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Dominant and Submissive Relationships

Are you currently involve in any dominant and submissive relationships? If the work of the world is to be effectively done, some people must direct the work of others. The need for some to "boss" others is more easily seen in a factory than at home.

Yet the family, also, will operate more smoothly if its members work under some direction. Planning and directing others so that it can be done effectively is quite different from bossing others because you enjoy seeing them obey you.

People who have high administrative or executive ability will naturally find themselves in positions where they direct others. But such supervisory relationships are not at all the same as domination.

Domination is the satisfaction which some people get from seeing others jump when they snap the whip. The same principle holds true of submission. People who work cheerfully and willingly under the direction of others who are better able to supervise, are not necessarily submissive.

They will take orders and obey them because they feel that this is the best way of getting worthwhile things done. The submissive person takes orders, either because he is afraid, or because he enjoys being controlled.

Actually all dominant and submissive relationships do not make for efficiency. As in a family, husband, wife and children may accept direction. But both their work and their relationships will be more satisfactory if they are free labor, working under direction.

Domination, then, does not mean merely exercising authority. It means rather, an uncontrollable itch to take over everything and run it, and a strong resentment when things do not go as you feel they should.

So how can you tell how you are in any dominant and submissive relationships?

If you are both dominant, you may be headed for painful and perhaps serious clashes which may seriously mar your happiness. The dominance of one person need not impair the whole dating relationship. If the other is sufficiently submissive, there may be peace within the partnership.

Richness of relationship does not require that the tow of you be the same. For many years the children will be inferior to their parents in many respects, but each person should have a reasonable chance to become the best that he can.

Dominance is not likely to occur without some rebellion. This last may not be open. But the servant who is most obsequious and outwardly submissive is the one most to be feared. The wife who appears to have no will of her own, to yield to her husband's every wish, may actually, in subtle ways, be twisting him around her little finger.

Likewise children, in a household dominated by their parents, speedily learn how to get around the demands and wishes of their elders. Sometimes they use straight deceit. Often they learn how to manipulate the one who thinks that he is boss of a smoothly running household. Others will openly rebel as soon as they are old enough.

Finally, the practical results of any domination and submissive relationships may be sad. The dominant person may have the greater ability. Again, he (or she) may not. People dominate, not because they have more ability, but because they have stronger aggressive drives.

And in any dominant and submissive relationships even when the dominant person is also the ablest, his judgment is not superior at every point. The most successful family or nation is that which uses the insights of everyone.

We have pointed out the evils and dangers of domination. Let us not forget that submissiveness can be quite as bad.

Our Hitlers could not lead their nations or their families to ruin if the others did not allow them to have their own way. The difficulty lies quite as much in the sheepishness of the sheep, as in the wolfishness of the wolves.

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