Thursday, April 06, 2006

Power Talk:

Non Communication As A Design For Control
By Patricia Lefave, Labelled, D.D.(P)

We all have a problem.

I know that ''all'' is an absolute term and I usually denounce such things but, I think the problem of this affects all of humanity, one way or another, whether we all see it or not. I also think the problem is growing.

Power talk is based upon a belief in "superiority." The people who use it, do so, certain of their right to do so. They may even feel quite exasperated about being unable to straighten out the whole world just as if what they were trying to do was a good thing. The problem is that those the controllers wish to "correct" often understand their world much better than those doing the "'correcting." The controllers though, don't accept that idea for even a moment.

When we try to reason with a superior controller, it really is a waste of time and energy, though we often don't realize that until long after we have become fully engaged in an ongoing pointless debate with the. We who live, or have lived with such people often start by defending our right to understand our own experience. As the controller doesn't seem to hear us, and manipulates us more and more, we get sucked into "explaining." Explaining our lives. Explaining our feelings. Explaining the concepts behind events that don't make any sense etc.

Though the controller may appear to listen and sometimes act as if he was interested, he really isn't concerned with us, or reality, or truth at all. He is interested in being in control. Period.
We can't reason with that. Reason has nothing at all to do with this relationship. The relationship is ABOUT domination and submission, power and powerlessness, and the only way to resolve it is to know that it is the game that matters to the controller, not the truth, not reality, and not anyone else.

If you recognize the controller's game and do not play it on his terms, that is the only hope of change; first for you and lastly for the controller, provided he is motivated to change. If he isn't, the only resolution for you is to detach from him psychologically and emotionally. The first thing your non gaming stance will do is get you out of the situation. If you have been in a long term relationship with a controller, it may take some practise.

The second thing your non gaming stance MAY do is changing the controller by leaving him in his own space, without his usual control "fix." Many people use power as their "fix," but whether their fix is power and control of others, alcohol or drugs doesn't seem to matter much . All play basically the same game, defending their own position, no matter what is going on around them, what the results to others, or to themselves, making sure that nothing gets in the way of their fix. Often, even concrete evidence that they are wrong will not cause them to move from their position. They will simply find more vague abstract ways to justify it.

If you understand that all communication with them is really NO communication, because real communication doesn't interest them, you will see it for what it is, and the confusion created just by trying to deal with them will start to dissipate. They talk the way they do to BE RIGHT in their own minds. Stop looking for logic where it doesn't exist. Logic has nothing to do with it. It is about defence and the controller sees HIMSELF as very clever and "superior" to those who fail to understand that he is controlling them. He feeds his own ego structure by doing what he does. He maintains himself, just as he is, and that is all that interests him.

His conversations are mostly noise designed to sound wise, and very sure, and that is why you will often see an arrogant attitude, a lack of any emotion, or perhaps "amusement" which doesn't not go with the conversation you are actually having with him. He manipulates, bluffs his way through situations sometimes with an obvious lack of understanding, invalidates others, misdirects, and lies when necessary to maintain his image and control. He sees nothing wrong in doing any of those things. Since they are necessary to maintain. Control is not a means to an end for him. It IS the end. It is both the premise of all his 'reasoning" and the goal. He lives inside his "magic" circle which he has drawn around himself, which nothing penetrates, and he feels good about it; very good. It proves his "superiority" to himself to believe he is in total control of both himself and others.

Let's take a look at a sample conversation with a controller so that you can really see the pattern in this that I have just spoken of here. Let's use a common event as it doesn't really matter what the topic is in this; the topic is basically irrelevant.

Going To Buy Groceries

The controlled one says she is going to go to the store to buy groceries.
The controller says she is NOT going to do that and he "knows" that she is not.
For the sake of clarity, I will identify these two as the "gamer" ( G.) and the "non gamer." (N.G.)
The total lack of communication is caused by the non gamer, who s relating as an equal in a straight forward way, trying to use logic in a situation with a gamer who is only interested in "winning" a contest of power and control, as a "superior" over an "inferior," and who speaks from a position of "concealment."

If you recognize that this psychological transaction is taking place on two different levels, it will be easier to understand it.

1. NG: "What do you mean I am not going?"
G: "You don't think I believe what you are saying do you?"
2. NG: "Why would you not believe me?"
G: "Do you think I'm stupid?"
3. NG: (thinking, "I'm starting to..." but says) "What does your I.Q. have to do with it?"
G: "So you DO think I'm stupid"!
4. NG: "What are you talking about? Are you angry with me for some reason?"
G: " As if you don't know!"
5. NG: "I DON'T know. So tell me."
G: "I shouldn't HAVE to tell you."
6. NG: " Then don't. I am going to the grocery store."
G: " You are SAYING that you are going to the grocery store."
7. NG: " Yes.That is what I am saying. I am saying what I am doing. What is it that you don't understand about it?"
G: "Now you're calling me stupid again. I think you could use a change of attitude or perhaps a mental health check-up."
8. NG: I am not crazy because I am going to the grocery store. Just hungry."
G:" You're just trying to change the subject so you can deny this" .....and on and on and on...

There are two kinds of people who will recognize this pattern of communication, which is actually just the avoidance of it. The power people and the powerless other. The first step in geting out of this is in recognizing it for what it is. If you read it in an attempt to sort out the sense from the senseless, you won't really understand it. It isn't about logic. It's purpose is not to resolve anything nor to understand the other. The only "reason" the domination type in this talks the way he talks, is to manipulate the other into a position of powerlessness so that he who is trying to dominate can think he is "winning" the contest he thinks he's in.

That's the only point. If you understand that, you will stop being confused by all his contradictions, opposing opinions, flip-flopping back and forth whenever it suits his need, and outright lies. See the game boy in question for what he is- weak, pathetic, and self deluded. Then you will be able to detach from his nonsense and free yourself.
As a non gamer, you could have this "conversation" on any topic, without resolution, for five minutes, five years, or five decades. It will make NO difference, no matter what you say. Resolution is not the gamers goal. He talks like he does because it is how he AVOIDS resolution. It's how he avoids any real communication. It's how he denies and avoids equal relationships. It's just a psychological game of one-upmanship to him. He often "wins" by creating mental and emotional exhaustion in his "opponent." Often, his "opponent" is and remains, unaware that she is an "opponent" since that is not the way she thinks.

If you keep fighting to be heard, he automatically invalidates you and he "wins." No thought is given to it. It is an knee-jerk response. If you just give up, or give in, he "wins." If you accept this relationship as is, he "wins." If you walk away from it, he "wins." In HIS mind, he "wins."

You cannot reason with what is unreasonable. You can "explain" until you have exhausted all angles of approach but, your explanations will never be heard because the gamer has never really been listening. He only "appears" to listen because DOING so is part of his game. He has practised "appearing" to be many things. He does it all for it's affect on you and others. He has often been running around behind your back, telling anyone he could get to listen, hoe "crazy" and unreasonable YOU are, and odds are, it has worked for him. He was the picture of serenity and reason when he complained to them, about you.

If you are lucky, eventually he will have told so many people, so mamy different versions of the same "reality" it will start to backfire on him. Perhaps then, some of those he has manipulated will become suspicious of him. If you're lucky. But don't count on it, because most of the people involved will keep right on looking for reason where there is no reason, in an honest, yet misguided attempt, to make sense of the senseless.

The gamer recognizes that trait in you and them as the "weakness" of others and he plays on it to his own advantage. That is WHO he is. He is a very uncomplicated guy. Who knows we will all look for mystery where there is no mystery and overlook blatantly obvious, if we ever see it at all.

If you don't recognize this, you can get sucked in deeper by trying to find the "logic" in it, or by trying to separate the truth from the lies. All of that is mostly meaningless and to look for the bits of reason in it will only confuse you more. But if you become aware of what is really going on there and WHY, you won't get pulled into that psychological quicksand.

So now, go back to that power conversation and read it again. if, when you get to transaction "2", you now see what lies ahead on that circular road with no final destination, recognize what you really thought then, and LISTEN to your own intuition. It usually speaks the Truth. The only way to win THIS game is to refuse to play it.

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