Power, control and the desire to be needed

Everywhere you go you will see people projecting their power, people pushing to have greater control and it all stems from a desire to be needed. In our home, in the workplace and in the government, it is there disguised or blatant as day. What about those that claim they have no interest in controlling or guiding others? You would have to be someone that never sets rules, never tries to get others to follow your lead, never be the keyholder and live alone. The truth is we like to have some usefulness and want to be needed. It is a big part of our integral selfish mechanism.

Power can be used for making improvements. We may worm our way up to the top of the tree in an organisation to be the one making the decisions and it can be truly great being able to tell people what to do. People have got frustrated with the way things are done and because the management failed to listen, they leave to set up a rival company. When in control you can make the changes that you see fit. It is not always about seeing a gap in the market but being dissatisfied as a customer with the offerings from established businesses.

The reach of your power is limited no matter how big and powerful you become. Even in the harshest most controlling states, you can’t get into the minds of the daydreamer and make them care about you all the while. Lots are indifferent to you and your actions, they have a love life and no cares in the world for your projects. They get on with their things and escape if need be, to the woods or to another state. People have tried to have their tentacles infiltrating into every crevice of the lives of the lowly. The lowly look forward to the day your reign is over and make do with what they can get away with until then.

The idea of power is better than the reality. The more under your control the less of the smaller details you can get involved with. You have to delegate and trust those under you. Whilst you focus your time on one area, other areas become neglected. The higher you go the more of a puppet you become and only a few pet projects can be seen through precisely. The great masters are really just good recruiters of people with true capabilities. Decent employees will do their duty and more, show creativity and flourish with just a simple sure sign of appreciation from those above them. They don’t need managers standing over them watching their every move. Empower or micro manage at your peril, working twenty-four hours every day gets little done. You can’t have it both ways, power and control over everything.

People have this belief that they are right and only their views count. In the majority of cases this is not a problem. When people become so vigorous in defence of their ideas, they employ a range of tactics to get people to succumb to their standpoint. The fear of violence is a greater weapon than the actual deeds themselves. You do not have to kill every single detractor, just hang one from a lamp post and serve it as a warning. Only those that consider their life worthless will continue any struggle. People who make a vocal stand can be dealt with in many ways. Ban them from talking. Put out a torrent of messages that counter theirs. Provide evidence that there are thousands in support of you. Send them a death threat. Shout them down in the street with a simple slogan. Discredit them with some small innocuous fiction that can be turned into fact. Spread the idea far and wide giving people hope and reason while refraining from doing the dirty work. If the idea punches hard enough then dopey comrades will take action on their own, on your behalf.

How can we counter the over-powerful? Well, everyone in power has a weakness and a vulnerability. Very few in charge will be strong enough to resist being involved in some kind of unacceptable behaviour. It is the way in. Focus and concentrate the efforts on the most disgusting aspect and you hit all the followers. No followers no power. Print simple posters with key points and place them prominently and pervasively. The more the message is out there the more people will have greater self- assurance that a challenge is valid. It tears downs some doubts. Anonymous dissent may seem weak but when the balance of power on hand is so far skewed in the opposite direction, it is the only way initially.

In the places where there is a little more democracy, we have people that want an issue of some sort aired. They want the masses to take notice. The number of activists behind a movement can be small and people are adept at making it seem as though the whole country is behind them when most are saying nothing. A protest may have thousands of supporters, tens of thousands even, but in many cases, it is not at all representative of the majority. You have to balance the impression the protest is making against the real feeling of anger amongst the wider population and not bend to every appeal.

Taboos are a nightmare. The moment it becomes dangerous to voice an idea the nation has lost its way. People will propose some preposterous crazy things and they are easily countered by sensible argument. Instead they are shut down. No debate, no dialogue, just shut down. With a bit of rounded explanation, you can work on their folly and maybe reduce the number of wild thoughts that they have lingering in their minds. In the process other people will be listening in and they too will be wondering about the same thing. The nationwide enthusiasm for that viewpoint becomes tempered as a result. You won’t change the opinions of them all, but if you clamp down, they will carry on seeking redress and action based on ignorance.

The family unit provides a melting pot of power over the children, control over their actions and a feeling of being needed. Once they leave home, a parent may miss that sense of being required and get a wave of redundancy wash over them. It gets worse when your life long partner passes away and there is nobody at home to care whether you get back at a certain time anymore.

Some may like to be able to stay on late at work and not worry that someone is there waiting for your return. However, that sense of being a player is more attractive than being on the side-lines in every aspect of life. An embodiment of the desire to be needed, is having people depending on you to some extent. It is not a bad thing for it is rather a nice feeling to be wanted sometimes. Power is not always objectionable, it is rather unavoidable in many circumstances, a fact of life. Whether you are the best map reader by far, or the only person who is able to drive a vehicle, some sense of importance materialises. You may make the rules outside of the home and the partner gets the last word in everything within it or the other way around. Setting a bed time is a small microcosm of being the one setting the tax rate for the whole country.

It is plain to see how so many family feuds revolve around the power facet. It can be used by some to be the facilitator, the one to bring people together or conversely to maintain a separation. To glean all the attention or be the one in the background doing things to assist without taking all the credit. Small things escalate and nobody wants to back down and lose credibility. It is always to the good of those wielding the control stick and not for the best interests of those caught in the middle. Emotive persuasion, ridiculous reasoning and highly attuned tactics - all to preserve an image.

It will always be me me me no matter how you try and hide it. Caring about what others do, in how it plays out in how you feel. Everything is about the self, from the self, directed to the self or circling around back to the self. Your contribution, your input, you in the frame, your relevance and your point of view taken from the camera angle in your head.

In the extreme, there are those with the godly power of deciding who will live and who will die, who will be saved and who will be spared. Those in healthcare will have to face decisions that affect lives whether that is electively or otherwise. That is an inherent part of the job. Ordinary folk express control when they give to the causes of their choice. You select and determine who will benefit. It is not the power that we have that is distasteful, but the refusal to accept that we have it that is pernicious and strange. There are a good few that want power for the sake of power and will expend untold energy obtaining it, but offer little at the end by way of doing anything useful. People fall for these snakes and get bitten further on down the line and usually when it is too late to stop all their counterproductive actions taking their toll.

A high percentage of those in power politically care more for being right in their arguments and swaying as many people as possible than wishing to make changes for the common good. Winning the debate ranks higher than helping the distraught. Facts and figures are easily buried beneath emotive arguments as so many can be conned by linguistic trickery. Is cleaning your nose the same as picking you nose? Something smells or is described as having a distinct aroma. Someone can be described as discerning rather than fussy. Countless other examples can be found in many areas of life where the message from those in power is disguised and forces us to slow our reaction and cogitate. Anything to make it seem decent rather than foul. Presentation is everything in the same way as possessing beauty gets more attention and adoration. Find an individual case and make a heart-warming story of how they have had their life transformed so that hundreds of others who are suffering can be brushed under the carpet. Governments have to make decisions on the macro scale that affects lots of people, but can highlight micro incidents, good deeds that they have done to keep themselves in authority.

We give advice and influence others gleefully. Many will work hard to climb the tree of domination to have more people below them working according to their fundamentals. Whether it is in the workplace or the worship halls, power is the key item that provides the impetus to ascend. It takes a lot of study and a lot of will to get it.

Much of what we say is mere rhetoric. So much of our conversation is trying to get others to lean towards our way of thinking. We try to convince others that we are right and our views are important. The words we utter are perpetually trying to sway the listener towards our way of thinking. We do not just convey our concepts to the next person, we spread a sub conscious message. ‘Look what I have found out’, ‘I find this interesting so I shall share it with you’ and so on. We care about our opinions and our achievements don’t count for much unless lots of people know about them. We can do a lot for our own self-satisfaction and not worry anyone else with marvellous things we have done or discovered. However, people take great pleasure in sharing their findings. You only have to look at the big grin on their faces to see the delight when they are spreading the message.

Those who really believe the world revolves around them, the full-on narcissist, do not like being ignored. When you go about your business ignoring them, they begin to up the ante. They want control over you. They want a reaction, some salivate over seeing you get angry. Playing it down and detaching yourself is easier said than done.

Power games are around and studied by the ambitious. It is suggested that you make every effort to get credited with all the good achievements and remain silent about the not so good. Only do the sacking and reprimanding when you have no one else to do it. Create an image of being masterful at everything. If you choose to do the reverse of all these power tricks, you can become greatly admired rather than greatly grating. People’s time comes to an end sooner or later. It is humiliating to be pushed off the stage, ejected, far removed from when you leave with the majority wishing you remain.

Every great person is just that, a person. Why we fear the aura around a top snake is strange. Why those in regular close quarters do not bite the head off is equally peculiar. It is as if the one who is instigating hideous acts of violence is protected by a mythical life force that we dare not trespass upon. They were born small and feeble as the next man in line and grow in stature only by our own weird reverence. Do we see them as the only one who could keep command?


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