I need help coming up with a power play in which I was used by a former boyfriend, and then a power play which I used on my parents

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Dr. Raj Persaud, a Consultant Psychiatrist, spoke at Gresham College in London on the topic of power in relationships, he observed,

... one of the central questions in life becomes how do we get other people to give us the stuff that we want, be it attention or love or money. Maybe there is an issue around power....

Power in relationships involves to a certain extent the consequences that can be imposed upon others, consequences which others do not want or would rather avoid. The person wielding the power, however, will not suffer from the imposition of these consequences. For example, in a personal relationship such as that of boyfriend/girlfriend, there is often an imbalance between the beloved and the lover; in the words of one author, "the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover." So, when the male or when the female in a relationship is the beloved, he or she can wield power because the lover does not wish to love him or her.

  • In considering an example of a power play with a former boyfriend, therefore, the student must reflect upon an incident in which the boyfriend demanded something of the student with no fear of any consequences upon him because he is so confident that since he is the beloved, the lover will not leave. Certainly, the old ploy of "If you really love, you will do _____for me" is an instance of this.
  • Likewise, in considering an example of a power play used upon parents, love can also be the motivator, or it can be fear, fear by the parents that they will be perceived as uncaring parents or neglectful parents, etc. For instance, the student may have told the parents how a friend's parents took their child somewhere the student has wanted to go, or related to parents what someone else's parents have purchased for ____(someone the student and parents both know and with whose parents the student's parents are somewhat competitive). Thus, the child puts the parents into a compromising position if they refuse. Either they do not love their child, or they do not want the same things for their child that others do.
atyourservice | Student

 power play former boyfriend:

Your boyfriend asks you for that money you have been saving for a month. And you try to say no, but he starts using the time he bought you all those presents, and guilt trips you. Or he starts telling you if you really loved him you wouldn't mind giving him some of your money.

and then a power play which I used on my parents:

Say you wanted one of the latest phones, but your parents are hesitant, so you start talking about how all your other friends have a high end phone, and how you would probably be made fun of for having your phone. Therefore guilt tripping them into considering buying a new phone for you.