The Language of Power





Destructive Strategies

(Destroy Relationships and Future Plans)

Constructive Strategies

(Build Relationships and Future Plans)

  1. 1.Negative Gossip

  2. 2.Lying

  3. 3.Manipulation

  4. 4.Mob behavior (ganging up)

  5. 5.Eye-rolling

  6. 6.Ignoring, avoiding

  7. 7.Complaining

  8. 8.Mocking

  9. 9.Bullying

  10. 10.Yelling

  11. 11. Physical Fighting

  12. 12. Make alliances & friendships with people who have destructive habits -- you mimic what you see!

  13. 13. Stealing / Taking

  14. 14. Refusing to allow a problem to be resolved

  15. 15. Criticizing and judging in a hurtful way

  16. 16. Putting someone down

  17. 17. Being passive (getting walked on)

  18. 18. Being aggressive (walking all over others)

  19. 19. Refusing accountability

  20. 20. Be unprepared for the challenges - have no plan

  21. 21. Hold a grudge

  22. 22. Negative attention-seeking behaviors (those things we do for ‘attention’ from others that are self-destructive)

  1. 1.Build a good reputation through good gossip -- networking

  2. 2.Being straight up - honest - and “REAL”

  3. 3.Clearly communicate

  4. 4.Make an agreement to do the right thing

  5. 5.Make eye contact

  6. 6.Listen to each other

  7. 7.Be solution-oriented

  8. 8.Defend someone who is being hurt

  9. 9.Take care of your own needs

  10. 10.Be heard - sometimes you may have to speak multiple times, but don’t give up, be heard...

  11. 11. Get help from someone you know will do the right thing

  12. 12. Make alliances & friendships with people with constructive habits -- you mimic what you see!

  13. 13. Giving

  14. 14. Resolve your problems with people every day

  15. 15. Offer constructive criticism only when asked, and start with the positives

  16. 16. Give valid compliments

  17. 17. Make your boundaries clear to others -- let them know where they end and you begin

  18. 18. Respect others’ space

  19. 19. Be accountable

  20. 20. Plan your route - get prepared for the challenges

  21. 21. Forgive someone when they have changed

  22. 22. Receive attention (praise) for the good work you have done

Ever seen a couple of animals competing with each other over a resource that they both want - like some food or an especially attractive potential mate?  Well, humans compete, too, but we are a bit more unique than other species on planet Earth in that we use our LANGUAGE when we struggle with each other for the resources that we want or need.  

Human language comes in many different forms, too -- words, tones, facial expressions, gestures, posturing, etc.  You know what I am talking about ... and you know what resources I am talking about, too!  Resources like food, water, and shelter are obviously among the basics, but resources like respect, power, and personal space are up for grabs, too.  Undoubtedly, one of the greatest human needs is the very basic need to belong, and a lot of the maneuvering we do among our peers has something to do with that, too.

In class, we classified these strategies as either DESTRUCTIVE (meaning that they destroy our relationships and potential future plans) or CONSTRUCTIVE (meaning they build our relationships and futures).  Taking a “science-eye” look at our own behaviors allows us to be more deliberate and intentional about which strategies we are choosing to use in our own lives.  Here are most of the ideas you came up with...  Let me know if I missed any!