It only takes ONE!

It only takes one person to change a mood or pick a fight.  One event, like 9/11 or the break up of a family, can change how we experience the world.  It takes only one person to speak up and share an idea and it only takes one to listen. We have heard “the power of one,” as a book, movie title, slogan, or inspirational video. Why is this so important?  Because you can be the “ONE” to make the changes in your life.

Let’s Explore a Scenario –

How many times did you do a chore that you had delegated to someone else because you got tired of nagging, the timing was off, or it was not done to your expectations?  For example, think about how it feels when you ask someone to come back and “finish the kitchen?”  They look at you like you’re crazy because cleaning the pots, wiping down the counter and rinsing out the sink is not really part of the dinner dishes…according to them.

Often it is seems easier to do the task yourself the way you want it done.  It takes more effort to track down the culprit. Then, you have to interrupt them from their computer game or TV show.  Next, you have to be clear on what specifically needs to be done.  There is the usual negotiating that goes on like doing “it” after the show is over and of course you say “YES” because you accommodate. It feels like you are asking them to do something for you personally when in reality it is for the greater good of the household.  And, I am sure you are not surprised when they conveniently forget!

Decision Point:
Do you repeat the sequence
or just do the task?

If you do the task you are setting yourself up for failure.   You are letting them know that if they do a lousy job you will fix it.  Your expectations of them have been lowered.  As a  result the message conveyed is you don’t mean what you say.  You’re not important enough to be taken seriously. Your time and energy does not really matter.


Instead, you decide to repeat the sequence up to a point. It changes when you say

“NO. Please do it now.”  Initially, you might be met with resistance because you are now beginning to follow through.  You may even be referred to as “cranky” or some other choice word because you speak up and set limits.  You refuse to be taken for granted.  You no longer keep the peace… at your expense.   This becomes your new pattern of behavior and your new message.  Don’t worry. They will adjust.

Use Your Power

This answer is simple in theory but can be difficult in practice.   So many of us give our power away.  We let others control our mood, time and money.  We sabotage ourselves using a faulty belief system about who we are as individuals.  We are unsure and afraid to make necessary changes in our lives in order experience contentment.

When we experience life with limited power, the uncomfortable feelings of helplessness and depression can easily take hold. There are some things we can’t control like illness, natural disasters, or death of a loved one. There are other things in life that we believe we are powerless to change like the rules or structure of our household or the energy in a relationship.  But, it is not true. How we choose to deal with situations and/or our thoughts and feelings can make all the difference in our life.

Less Is More Than Nothing

Many times I have heard people wanting to go to family therapy or couples counseling but didn’t because their partner didn’t want to go.  The unhappy person is usually willing to seek help,  while the person who is indifferent and satisfied enough with the relationship, refuses.

And, when parents get frustrated enough, they send their children to therapy or counseling, often kicking and screaming.  It is the parents that need the most help and support. It is so difficult to follow through and maintain consistency when exhausted or preoccupied with the responsibilities of life. It’s similar to puppy training, the trainer(therapist) spends an hour per week and the master(parent) deals with problem behaviors for the other 167 hours!  Let’s face it, kids like puppies, are relentless when it comes to getting our attention.

It is usually a crisis that forces people to call for help.  There is an event or situation that tips the scale.  A point is reached where something must give if they are to cope.  Unfortunately, the relationship is very strained and filled with resentment.

Be The One

It only takes one person to begin the process of change.  Think of a baby mobile…if you move only one part…the other parts shift too.  Apply this concept to a family and just like a mobile it is possible to make it change.  If unhappy, you can create movement to make it different.

There are times in our life when our courage kicks in and/or our frustration and anger take over. We speak up for what we want and need. Change is possible if we stay strong.  However, there is a tendency for relationships to return to homeostasis when we are no longer frustrated and angry.  It is in the staying strong with the desired change that we create the new status quo.

Tips to Take Back Your Power

  • Speak up for what you need and want.
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Offer concrete solutions to the problem.
  • Don’t assume they know what you want or need.
  • Don’t hint.  Be direct but polite.
  • Don’t give up unless you are ending the relationship.
  • Get professional help with someone who focuses on communication.
  • Be responsible for your own happiness.
  • Remember there is always a choice.

It is important to remember that a person who asserts their own personal power in a relationship is more likely to be happy and respected.  If the idea of counseling or therapy has been thought of or suggested, take action.  It doesn’t matter if no one else wants to go!  If you want change in your life, whether it is with your mate, kids, friends or co-workers, then you need to focus on how to make changes that will benefit the relationship. Be “The One” in your life to make a difference.





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