little of the power.

Any excessive power that you perceive someone in a relationship to have, is power that, even if they have assumed it, you have also given it away and allowed them to continue to believe they have that power. Likewise, if you decide that life is conspiring to make make you powerless, it’s that belief that you have no power that is causing you to be powerless. It’s not the planets, it’s not other people, it’s not the fortune cookie, it’s not everything else. You’re not someone without power but you are someone who doesn’t seem to think they deserve their own power and like I talked about in my previous posts on understanding why people don’t see their qualities and characteristics accurately in relationships , choosing limited relationships, gives you limited experiences, gives you limited results.

If you choose limited partners that give limited relationships that cause you to give a limited contribution, you’ll also have limited power.

Someone can only have power over you that you’ve given away.

You have it, you might as well use it.

Imagine that you have your power and your self-esteem in a valuable looking box. Inside the box is your values, your sense of self, your boundaries and of course your power, amongst other things. You could keep it close to you, but when you have low self-esteem and you’re looking for love in all the wrong places, you don’t feel like you have enough or any of those things in the box. Even if you did have them at one point, you didn’t value them, so you put them out of the box.

Now you walk around through life with your hands outstretched with the box in your hand, trying to offload it. The bloody things like a hot potato! It’s like you don’t want the responsibility of yourself, of trusting your own judgement etc, so every time you meet someone who reflects your beliefs and creates the familiar feeling of your pattern, you can hardly wait to hand the box over. ‘Here!’ and you thrust it at them.

The person you hand it to, cannot believe that you are being so careless with what’s inside but he’s all out for himself and taking care of his own needs, so he works out what he can take to suit his own agenda. You’re so happy to have offloaded the hot potato, that for a while, you feel ‘good’, until you realise that he’s rifled through the box, depleted some of the goods, and put in some dodgy stuff. Eventually when he goes, you get back the box. Busted and worn looking. If he keeps popping up in and out of your life, he will still hold onto something as a way of gaining entry back into your life and with you desperately seeking validation, you’ll welcome him back believing that the only way to get back the goods and the value is to win him over. And so the cycle goes on.

You wonder how you will cope now that the things you didn’t value and cherish are gone and feel helpless. You believe you’re powerless. Eventually, when you have an epiphany (your enough moment), you discover that what you had in the box is a renewable resource that you can grow again. The more you use them and nurture, the more they grow.

You get the idea….

After speaking with a few people about power recently, here are my key lessons for gaining back your power:

You determine your value, much like you determine your power. If you don’t value yourself, have values, and act in line with them, you will ensure that people react to that and treat you without value. Stick around them trying to prove your value and the dysfunctional cycle will have you believing you are still without power – the power to change someone and force them to see your value and appreciate it in the way that you want to be seen and appreciated. The best way to get your power back is to go.

Let go of the victim feeling. If you think like a victim, you’ll be a victim and you render yourself powerless and react accordingly, falling in sync with a dynamic where they get to be ‘powerful’. What you think is how you will act. Even if you have been mistreated, holding onto the victim role is not an empowering one – you can’t do anything with it. Don’t continue sympathising with yourself because you’ll focus on holding on to your current feeling. Empathise with yourself and understand why you feel as you do so you can take control of yourself and feel more empowered.

Each person has equal power. Period. Keep imagining them on a pedestal and you render yourself weak. We are each 100% accountable for ourselves. No matter how much we try to shift it elsewhere, it will always come back to us, so there is absolutely no point in continuing to give away your power or believing that the other person has more power because you’re creating a limiting, self-fulfilling prophecy. Tell yourself you are a valuable entity with equal power.

Nobody has a 50% responsibility to make you happy and meet your needs in a relationship – you’re still 100% accountable.

If you are always looking for someone else to ‘make up the difference’ and put in their 50%, you’re effectively screwed when you don’t have someone at your side or suspect that you’re with someone who is unable to meet your needs. That’s too much power for someone to have especially when they’re the type of person that ensures that they’re always alright.

There are periods of your life when you will not be involved with someone – you have to be able to take care of yourself during this time and even then, when you meet someone, you don’t offload the responsibility of taking care of yourself and getting your needs met to someone else.

Imagine that someone who you think you’re not and what they would do if they had power…and do it. I have women say to me ‘Another woman would have put her foot down and told him to p*ss off if he said that to her’ – well rather than accept, complain, and lament, put your foot down and tell him to p*ss off!

A person doesn’t need to physically say or do something to take your power. When you spend your time imagining scenarios that have you cast as being helpless while they are all powerful, it’s you that is blocking/removing your power, not them. Stop imagining scenarios that fulfil your negative beliefs – challenge and override the negative voice.

The power to feel happier or to change is yours. You can point out all of the faults of the other party as much as you like but you are wasting your time because it doesn’t change the reality of the relationship you’re in, how you feel about yourself, or the perceived opportunity for change.

You give away your power every time you decide that it’s him (or them) that needs to change.

It’s like saying ‘I’m unhappy and even though I could get on with taking the steps to be happier, I’ve decided to make that responsibility yours.’ or ‘I’m not happy with this relationship, I want more, and things need to change, and for that to happen, you need to be and do X,Y,Z.” This doesn’t mean that you are incorrect about any assessment you have made of their faults, but it is time to ask yourself what is the point in point? Why are you removing your power by avoiding your own accountability and change by focusing on someone else?

Your thoughts?

Image source: SXC

My ebook The No Contact Rule is now available to buy and provides a dedicated guide to getting over someone by cutting contact and injecting some boundaries into your life so that you can move on to a happier you. For a no holds barred guide to emotionally unavailable men, including separated guys that flip flap in indecision, and the women that love them, you can also get Mr Unavailable & The Fallback Girl . For personal advice or analysis of your relationship/situation, check out my consultation service .

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