With the recent tragedy of Kansas City Chiefs' Jovan Belcher and Kasandra Perkins' murder-suicide, the spotlight has been shone on domestic violence in the NFL. There is a lot of talk about head injuries and concussions playing an important role and I hope that avenue is pursued. However, there is also a possible psychological explanation worth exploring.
InsideOut Empowerment explains that people are born with five, basic human needs: survival, connection, significance, freedom and enjoyment. We all have all five, but the way they manifest is individual. For example, I have high needs for connection and freedom, a moderately high need for significance and lower needs for survival and enjoyment, whereas you may have a high need for survival, moderate needs for connection and significance and low needs for enjoyment and freedom.
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The need most correlated with domestic violence is the need for significance, sometimes called the need for power. (Find out how high your partner's need for significance is by going to The Relationship Center and taking our free assessments.)
People are almost born knowing how to power over other people. Have you ever watched two 18 month-olds playing where one had a toy the other one wanted? That second child has no problem powering over his friend to get the toy he wants. He will hit, bite, scratch, pull hair, take it and scream to get the toy he wants. Instinctively, we know how to power over others.
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These behaviors are very important in certain circumstances. If you are in a fight for your life, you would want the ruthlessness to power over your attacker. If you are involved in sports, you want the ability to power over your opponent. If you are in a role to serve and protect others, you want the ability to power over those who threaten the safety of others. In these situations, powering over behavior is critical. Continue reading ...
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