These Negative Communication Patterns are all Signs that You are Stuck in a Power Struggle-Dr. Sheri Meyers

posted by Dr. Sheri   | 2 Comment(s)

POWER STRUGGLES = NO surrender. NO LOVE. I’d rather be RIGHT!

Try to see it my way,
Do I have to keep on talking till I can’t go on?
While you see it your way,
Run the risk of knowing that our love may soon be gone”.
~John Lennon, Paul McCartney “We Can Work It Out”

What is a Power Struggle?

A power struggle occurs when being right is more important than being connected and in love. Basically it’s when union and communion is subverted for righteous triumph.

A good rule of thumb is that if you and your partner both feel that yours is the only correct solution, then chances are, you are in a power struggle.

Usually Power Struggles have little to do with what you are actually talking about, and everything to do with how each feels about their place and position in the relationship.  An argument could begin over something innocuous— where to eat, what movie to see, who was supposed to pick up what, when this or that was supposed to occur… but ends up being a referendum on the relationship as a whole.

 If you or your partner become stuck in righteous, blaming, unbending, know it all, “my-way-or-the- highway,” ” I’m right, you’re wrong” thinking, and/or you stop listening, become defensive, arm up, and feel righteous about your position, it’s a pretty good indicator that you are in a power struggle.

 A power struggle drains the blood and life force out of shared love and  instead, creates separation and a lose/lose situation.   Winning and being right becomes more important than being in love.   And once the dust settles, we are left with the painful result of our  behavioral choices….. ‘Where did my beloved go?’

Power struggles are poison to maintaining  a healthy, happy, open relationship.

How do I avoid being in a power struggle with my partner?

communication breakdownThe best way to avoid being in a power struggle is to realize that even if you win the battle, you lose the war. If one of you has a problem, it’s a WE problem, not a ME problem. If one partner is stuck and polarized in opposition, then there is a WE problem.

You can meet and match fear with fear, or you can hold the heart of the relationship in your arms and calm your partner. Treat your partner as your best friend. Listen, find that place of mutual agreement, because the truth is neither one of you is 100% right and neither one of you is 100% wrong.

The task at hand is finding a way to move away from the energy of competition (me vs. you) to cooperation (we are a team). Change your focus from looking for what’s wrong, to searching for what’s right- a place you agree with what your partner is saying. Start there.

“Seeing others as basically compassionate instead of hostile and selfish helps us relax, trust, live at ease. It makes us happier.” ~The 14th Dalai Lama

The Chatting or Cheating Power Struggle ANTIDOTE

“A power struggle collapses when you withdraw your energy from it. Power struggles become uninteresting to you when you change your intention from winning to learning about yourself.”
Gary Zukav & Linda Francis

ASK Yourself….

  • Why do I NEED to be right?
  • Would I rather be RIGHT OR HAPPY?
  • Is STICKING to my position that important?
  • If this was my BEST FRIEND how would I behave?
  • Is there room to LIGHTEN UP and relax about this?
  • What would it be like if I chose to BE THE GENEROUS ONE?

 Remember this mantra: What divides US, weakens US.   Whenever a problem or issue arises, stop and ask yourself… “How would love respond?”


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2 Responses to These Negative Communication Patterns are all Signs that You are Stuck in a Power Struggle-Dr. Sheri Meyers

  1. Theresa says:

    In a relationship I understand it’s we not I. When I first met my husband and know he was the one. I heard bells and spoke to my Grandfather about it and he said to me, that a relationship is 100%, not 50/50. Now facing 25 yrs. being married to the same person and all we have been threw. I realize that I have lived up to this belief, but my husband hasn’t. We have always struggled in our relationship with about everything. In our relationship I am the adult and he has always been a child. If it’s not his way, then he doesn’t what to deal with it. He had to be first and things have to revolve around him.

    Raising two children and he being gone most of the time because he is a truck driver. He expected that when he came home our lives had to stop. His lack of involvement in our daughter’s life has bulit a strained relationship between them. They barely speak or communicate in any form with each other. Now, I’m seeing it with our 16 yr old son, even thou my husband is spending more time with him then he did with his daughter. Our son is having a power struggle with him, because of the way he acts and behaves. How can I teach our son that he has to be responsible for his actions and he sees that his father is not responsible for his. That Dad always gets his way and we have to suffer for it. It is hard be a peace maker and I do feel that a storm is fixing to break.

  2. Cindy says:

    Thanks for this article. It really clarifies some issues I’ve had in past relationships.

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