Hello beautiful people, my name is Athol and this is Relationship Momentum.
So today I’ve got a follow along thought to one of my earlier videos, #9 Leaders and Followers in Your Marriage. I talked a lot about how in marriage and indeed in any relationship where there’s two people, usually one person is taking more of the dominant role, more of the lead, and the other person is taking on more of the submissive role, being the follower. It’s true of marriages, it’s true of same sex friendships, it is true of people working as partners. Usually one person is leading, one person is following a little more. This is just something that is a normal part of human hierarchy building in sociology.
But what I want you to think about today, is that in terms of being the dominant person or the submissive person, there are both negative and positive ways of expressing playing that role.
So let’s talk about the dominant role. The negative way if you are the dominant person, means you’re the bully. You’re rude. You’re obnoxious. You’re pushy. You push on their boundaries. You get what you want because you push your way to get it and you don’t care what the other person thinks. You’re just going to push, push, push, push until you get what you want. If they don’t give you what you want, you get a little mad and obnoxious.
The more positive version of being in the dominant role, you’re the protector. You are the leader. You’re the captain. You’re the one that is making sure that the whole team gets to where they need to be safely. You see that you have the more powerful position, so you are really conscious that the person that you’re with is a little bit dependent on you. You hold yourself somewhat responsible for how their life is, what their outcomes are and whether or not they’re having a good time. You’re concerned that they’re happy, that they’re content, that they’re safe.
Can you see how there’s a really positive and a negative version of being the dominant role? Are you the bully or are you the leader and protector?
For the submissive person there are positive and negative as well. Are you the negative one? Are you the doormat? Are you just weak? Are you spineless? Are you just broken down and beaten? Do you just give up? Do you not care about yourself? Do you have low self esteem? Do you just wallow and scamper around like a broken minion doing whatever your partner wants?
Or are you the more positive version of the submissive role? Are you supportive? Are you happy? Do you enjoy helping and facilitating and taking care of things and playing the backup role? Do you enjoy playing that sort of second fiddle, okay I’m playing a support role. Are you into it? Does that engage you, does it excite you? Does it make you feel safe, secure, warm and connected to the person playing the more dominant role? It’s a totally different thing than being a doormat. It’s totally different than being taken advantage of. It’s giving because you just know this is what makes you happy and you enjoy it.
So can you see that there are positive and negatives of both roles?
One of the things that I really worry about as someone who has talked about dominance and submission is there’s a handful of people out there who say, oh my goodness let me use this guy’s stuff to justify being a bully. Let me take his stuff to justify being a jerk. Now I can just keep pushing her around and demand she comply and submit and shut up and give me what I want. This is one of the things that keeps me up at night. This is why I’m so careful to make sure that the Captain role is so clearly laid out. If you’re going to be the dominant person in the relationship, I’m concerned that you’re going to play the leadership protector, caring, making sure everybody gets what they need and want role.
Dominance and submission is not going to go away. In almost every relationship there is a clear leader and a follower. Even if it’s by a tiny margin, usually one person is more in charge than the other. If you’re going to be the dominant person I want to see you play it positively, if you’re the submissive person be the helper/supporter and not the doormat.
Seriously, not the doormat. You’re not getting any points and credit from me, for letting someone stomp all over you and take advantage. If you’re living with the bully you have to stand up for yourself and push back a bit, because it’s not going to get better. The bully will just keep bullying.
So anyway, that’s about it. I hope you liked the video. Please like, share, comment, subscribe, and all that good internet stuff. Help me on my quest towards 1,000 subscribers. And I will talk to you tomorrow.