Navigating Power Dynamics, Disarming Human Defenses with Ann & Sue: Session 3 of 5 (185)

by | Sep 13, 2022 | Brain Science, Emotional Intelligence, Episodes, Narcissism, Neuroscience, Relationships, Sexuality & Gender, Therapy | 0 comments

Show Notes

Power can be associated with safety, but when misused it can also be a key indicator of a lack of emotional security and a common defensive move. We call it power over versus empowered with and it's a tricky move because it's so supported culturally we frequently don't realize we are taking over.

This is the 3rd episode in a series of 5.  You can start anywhere but if you prefer to start at the beginning of the series click here for Session 1 or here for Session 2.

Join us for free therapy boot camp by going through this series and reflecting on how you relate and what patterns you might want to change interpersonally.

When you unconsciously deem “power” as what keeps you “safe” in vulnerable situations, reflecting and rewiring on this dynamic can transform your connections.
Human defenses are quite necessary to protect our nervous system and sense of self. The goal isn't to eliminate defenses – but to learn how to regulate them, especially in relationships. Defenses can often feel triggered when there is an uneven power dynamic expressed in a relationship and can be influenced by outside factors like gender socialization, culture, or personal history.

Tune in as Ann and Sue reflect on their own experiences, shame, and navigating power dynamics to form deeper connections. Shownotes at Join our private Neuronerd community at

“Anytime we focus on the power-over position – it can't be a safe connection. It communicates to your own nervous system that ‘You need to be more alone to be safe…' It ends up being a self-perpetuating experience.”  – Ann Kelley

Time Stamps for Power Dynamics – Episode 185

2:47 – Deep dive into the dismissive/”one-upping” defense tactic

9:57 – The role of gender socialization in this defense

14:41 – Addressing shame in relation to defense

24:36 – How our culture breeds narcissism and “one-down” defenses

34:55 – Interactive exercise for vulnerability

45:31 – Reviewing the “Three R's” spiral

CLICK HERE FOR THE DEFENSE SERIES, SESSION 3 TRANSCRIPTS on power dynamics Episode 185  – Lightly edited for readability

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