As an empowerment mentor, it’s my life’s passion to help women come into their power and develop a thriving sense of self-worth.
So it’s no shocker to know that this has been one of my biggest life lessons, and one which I continue to learn on different levels.
Recently I learned a valuable lesson about how Authentic Powerdiffers from Superiority Dominance, and why our response to dominance behavior is a very important part of our own growth.
Dominance behavior is just a fancy psychological term for bullying. Which is simply when someone tries to overpower another person because they like to win and they want to see you lose. That is how their ego survives, and how they have learnt to interact with the world. They have to fight to stay at the top of their imaginary pyramid.
I’ve always been a people pleaser. I just didn’t know it. I was a people pleaser because I needed others to like me in order to validate my self-worth.
I think I can now officially say I’m a recovering people pleaser.(Yay me!)
So, what changed?
I was in a situation where a PTA Mom with a bad case of superiority complex shamed both me and my 5 year old daughter in my home over a trivial disagreement between 5 year olds. The whole thing was so dramatic and over the top it made my hair curl.
And I got mad. I got real mad. Thankfully for me, my anger erupted mostly after she had left my home. (But not before I likely made my other remaining guests feel slightly uncomfortable).
In a bully’s game of winning and losing, you win by not getting upset. If you react in anger, its to try and recover your own value. Which means you’re giving power to the bully. You’re saying that what they have to say is of value or of impact on your value.
Which of course, is just not true.
It takes courage to not fight back. Don’t bring a gun to the fight. Put your guns down.
Do I regret getting angry? Hell No! Because for me, that was a proof of my own growth. In the past I wouldn’t have spoken up at all and allowed myself to be railroaded, and then moan about it in private to my husband.
But I still went away and sat with what happened to use it as a learning moment. So I can teach my kids how to act with integrity and always be growing into a better version of yourself.
So my opportunity for growth in this situation was to realize that anger doesn’t serve me in a battle with a bully. As my therapist, Dr Crane says – you need to strengthen your Idiot Shield. So you can see the bully coming and be prepared to deflect their attempt to disempower you.
I am a heart-centered, spiritual person, and I trust and value my intuition. My bullshit detector is finely tuned, and it was going off big time that night.
Next time my bullshit detector goes off, I’m going to ready with my Idiot Shield!!
So, when presented with a bully who wants to play the only game they know how to play: the game of winning and losing. DO NOT GET UPSET. DO NOT get angry. Don’t validate their attempt at trying to dominate you.
Simply smile inside with your Idiot Shield firmly in place, and watch that bully lose!