I believe that the universe gives us the lessons we need when we need them – whether or not we actually want them. And I believe that one of the lessons I am here to learn this lifetime (due to the fact that I consistently seem to attract certain types of people and certain types of experiences) is how NOT to give my power away in relationships.
When I was younger I had no idea about personal power – what it was or how to keep it. I developed the damaging (and very draining) habit of handing my power over to anyone I deemed superior to me. I was a people-pleaser to the MAX - and pretty damn miserable because of it.
I thought that:
It was my job to make sure everybody else was happy
I had no (or very little) say in how other people treated me
Other people probably knew what was best for me
Needless to say I was a MAGNET for toxic people until life - in all her beautiful and bitter glory - finally taught me how to stop giving my power away. Now, I do relationships a WHOLE lot better. I finally understand that I have the power to choose how I react and that ultimately, people will only treat me as I allow them to.
But lately, after witnessing several people close to me suffering through emotional tugs-of-war with people close to them, I’ve found myself delving a little deeper into the ways in which we give our power away AND the types of people we give it to.
One of my beautiful mentors, Juliet Martine – you can see her incredible work and what she’s all about HERE – once explained to me the differences in how emotionally healthy and emotionally unhealthy people deal with their personal power. What she said struck a major chord so I’d like to share it with you now (tweaked a little with my own words):
An emotionally UNHEALTHY (or co-dependent) person will probably be in the habit of giving his or her power away to others. She may be a people-pleaser and feel that her worth is based purely on how others perceive her. In order to be loved, she does what others want her to - regardless of whether she wants to do it, or if it’s healthy for her. She relies on others for a sense of worth - she is not equipped with enough self-love to know that she doesn’t need to live this way.
An unbalanced (or toxic/narcissistic) person has no personal power to speak of. This person will do all they can to make themselves ‘bigger than’ or more important than others by taking THEIR power from THEM. Given the chance he or she will literally drain other people of their power - by belittling them, demanding of them, and generally doing all she can to make the person feel ‘less than’. THIS is why you feel drained when in the presence of an energy vampire such as this. They are literally DRAINING you of your resources.
Can you see the differences between the three types of people?
It’s important to note here that any of us can have toxic traits, but a true narcissist is unlikely to change their ways - he or she simply does not have the power or resources to do so. Yet this does not mean that we need to be at the continual mercy of such people. Once we are able to fill ourselves up, the toxic person will usually sense this and over time leave us alone - I have personally experienced this.
I spent a very good portion of my life being the co-dependent. I am now making it my life’s mission to be the balanced one.
To know that I have power, and to use it in a healthy manner. To know that I am ENOUGH. To respect both my own and other people’s boundaries, and to know that I have no need of other people’s power. To have enough autonomy and enough resources to fill myself up. And to leave others to handle and deal with their power as they please. How about you?
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