On this show...we will be exposing the elephant in the room, exploring the why behind defiance or hurt feelings, and embracing a new perspective with hopefully understanding and tolerance. We’re aimed at addressing the power imbalance instead of avoiding it. Of course, we will come at the subject from many angles. The abuse of legitimate power and the misuse of perceived power. It may be helpful to use a personal and professional lens to understand what it means to push back and find your voice and when it’s appropriate. We should also be mindful of our own power and suitable use and squander. The word mindful may be the buzzword of the decade but it really is the key to understanding. Mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. It’s about being aware from all angles taking into account all involved.
When one hears the word bullying or to bully the first thought, at least for me, is the big boy on the playground picking on the smaller boy. It dawned on me even though that was my first thought, it in no way represents all the facets of the subject and in fact, is a much too narrow view. So I looked up the definition: seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable). With my first impression of bullying I can say, I don’t have any first-hand knowledge. As a child I was always, for the most part, self-confident and extroverted. I might have been viewed as a leader instead of a follower. I can’t recall a time where someone picked on me at least to the point that it did harm or that I carried the memory with me.
But, when I consider the actual definition: seek to harm, intimidate, or coerce (someone perceived as vulnerable). I can think of many times that I have been or have been attempted to be coerced. In an attempt to seek harm? I’m not sure, intentional or not, it could be viewed as harmful. Perceived as vulnerable? Anytime someone is uninformed they are vulnerable so if you want to split hairs, and I think we should for this purpose then yes. With this new perspective on the definition, I can safely say, we’ve all been involved in a power imbalance at one time or another.
Now, I’m not going to bash the news and social media (even if mentioned) or go on a political tangent. Coercion is all around us. My goal is to shed some light and new perspectives that we can take on our journey of self-discovery. Knowledge is power! I think we can all start there.
KEY HIGHLIGHTS - The Power Imbalance, Addressing vs Avoiding
- Anytime someone is uninformed they are vulnerable
- Coercion is forcing someone to do something by making threats. It’s an attempt to control a person’s behavior with force or manipulation.
- Malicious put-downs, name-calling, and frequent criticisms are all forms of bullying behavior.
- Coercive control is a pernicious form of domestic abuse that entraps you in a hostage-like situation
- If you are in a coercive situation, whether professionally or personally, it is important to seek support.
- “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity… Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble.”
- The greatest mistake we can make is believing our words have no value in other people’s lives.
- Words filter through us and seep into our community, where they are absorbed then reasserted by others to people they know.
- Meeting people where they are and helping them with the burdens they carry today seems a more lucrative act of kindness and compassion.
- What you speak over your life is what your life will become.
CHALLENGE: find your voice and speak life and love into others as well as over your own life. The power imbalance shifts when you expose the discrepancies while gaining knowledge about your own thoughts and opinions.
I Know YOU Can Do It!