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What Is A Power Struggle In A Relationship?

People want to know "What is a power struggle in a relationship?" Well, I know what a power struggle is in a relationship. In fact, I've seen many of them. As a previous foster parent for troubled teens, all ages 12 to 18, and as a mother of 4, I've been through my share of power struggles and managing them. I'm Nicholeen and I teach self-government. 

To solve the power struggle problem, self-government is the key. In this article, we're going to talk about what a power struggle is, how to identify it and what to do about it. What is a power struggle? A power struggle is when one person tries to control the power in the room. 

And when they pull on another person to try to get something out of them. And then the other person responds with some sort of emotional behavior. It could include words or not trying to get the person to stop controlling them. 

Usually, the root of a power struggle is someone doesn't feel understood. When that one person doesn't feel understood and they start attacking the other one for it, then the other person doesn't feel understood. And so you have both people pulling back and forth because they don't feel understood at the same time. 

So, what could cure a power struggle then? Possibly understanding? The thing is you can't get to a place of understanding without involving the front part of the brain. The front part of the brain does all of your logical processing. 

It is not working when a person is using their emotion and power struggling with somebody else. So, how do we get the person to disengage that emotional activity and engage the prefrontal cortex and start thinking again

?I used to be the queen of power struggles. In fact, I am the type of person that is so strong-willed. If I want to hurt someone with my words, I have that skill. That is not a skill to actually be proud of. At one point in my life, when I was maybe 14, I was pretty proud of that skill. 

But as time went by, I recognized that every time I started using that vicious, controlling, dominating power struggle part of me, I didn't get any more understood. In fact, it felt like I was abusing another person and I'm sure to them it kind of felt like that too. 

I learned that the best way to get understood is to honor the role of the other person. When your children are thinking you don't understand them, the best thing they can do is honor your role. 

Which means they will then seek to understand you. And who you are and your position. And then that will open your heart and your mind to want to understand them more and their side more. There's a softening that occurs when we recognize the role that each person in our family has. 

Your children have a role in your life as well and in the family. What is their role? They're supposed to be a learner. So, if your child is power struggling with you, how can you acknowledge their role as a learner? By calmly understanding that they are frustrated and by pointing them in the right direction. 

The role of parents when a person is in a power struggle is to point that person in the right direction. It's like you're the guy leading the airplane into his parking spot. "Come this way. Follow the orange flashlights.

Come this way." Even if that big huge plane turned somewhere else, you would stand there and wave. It's this way, it's this way. And the more they went away from your flashlights in the dark of night, the more that airplane would be lost. 

The same is true for children. If you're going to do the teaching and the pointing and directing for your child, you've got to have the skills to do it. Skills such as how to do an effective correction. How to handle a situation when a person is completely out of control? Meaning they won't follow any of your instructions. 

They won't maintain eye contact. If they get deep into their power struggle which looks like shutting you off completely then you know you need some bigger pointers to attract the attention. They don't have to be mean or instill any fear. But you need tools in place to lead them in the direction of calmness. That's our landing spot. 

When a person goes completely out of control and their power struggling with you, whether by secluding themselves and pulling away and not talking or getting angry and showing you they're bigger than life, they need calmness. They need security. And you can give that to them with the appropriate tools and teaching styles.

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