An unhealthy relationship will often strip us of our power. Sometimes, that can come from an overtly abusive relationship where the need for control oppresses the other, but it can also come from subtle sources as well.
When we begin to recognize that our self-value has lessened and our self-identity is being affected by being in the relationship, we most likely know, deep down, that the relationship is oppressing us in some way. What results is a prevention of living true to self.
Empowerment becomes the goal when feeling stripped of our identity. Ultimately we have decided to take our power back:
- Be honest with yourself. Being able to examine what you have tolerated in the relationship, simply to keep it, is the first step in moving into feeling empowered. We can spend a lot of time looking at why our partner’s behaviour has hurt us, but what we tolerated kept us there.
- Start making decisions. When we know better, we do better – when we make decisions to restore our sense of self, we move to empowerment. This can include setting boundaries, exploring interests outside of the relationship, focusing on balance, and in some cases, ending the relationship.
- Affirm strengths. When empowering ourselves, we need daily reminders of our strengths. We need to know what we bring to the table in relationships – our qualities, characteristics and values.
- Seek joy. When we feel oppressed, there is no room for joy. By actively seeking it through friendships, activities and self-interests, we focus on how life can truly be one of contentment and satisfaction. This allows us to recognize that joy can exist in our relationships as well.
Empowerment is the act of taking back power. It is also a way that we strengthen resilience and move to a position in which we can recognize our own importance – it is probably, single-handedly, the best way to ensure that someone else is going to value your importance too. 🙂