Everyone wants to have power. You, me, everyone. It’s human nature to seek power. Because to be completely powerless is hell on earth. That’s why I say, everyone wants power, if only a little of it.
When a person is totally powerless, they live their life on autopilot. In essence, they are as a leaf being blown around in the wind. They’re a sailboat without a sail- being blown on whatever course life dictates for them. And it’s a terrible way to live because, without power, you don’t live. You only exist!
Really stop and think about it for a moment. To have power over nothing! Can you imagine it? It’s hard to, isn’t it? It would be the worst thing that could ever happen to you!
Normal people do not have to hurt others to achieve power. They feel powerful through making accomplishments and achievements. They get power from being able to control their own lives, not someone else’s.
People who aren’t bullies get their sense of power through having success in their jobs, their family life, their talents, their finances, and their physical health. Therefore, people start their own businesses or do strenuous workouts every day. It’s also why they display their talents and gifts. And it’s why they take pride in their families.
For instance, a mother gets her sense of power from her ability to create a good home for her babies. A comedian gets his sense of power from doing stand-up comedy and his ability to make people laugh. A singer gets her sense of power from her ability to entertain people with her beautiful voice, through song. An athlete gets his sense of power through competing in and winning at a sport, and a student gets her sense of power through making exceptional grades, getting diplomas/degrees, and winning titles, such as Honor Roll, Summa Cum Laude, or Magna Cum Laude. And they all do it without stepping on others.
Understand that getting power this way doesn’t require hurting others and there are no winners and losers. There’s equality, cooperation, and mutual respect. This kind of power is known as personal power.
In her book, “The Abusive Relationship,” Patricia Evans puts power in two categories- personal power and power over.
Personal power is power over your life’s trajectory. It’s the power to direct your own path- to choose your own wants, having the autonomy to make choices and decisions for yourself, and to do your own thing. There’s no need to harm another person because you are already the director of your own life-movie. Having personal power puts you in the driver’s seat of your life and you are the one who chooses your destination and which route you want to take to get there.
You are the captain of your own ship. The winds may change and blow you off course, but with personal power, you have a rudder to steer your ship back on course. You may have to take detours, and yes, you may have to take the long way to your destination, but you know where you’re going, and you eventually get to where you want to go.
Sadly, bullies cannot achieve personal power. Why? Because bullies are incompetent fools who have no intelligence (social or otherwise). They also have no sense of responsibility, no talent- no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The only way bullies can achieve satisfaction, happiness, success, or self-actualization (power) is to inflict harm on others. The only way they can achieve power in their jobs, families, finances, etc. is by steamrolling people. Bullies are so inept they can’t even survive in this world without hurting others. This kind of power is called power over.
Power over is lording it over another person through force, coercion, and trickery. Power over violates boundaries. It shows no respect or regard, and it seeks to oppress and block the target from all the good things in life- love, peace, success, happiness- freedom. In power over there is a winner (the bully) and a loser (the target). Power over is a zero-sum game. Always!
Power over is against personal power and it only takes it away.
If you’re a target of bullying, it’s so important that you begin taking steps to take back your personal power. Only then will you be free. You will finally begin living instead of existing.
With knowledge comes empowerment.