2 Types of Power

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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 writer gets his sense of power through his writing and the ability to achieve readership. 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 most bullies are incompetent fools who have no real intelligence (social or otherwise). They only know how to act intelligent amd fool others. 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!

29 thoughts on “2 Types of Power

  1. Kym Gordon Moore says:

    Very good points in your message Cherie, “Having personal power puts you in the driver’s seat of your life.” You’re right, having power does not mean that you step on others to achieve it. Personal power is the true fuel behind the trajectory of your life. You nailed this sista’! Spot on! 🎯💯👍🏼

  2. peter robinson says:

    Reminds me of the ancient Stoic dictum, Some things are under our control or, within our power, while some other things are not. But this implies we have free will and I’m not sure we do! Are we really free to choose? Much depends on our formative experiences of life. Is the bully then free to act differently from the way he does? Is anybody free to behave other than as they do? I wonder, and have my doubts. But then I’m something a determinist / necessitarian!

    • cheriewhite says:

      We always have free will! I remember thinking the way you did when I was young. Because I’d been through so much, I thought that we were predestined and there was nothing we could do about our circumstances- that we were just stuck with God’s plan for us.

      • peter robinson says:

        I’m not so sure we do! I think we have rather the illusion of free will. It’s a topic that’s been debated and argued for millennia and the jury is still out! There is a wealth of literature on the subject. Personally I think the world would be a nicer place if we stopped blaming and praising people for things they were never truly responsible for in the first place. Love is the answer!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, these words: “…begin taking steps to take back your personal power. Only then will you be free. You will finally begin living instead of existing.” So true! No power and just existing is a painful place to be … it is time to live. Thank you for sharing to empower others!

  4. Ellie Thompson says:

    Sorry, I missed this post yesterday, Cherie – I was dealing with some complicated family stuff. Just catching up with other blogs today.

    You never cease to amaze me with your knowledge of these subjects. This is spot on again – I can definitely relate to having personal power (of late) and someone else having power over me for many years. I’m beginning to heal from that now, and I like to think I won’t let it happen again. I’ve had my eyes opened after some of my experiences which can only be a good thing. May I ask how you’ve gained all this wonderful knowledge? Did you ever work in this field? Please, don’t feel obliged to answer if you’d rather not. I’m just curious. Thanks.

    • cheriewhite says:

      Thank you so much, Ellie. And I would love to tell you. Experience was one way, then in 1995, I found a magazine article written by a mother about her son being bullied at school in a Redbook magazine that was lying on one of the tables in the breakroom at work. When I read that article, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted odd my shoulders. It was like a missing puzzle piece I needed.

      After that, I read everything I could get my hands on about bullying. Magazine articles, books, online posts and articles, everything! And since 1995, for the past 27 years, I’ve continued reading, studying, and researching bullying and abuse.

      Thank you so much for asking, sweetie! 💖🌺🌷🌞

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