One Way to Deal With Someone on A Power Trip

Hint: Many type of who throw their weight about don’t feel all that effective.

Posted September 17, 2019 | Reperceived by Ekua Hagan


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Sure, tright here are civilization out there that prefer to usage power to manage other people—that’s pretty a lot the definition of a power pilgrimage. But is your boss, coworker, ex-friend, or estranged family member really one of them?

Not necessarily.

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Not everybody that seems to be on a power trip actually is. Even the the majority of managing, domineering perboy in your life might sindicate be… protecting herself.


Self-protection isn’t the only different explanation for an evident power trip. But it’s one that’s frequently overlooked.

If you deserve to spot self-defense in activity, you’re more likely to respond properly and also potentially aid the perboy heal.

The Power of Self-Protection

Most of us, if we’ve been hurt badly enough in the previous, will certainly prioritize doing whatever before it takes to continue to be emotionally and also physically safe.


Some of the habits we usage as a shield can easily be mistaken for something more aggressive. Here are just a couple of examples:

Dictating the details of exactly how points play out to make certain we don’t gain hurt againRequiring several information upfront prior to we agree to execute thingsChanging our minds after agreeing to something that provides us nervousReducing or eliminating call with civilization that feel dangerous

All of these habits deserve to come throughout as power-tripping. But self-defense is not around enjoying power; it’s about trying to ensure safety.

Sometimes, self-defense calls for us to rerelocate ourselves from particular relationships. Tright here are various means of doing this, ranging from “ghosting” (disappearing without explanation) to having a respectful conversation in which we clearly state our requirements and also borders in a method that others have the right to select to act on, or not, through the expertise that we hope they’ll be able to execute so.


Mostly, as soon as we’re in self-defense mode, we’re not especially polite. We might come throughout as unreasonable, stubborn, or also aggressive.

Think about it: If you’re at a backyard barbecue, and your shorts capture fire, you’re going to make a beeline for the swimming pool without problem for whose Coke you knock over. While you’re dashing to the pool, your only believed is for your very own safety and security.


Even if we don’t feel particularly powerful, our self-security can make us look prefer power-hungry regulate freaks.

Refutilizing to rerevolve someone’s phone speak to, from their suggest of check out, is simply rude. Even if the fact is we’re scared of what can occur if we talk to them.

Leaving relationships, or acting inrepeatedly within them bereason of our own ambivalence, have the right to come across as a power trip bereason we’re managing the contact schedule. Sometimes we’re available; various other times, we’re not. We decide from minute to moment what we have the right to tolerate.


To the perchild on the receiving finish, we’re simply messing through them.

How to Respond

If you’re on the various other side, looking at someone that appears to be on a power expedition, tbelow are some concerns you might consider. To your knowledge…

Has that person proficient physical harm, emotional pain, or deep disappointment in relationships?


How secure does he seem, in general? How’s his overall self-image?

Is it feasible that the “power trip” is really simply a need for safety?

If the relationship is necessary to you, don’t skip over self-defense as a feasible explanation for actions that shows up power-driven.

If it can be the situation that the person is protecting himself, exactly how have the right to you aid him feel safer, especially in the connection you share?


Here are a couple of methods to provide safety for civilization who’ve been hurt and/or traumatized in relationships:

Offer choices. Same as above, and also let the person recognize you’re open up to hearing her concepts and also choices. Respect her selections, as long as they don’t directly violate your personal limits.Be patient. Intrusive self-protective behaviors stem from previous damage, not malice. People need time, knowledge, and acceptance in order to heal.

These habits recurrent the opposite of what the majority of of us feel prefer doing as soon as someone is throwing their weight around. It’s humale nature to want to press ago versus anypoint that feels favor an inappropriate power-grab.

So if the relationship is not that vital to you, you may choose sindicate not to address someone who seems to be on a power expedition.


But now that you know it can be somepoint deeper, you have the right to make an informed option about your very own response.

See more: Can You Can Do Anything You Want To Do Anything You Want To, How To Do Anything You Want To Do With Your Life


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Tina Gilbertkid, LCOMPUTER, is the author of Reconnecting via Your Estranged Adult Child and Constructive Wallowing: How to Beat Bad Feelings By Letting Yourself Have Them. She hosts the Relink Club Podcast for paleas of estranged adult children and uses consultation by distance.


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