More about Power and Control

Power and control are key concepts in William Glasser’s Choice Theory. In his book so named, Glasser suggests that ‘Power’, along with ‘Survival’, ‘Love and Belonging’, ‘Freedom’ and ‘Fun’ represents our genetically driven needs. It is these needs which drive our behaviour. As the degree of these needs vary from people to people, they influence our behaviour in different ways. According to Glasser, behaviour is composed of acting, thinking, feeling and physiology. Central to Glasser’s choice theory is the assertion that all behaviour is ‘chosen’ – we choose how to act and think, which in turn influences our feeling and physiology. Therefore, many of the problems related to our feeling and physiology, in other words, our psychological problems, stem from the way we choose to act and think, which is driven by the five needs mentioned before. Glasser posits that the cause of much unhappiness is that people choose to act and think in a way that damages relationships, namely, to exert external control on others. Glasser believes that if we can understand that the only behaviour we can control is own, make better choice about how to act and think, put our relationships with the people we value above all else, and give up trying to use external control on these people, we have a much better chance for happiness.

Power and control are coveted by so many people, but according to Glasser, they are also the major causes of our psychological and relationship problems. In the cases of many of the people I know, I have to say that this is quite true.

No comments: