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Power and Destruction

Do you know people in positions of power who end up self-destructing?  It appears that this is a more common scenario these days.  The alleged child sexual abuse by Jerry Sandusky and the alleged sexual harassment by Herman Cain are two most recent examples of power and destruction.  Do powerful people believe that the rules are different for them or do they believe they’ll never get caught?  In most situations both are probably true.  In my practice, such patients frequently violate boundaries with others and rationalize away their behaviors.  When a person becomes completely self-absorbed, they don’t think much about the impact or consequences of their actions.    Unfortunately, our society glamorizes power and often turns a blind eye to inappropriate behaviors based on the person’s position, wealth, and status.  It starts early in life when we groom athletes or gifted students into believing that they are special and have special privileges.  They are treated differently and don’t have the same responsibilities or consequences that the average person might have.  In other cases, this mind-set of impunity develops only after success is reached and the globs of wanna-bees swarm giving the powerful person a sense that they are better than everyone else.  The good news is that power doesn’t have to lead to destruction. Learn in next week’s blog ways to have power without abusing it and others.

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