PREVIOUSLY : Power – 3 Directions
POSTs: Narcissist’s FEARS
NOTE: Personal Power relates to 2 different spheres of life:
a. A person’s psychological well-being, or lack of, POS & NEG
b. One form of influence in business.
These 2 posts deal with the first kind (a). (b) will come in later posts dealing with various types of power in business.
At its best, Personal Power (PP) is used to control our own states & actions.
However, PP can easily be misused, certainly against others in one’s daily life (at home, school, works….) by wounded people.
Surprising to some, PP can also be used inwardly – passively to keep oneself stuck, or actively to harm oneself in PMES ways. The power of self-destruction is a real. A person who functions from this power will go out of their way to implode & disrupt any positive qualities they have.
1. NEGATIVE PERSONAL POWER (PP)
This term may seem like an oxymoron (self-contradictory) – we would say ‘you either have power or you don’t’. However, psychologically unhealthy adults who function from the position of Victim – compulsively, persistently behave in self-defeating ways.
The consequences are almost alway bad, but they don’t seem to learn that “doing the same thing over & over hoping for a different
outcome” (the definition of insanity) will always lead to hopelessness.
This takes great deal of determination, using the energy of negative power to persist in self-harm. It can be seen in the 3 roles of the “codependent triangle“, where the damaged person cycles through them in reaction to PPT (people, places & things) which cause them stress.
a. INTERNAL negative power
While these people see themselves as Victim, the effect of their harmful attitudes & actions put them in the role of indirect Perpetrator, by triggering anxiety, guilt & anger in others around them. Blatantly self-destructive Victims, such as chronic addicts or those who threaten suicide – are especially effective at generating fear in their loved ones. This is indeed power!
Negative PP can be in the form of accusations, blame, envy & jealousy, only caring about what others think about us, ‘falling apart’, fear of rejection or confrontation, putting others’ needs ahead of our own, verbal attacks, tantrums….. (Review the original Laundry List).
Another way NP is expressed by the Victim is a form of passive-aggression, acted out as incompetence, mental & emotional instability, procrastination….. The power is in the suppressed rage which leaks out in all parts of their life. Although different from overtly destructive power plays, their subtler mind games are just as destructive.
Internal NP can dominate & destroy the life of entire families. It’s a type of terrorism, which includes scapegoating, where the Perpetrator (covert abuser) will pick on one person to be “accountable” for the misery & unhappiness of others. Review all the ways Covert Narcissists cause harm, especially to children.
b. EXTERNAL negative power – based in anxiety, & rage – is expressed by toxic people by aggressive actions of coercive control, domination & force. They consistently misuse PP – deliberately playing on other’s fears, needs & lack – to gain & maintain power.
The personality structure of overt power-mongers is made up of underlying emotional weaknesses, including arrogance, rage-aholism, narcissism, paranoia, extreme vanity, sociopathy & other personality disorders….
Devoid of empathy for Self & others, they hide behind an authoritarian-parent style of being ‘all-knowing’, judgmental & always right.
OVERTs compulsively need to deny feeling vulnerable from real or perceived inadequacies (S-H). So having control over others can be addictive, because it produces a sense of elation (highs), & diminishes a sense of insecurity (lows).
Even deeper, destructive people suppress acknowledging the reality of their eventual death. Denying any form of powerlessness, their endless hunger to be special & invulnerable to all harm (typical of NPDs). creates a fantasy of being immune to non-existence. Assuming they’re exempt from natural forces supports their vanity, superiority & the ‘right’ to lord it over others.
Because self-delusion never succeeds in eliminating their underlying fear of death, excessive need for power (++nPOW) becomes increasingly compelling, leading to disastrous outcomes, from creating criminal or addict children to crimes against humanity.
NEXT : Positive Personal Power