Saturday, April 4, 2015

Does being dominant make you powerful?

This post is written as the fourth in the series of A-to-Z challenge and a part of #1000speak

My series theme is "Compassion" and today's thought is based on "Dominance"

Dominance is an animal instinct, which is mostly used by human beings to denominate their power over other of their kin. They unleash the primitive concept of dominance and use this ability to harm others in a variety of ways ranging from visual or vocal threat, physical attack, verbal threat or verbal aggression in the forms of command, order, ridicule, threaten, accuse, blame, and criticize.

Along with being complex, human relationships are very fragile. And a slightest form of dominance within the relationship can cause immeasurable damage, not only to the relationship, but to the one who succumbs to it, as a whole. Dominance can exist within any relationship - parents and children, spouse, siblings, friends, classmates, seniors, manager, coworker, political leaders, authorities, etcetera. It is used to establish supremacy within the relationship. It is particularly common in a marital relationship, where one partner controls and commands. Dominance is also fairly common in a manager-subordinate relationship, where the manager tries to prove his authority by dominating the subordinate. 

We are heading toward a more or less cold and emotionless world. The only thriving passion is for power and supremacy. People act dominant, or imbibe this controlling behavior within themselves, to attain authority and power. 

Where does this hunger to command come from? Is it inborn or is it circumstantially acquired? 

To my understanding, such human tendencies are inborn. Certain circumstances surface the instinct of dominance or submission, and then the tendency mushrooms. A friend of mine was on the verge of separation. His wife started being verbally aggressive, and moved on to be physically abusive. When someone suggested therapy, his wife willingly agreed. It came as a surprise. The doctor suggested it implied that there is some stimuli causing this behavior. After a few weeks of therapy, it was traced back to her childhood, where her mother was abused and criticized by her father and his family. The dominant aggression was an aftermath of the past.  

But then comes another question. Does being dominant really make them feel powerful? 

I tried talking about this to a few of my colleagues. We shared thoughts about the manager-subordinate relationships. Employees termed their job suffocating when the manager inflicted dominance on the team. If one has no freedom to perform the task at hand in his own way, to have their own ideas, and work on them, but is rather being ordered which, how and when to perform the talk, the task is bound to fail, and so will the employee manager relationship. The employees will retaliate. Will the manager still feel powerful, or superior? It doesn't seem true in today’s world. 

I have observed that the submissive is either an introvert, in which case verbal aggression is enough to precipitate anger. For other cases, physical abuse or socially unacceptable ridicules, blames and threats oppress the submissive. It is common to see racial dominance, gender dominance, and dominance due to physical power or stature. 

 In my opinion, dominance makes one loose ground. Negative repercussions are bound to occur. For instance, a child, if controlled by his parents, will rebel; if his or her thoughts are suppressed, strong resistance will follow. Or, if one of the sibling tries to command the games they play, it seeds rivalry. In a marital relationship, dominance in any form - physical or mental, will lead to separation, unless the submissive partner gives in completely. The act of trying to depict oneself as superior, in any relationship, is injustice to another living being. 

In general, dominating behavior creates distance, devoid of compassion and kindness. It leads to unexpected rebellion, and harm to humanity as a whole. 

Head to my fellow A-to-Zder, Sanch's post for the day. She pens her thoughts at Living my imperfect life. Her theme for this year's challenge is "Phobias", and the entries are in the form of limericks.