This is part 3 of a 4 part series on how to become powerful people. If you haven’t had the chance to read the first two, feel free to do so here. 1: Qualities of a Powerless Person. 2: Spotting Powerless Relational Dynamics.
As mentioned in part one, in order to be able to make and keep the commitments involved with enduring, intimate relationships, you need to be a certain kind of person. You need to be a powerful person.
So today, let’s discuss the qualities of a powerful person.
1) Powerful people respect—not control.
If you heard someone described as a powerful person, you might assume he or she would be the loudest person in the room, the one telling everyone else what to do. But powerful does not mean dominating. In fact, a controlling, dominating person is the very opposite of a powerful person.
Powerful people do not try to control other people. They know it doesn’t work, and that it’s not their job. Their job is to control themselves.
As a result, they are able to consciously and deliberately create the environment in which they want to live. They don’t try to get people to respect them; they create a respectful environment by showing respect. They deliberately set the standard for how they expect to be treated by the way they treat others. As they consistently act in responsible, respectful, and loving ways, it becomes clear that the only people who can get close to them are those who know how to show respect, be responsible, and love well.
2) Powerful people are happening.
Life does not happen to powerful people. Powerful people are happening—they are happening all the time. They are like a hose that is on full blast in the middle of a mud puddle. The mud does not go up into the hose and contaminate it. Powerful people are not affected or infected by their environment. They refuse to be victims of others.
3) Powerful people require others to be powerful around them.
When they encounter a powerless person, they are not tempted to dive into an unhealthy triangulation dynamic. They hear a victim’s sob story and ask, “So what are you going to do about that? What have you tried? What else could you try?” These questions confront powerless people with their responsibility and their capacity to make choices and control themselves.
This is the only option a powerful person will offer to powerless people: become powerful, make choices, and control yourself. After failing to get a powerful person to offer ￼them any more options, powerless people will either change in order to start living powerfully or they will find someone else to dump on.
4) Powerful people take responsibility for today.
Because they cannot take responsibility for their decisions, powerless people are relegated to reacting to whatever is going on around them on a daily basis. But as a powerful person, I do not simply react to whatever is happening today. I am able to take responsibility for my decisions and the consequences of those decisions—even for my mistakes and failures. I can respond to today and create my tomorrows.
When I leave the house and my wife Sheri tells me to have a good day, I don’t say, “I hope my day is good. I hope people are nice to me today. I hope only respectful people have conversations with me today.” No, my response is, “I will. I am going to have a good day.”
I am going to have a good day because I am a powerful person. I have a vision and a mission for my life, and I use the events of each day, whether positive or negative, to direct myself toward them.
5) Powerful people’s love is not dependent on being loved.
A powerful person’s choice to love will stand, no matter what the other person does or says. When powerful people say, “I love you,” there’s nothing that can stop them. Their love is not dependent on being loved in return. It is dependent on their powerful ability to say, “Yes” and carry out that decision. This protects their love from external forces, or from being managed by other people.
Powerful people can be who they say they are on a consistent basis. And because they know how to be themselves, they invite those around them to be themselves. Only powerful people can create a safe place to know and be known intimately. They say, “I can be me around you and you can be you around me. We don’t need to control each other, and we don’t want to control each other. We can have a mutual agreement of respect and honor in which we both work to protect our connection. We stay tied together by the strength of the love we have built, not by the illusion that I can control you or that you need a rescuer.”
Hope this helps craft a vision for you in who you’re becoming. Stay tuned for part four!
PS) We discuss this issue of how to become powerful people in greater depth in the Life Academy: Relationship eCourse. If you’re looking for a “next step,” I’d love to have you join. Until then watch this clip now:
To enroll in or learn more about the Life Academy, click here!