We live in a very complex world these days. In this politically correct western society there are so many power plays, some of which you are not even aware of. Yes that’s right – we are constantly treading on eggshells even when we’re just minding our own business. Today’s article examines the dynamics of some of these power plays.
The first of these power plays is the idea of expectation and perspectives based on one’s personal viewpoint. Like it or not, all of us humans have a certain level of ego or narcissism about us. That’s simply a reality, whether we admit it or not. In a way, we also often have a martyr complex when it comes to personal relations.
If you ever asked a divorce couple about the relationship they once had, I bet you that both parties will feel that they got the raw end of the deal. More often than not, the woman will think that she rescued the man from a life of loneliness, while the man would think that she does not deserve her allocated share of the divorce settlement.
The same can be said of other types of family falling outs. Someone might accuse their parents of putting them through a rough and abusive childhood, while their parents might think that they took the burden of raising their children and have given them all they had. Which side is right? Well, you know what they say about opinions, right?
Another thing you might be doing accidentally is overstepping boundaries without even realising it. For example, you might be used to a boss with an “open door policy” i.e you could stop by his or her office at any time. His or her replacement might not have such a policy, but you aren’t aware of it. Before you know it, you’re in his or her bad books.
Unfortunately something like this is common in the case of shifting cultures. If you have come from a more communal culture, some of your modus operandi might be imposing to someone from a western or individualistic culture. Before you know it, people are avoiding you like the plague and you continue to be oblivious about it. Urgh.
The next thing you might have done unknowingly is to assert power over them, not in an obvious way of course, but in a very subtle way. For example, if you were to complain about how expensive the bill to fix your sports car was, the piece of information you have revealed is that you own a sports car. Similarly, if you complain about a stalker who happens to be tall, rich white and good looking, it means that you have such a suitor in the first place.
Although your intention might just be to complain, the hidden pieces of information encoded in your message might remind the other person about what you have that they don’t. In other words, it might be taken as you bragging to them. Having someone remind you of your inadequacies is something that taps into one’s insecurity, and this can be something really powerful.
Next up we have the power of assumption. This is actually a very common one, and it is when we assume that everything is alright when it really isn’t. This could even be something as trivial as something you have said that caused offence to others. For example, many people would use the “B” word periodically without thinking about it. But some women find that label sexist and offensive.
Yes I know, depending on your upbringing, you might actually think that it is political correctness gone crazy. I personally am a very inclusive and encompassing left wing individual. I have to be because of my job appointment. However, I have to be careful about my word usage when in the company of certain left wing activists. It’s a tough gig for some, but hey, it is what it is.
Silence is golden, or is it? If you ask an introvert, most of them would err on the side of silence whenever they are in doubt about whether or not to raise an opinion, and understandably so. While you may think this way, others might not. To them, you might simply be a snob. This also includes times when you failed to respond to party invitations, or even simple messages.
After reading this article, you might be thinking that we live in such a messed up world today. In reality,it had always been that messed up, but perhaps people in the last century did not really talk about it, or care about it that much. So what then should you do and how should you act? I say just be yourself. If you accidentally offend someone unknowingly, then it’s their problem and expectation being breached, not yours. Make sense?
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Mark is an all-rounded guy with dreams, aspirations, and a desire to be a better version of himself. Having conquered obesity, he set-up Granite Fitness to help regular people get in shape and stay healthy. Mark spends his days helping distressed Uni students through difficult situations and studying Christian counselling. He spends his spare time freelancing and running a series of online stores known as the Granite Network with his business partner Atanas. Connect @ http://au.linkedin.com/in/marksptan and check out their other online operations @ http://www.granitework.org