My definition of personal power
Personal power is your ‘unique magic’ and the only person who can access and channel that magic is you.
Personal power is a simple perspective that works when you understand it and pay attention. And guess what? It’s free! Free power, ha! No-one can sell personal power to you. It’s not something outside of you. Therefore, other people can’t give it to you. Occasionally I’ll switch from ‘personal’ to ‘authentic’ to keep it spicy.
Authentic power, in contrast to illusionary power, is knowing you can navigate ‘living’ in the absence of others. It’s having a deep trust in yourself and knowing you are accountable for your happiness.
Newsflash- Other people are not responsible for your happiness.
Not your parents, partner, children, best friends or the government etc. are responsible for your happiness, that’s right, you are! If you aren’t aware of personal boundaries in relationships, it’s likely you attract mood hoovers and bullies who excel at syphoning energy stealing your power. It’s highly likely that you are doing the same in return. It’s an unpleasant thought, but worthy of consideration.
I’m not suggesting that you pack your bags and maroon yourself on an island far away from humanity. What I’m advocating is: You operate from a place of self-trust and personal responsibility. By turning your attention towards self-trust, you will undoubtedly deepen your connection with others, and that nourishes the soul.
Imagine trusting that whatever happens in life you will be ok, that’s liberation.
Contemplate the turbulent times you’ve encountered in life. Whatever happened, you survived it. Whatever hardships you faced, you survived. You must have had times when you probably couldn’t imagine getting through ‘said’ ordeal. Experience teaches us that whatever happens, we will be ok because we always are ok in the end. And if we are not ok, it’s not the end.
Standing in your power is knowing you are 100% worthy and good enough and being comfortable with your successes and failures. Ultimately it’s being at peace with your humanity. If you feel this, I salute you. Your harmony with life will be infectiously inspiring others.
Achieving personal power is a state and a process, I’ve described the destination of personal power. Let’s explore the processes.
There are three things you need to be aware of when it comes to power
- knowing when, why, or who took it.
- Knowing how to reclaim our power
- knowing how to maintain it.
The remarkable thing about power is when we preserve our power, we stand tall in serenity with our humanity.
A trickier issue regarding personal power is, other people. Yep, those who you’re closely associated too can undoubtedly affect your power, if you don’t keep a close eye.
How do we lose our power?
- Symbolic materialism
Absolutely anyone can steal your power. Your partner, your children, your parents, your friends or colleagues. Our closest relationships are often the biggest culprits of power theft. When we seek power from others, we effectively feast on their power and our victim will reciprocate by feasting on ours, creating a co-dependency. This co-dependency gives structure to the drama triangle, a manipulative shaming game.
All forms of abuse relate to power loss in one way or another.
The drama triangle is one of my favourite models for illustrating the dynamics of abuse of power in relationships. The drama triangle was coined by Karpman back in1968. The triangle below shows the interaction which takes place between people in conflict.
There are three characters in the drama triangle
The Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim. Each player has a different role to play and each role interlocks with the other players. There is always someone on top feasting on the illusionary power of the other players, who are fighting for more power, and by fighting, they are giving away more power.
Let’s unpacked each role before we take a brief look at the interplay between the characters.
Are the bullies, nit-pickers and know it all’s. These people excel at being critical irritants. It might be your boss who blatantly runs you down, or your hypercritical partner, or overbearing parent. These little critters unknowingly steal power from others with their offensive critical judgements, harmless jokes, and threats. If you dare challenge these characters be prepared for a slaughtering, as they will hammer you with accusations and mind-bending abuse. These people are fixated on rules and procedures and nag with relentless claims. Nothing you do is ever right or enough.
Persecutors are slaves to their mind and spend their time looking for new problems. Their never-ending moaning will leave you feeling disempowered and drained, yet weirdly drawn to their drama. If you are low in personal power, you will want to appease the persecutor by trying your hardest to live up to their ridiculous standards. In the hope, you will resolve your low self-worth from their recognition and a little pat on the head. This is seeking illusionary power, and why have you handed over your power to this lunatic?
The persecutor aims to condition you to see the world through their eyes, it’s likely if you are drawn this person that you will want them to see your perspective. Trust me, give up, it’s impossible trying to negotiate or compromise with these rigid and authoritative crazies.
Persecutors always have to be right, remain in control, they thrive on domination. If you challenge a persecutor, they will spring into the victim role, presenting a plethora of unnecessary and restrictive rules that blame you and others for whatever has gone wrong for them. All players in the game use shame and guilt as currency to keep you down and provokes drama and conflicts in others, which serves as a perfect puppet show to dissuade attention from themselves.
Typical phrases the persecutor will use
- ‘Look what you made me do.’
- ‘You got me into this mess.’
- ‘Look how hard I’ve tried. I was only trying to help you.’
The victims are the expert drama kings and queens. They play out devious and subtle games to extract your power. They are undoubtedly crafty characters who manage to pull your strings without appealing to you directly. Victims will seduce you to be on their side, and before you know it, you are offering to sort out their problems. (giving away your power).
Victims play you like a fiddle by charming your emotions and sense of pity. Victims seem to be equipped with an inbuilt laser beam that seeks out the soft-centred rescuer rangers. And once hooked, the rescuer is drawn into a bizarre game, where they are now at the beck of call of the victim and clueless to how this happened. The victim is stretched out loving life while getting their needs met without ever asking directly.
There are two types of victims; wretched ones and angry ones.
The wretched victim, with their glum little face and slumped shoulders hand out, invites to their pity party.
The angry victim pretends to be powerful and uses guilt and shame to get others pity. Both types blame others for their misery in life.
These characters play out being oppressed and powerless. They manipulate others into agreeing and siding with them to reinforce their inability to make decisions or resolve their issues. Having others reaffirm their unhealthy beliefs serves them as it influences others while acting as an excellent ploy, to keep others hooked into the game. The victims objective is, to keep to rescuer hooked on trying to please and appease the victim so the victim can feast on the rescuer’s power. There is no benefit in addressing their issues; they avoid personality responsibility.
Classic Victims words
‘Why does it keep happening to me?’
The rescuer is considered to be the good guy who’s so busy racing around with their super person cape tied around their neck, saving these poor helpless souls. It’s easy not to see a rescuer as a power thief, yet they are as toxic as the persecutor and victim.
Rescuers tend to overindulge the victim and kill with them kindness. Rescuers are often kind and well-intended souls, whose interfering meddling prevents the victim from doing things they need to do to grow and stand in their own power.
The rescuer gains self-importance and superiority for looking after these unfortunate victims and unknowingly keep the victim small by agreeing with their limiting beliefs. Eventually, the power dynamics will shift from the rescuer holding power over the unfortunate, needy victim.
It’s inevitable the rescuer will get something wrong, and the victim will react with a vicious attack. Forgot about compassion, it doesn’t exist for the victim, they will shock you with their ruthless, selfish attack. The rescuer will be horrified by the victim’s lack of understanding and accusations and invest in a pointless appeal for an understanding of their perspective. You have no chance the victim does not give a shit.
Rescuers feel obligated to rescue others despite it not being invited, they impose their kindness driven by selfish personal validation, even when they don’t want too. This need is often driven by a sense of guilt for not saving the victim, what will others think of me? The rescuers need to make everything better for others, sadly reinforces the victims limiting beliefs system, I’m helpless. That’s power theft.
The rescuer benefits from being the victim’s carer as they get to look strong and receive a lot of praise from others for their sacrifices. Another benefit is, they avoid dealing with their own issues, they just haven’t got time,
“I’m only trying to help look how hard I’ve tried to help you.”
It’s suggested that each player in the game is bidding for the victim role. The victim surprisingly has the most power in the game. Why? The victim gets to sit on their throne while the rescuer takes care of their needs, without lifting a finger. Also, if it goes wrong, who’s to blame? The rescuer as the victim didn’t do anything, brilliant, isn’t it?
The persecutor will self-righteously attack the victim and feel guilty for attacking someone so weak and vulnerable. The victim will push the persecutor’s buttons with accusations regarding their lack of compassion or appreciation towards the victim’s terrible life and flip the persecutor’s anger back on them. This is a head fuck.
The rescuer will envy the attention the victim is getting and driven by an unconscious yearning to be cared for. The rescuer is provoked into, saying or doing something that upsets the victim. And that triggers the victim to switch roles, and the victim becomes the persecutor. And the crazy merry go round of shaming madness continues.
Persecutors fear the loss of control. Rescuers fear the loss of purpose. Rescuers need Victims—someone to protect or fix—to bolster their self-esteem. David Emerson
Allies or enemies?
Do we treat these power thieves as enemies to be avoided, or as teachers to learn from? A Jungian perspective may suggest, that these people serve as mirrors to us and sources of useful information since they reveal to us our real enemies, which is what is within.
Paradoxically, these annoying, irritating, demanding and cruel people, who push our buttons and knock us off balance can also be our best allies for learning about power.
The Persecutory bullies aim is to wear you down by chipping away at you for as long as you allow them too. When you don’t stand in your power, eventually you will surrender and live by their rules. The victim will take over your life, and you will feel like you live to support them and forget who you are and feel trapped by your relationship with them. The rescuer will kill you without kindness and irritate the hell out of you, and if you dare complain or assert yourself, they will shovel a heap on guilt on your head to put you back into submission.
The power thief’s we attract in our lives arrive for a reason. If we have an affinity with them in some way, unknowingly to us, they offer a reflection of ourselves, showing what we don’t want to see.
If someone is troubling you, it’s worth considering:
Do their behaviours reflect you in some way?
Do you recognise their behaviours or attitudes in yourself? If the answer is yes.
Then in a strange twist of fate, your power thief is mirroring what you are trying so hard to avoid it yourself. Knowing this, you can use the thief’s mirror likes messages to gain insight into yourself and take back the power you have invested in others.
How can you relate to the drama triangle?
What are your thoughts on power theft and personal power?
I’d love to hear from you BigBig love Alexia x
Hypnotist, Therapist, Sacred Clown, human being.
You might enjoy this video Other people’s Happiness is not your business. Keep your beak out! 🙂
Love to you