Did you know that as soon as there are two people in a room, there is a power struggle going on? There is always one who leads and one who follows. In healthy relationships, one alternates who decides - while unhealthy relationships are characterized by one deciding all the time.

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This is some of what emerges in a very nice video by Svein Harald Røine. 

 

Power struggles are an inevitable part of relationships

Some of what he tells in the video is the following:

As soon as there are two people in a room, there is a power struggle.

The explanation for this is that there will always be a person who leads and a person who follows. If both people want to lead at the same time, a conflict arises. 

In healthy relationships, you manage to solve this in a good way, by changing who decides. 

In unhealthy relationships, there is one who decides all the time. This is evident both in relationships and in working life, says Røine.

 

Why does someone give up power?

Svein Harald Røine asks why it is the case that someone agrees to give up power all the time? There can be many reasons for this, he explains.

One reason may be that one is afraid of being rejected.

Another reason may be that you are afraid of being exposed, that you are afraid of not being good enough.

A third reason may be the fear of being ridiculed.

Another reason may be the fear of losing something you have; eg work, friendship.

The last reason may be the fear of the unknown.

Such reasons can be that you let others overtake you - that you constantly let others have the power over you. In other words: We allow ourselves to be dominated, abused, and remain in unhealthy relationships for precisely such reasons.

In healthy relationships, on the other hand, we give power away from each other and it exchanges between the parties.

 

No one can gain power over you unless you give it away

But here is an important point that Røine wants to make:

No one can gain power over you unless you give it away.

Once you feel that you can not respond to abuse of power, then you have become a victim. For example: You always have a choice when you are in an unhealthy relationship to actually go. We humans always have a choice. 

Therefore, he recommends:

When you find yourself in a situation where someone is ruling with you, using ruling techniques, harassing you, trying to get you to do things you do not want, then you can always think the sentence: Do I want to do this? 

Remember that you possess much more power than you might think.

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Written by

ove heradstveit

Ove Heradstveit

Psychologist, specialist in clinical community psychology. PhD.
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