Are you entangled in difficult relationships
or painful emotions?
I notice, from time to time, books and workshops that
are advertised with bombastic promises such as: ' take control in all
communications', 'get people to do things you want them to do', ' develop
magnetic attraction' and so on.
Everything we do influences other people, even without our
knowing or meaning to, so that the authors of such books say: since we are
already doing this, why then not do this in order to gain some benefit for
In one article about a man who holds workshops for men on attracting
women I read amongst other things his comment that there are ways in which a man
may encourage the woman he desires to be self-confident or that by using
specific words he can suggest that she is spontaneous, has an adventurous
spirit, is relaxed, etc. and that there is nothing negative about this.
The art of communication is incredibly important in human
relations because with careless communication we can create a number of
misunderstandings and problems. Often, though, there is a thin line between the
conscious use of communication techniques in order to improve relations and
communications, and to influence other people to do things we want them to do
but which perhaps are not what they truly want to do, or, what is even more
common, when they are not even aware of our intentions.
For example, parents who know of communication techniques with
their children often don't use them in an honest attempt to understand what
their children want and feel, but to control their behavior. In the former
example, such techniques are used in order to attain sex or have a short fling
without disclosing one's true intentions. They may also be used to get the other
person to fall in love with you before they have had the opportunity to get to
know your true personality and are able to judge how much they really like you.
Promoters of the use of the art of communication who aim to
control others would say that we are actually doing them good, in particular if
we have succeeded in making the other person really want to behave in this way,
or feel better about himself. This idea, however, is a disrespectful attitude
and implies that we know what is good for that person better than he himself
knows. This is an egotistical and immature viewpoint even in a parent - child
relationship, and especially in relation to another adult person.
Honesty & Intimacy
Even if we believe we are doing good for the other person we
have to ask ourselves whom are we satisfying or do we have a clear conscience
knowing that we have influenced another person without their knowledge? Is it
possible to do this with respect toward the other person if we through
purposeful control automatically place him in the position of a weaker,
In such a relationship honesty and closeness are unlikely
to occur. Still, from another point of view, is it at all possible to influence another
person with their full knowledge and agreement when we often don't know
ourselves how we influence others?
Probably, the more you attempt to hide from the other person
that you are trying to influence her, the more you do this from a
disrespectful position. Communication techniques are most honest and respectful
if we can apply them without hiding our intentions. I personally, for
my own integrity, favor adhering to approaches which are not designed to awaken
certain emotions or methods of communication, but rather to help another person
to consciously and independently consider their own and my viewpoints.
The need for power is within all people. We desire to shine
outwardly, be attractive to others, feel more powerful; for all of us these are
very attractive images and it is easy to find justification in our attempt to
achieve them. The question that we rarely put forward is why do we feel the need
to do this?
What internal feeling is missing that makes us seek these
reassurances in such a manner? Why do we feel sufficiently worthy solely when we
feel special or better than others? Working on our own feelings of self-esteem
rather than on outer signs of success may save us not only years but decades of
Furthermore, external success cannot create
long-term feelings of self-love. This love must come from within rather
than from without. Then it is a feeling that is incomparably better than the
feeling of power over others. When this is achieved, you will most probably
discover that others will value and love you more honestly than you could
achieve through the use of any type of trickery.
Coaching with Kosjenka
© Kosjenka Muk, 2005-2017