Tale Spin

I think Darwin might cry a little if he could see where competition has taken us.


We live in a world where power struggles are more common than social empowerment.

Some describe the corporate world (and by extension many aspects of society) as psychopathic, because of what a person is required to do to gain power, favor and advancement. Ruthless contest requires a person to be ruthless. And with a prize at stake that is so highly valued by so many people, why wouldn’t the competition be fierce?

I think Darwin might cry a little if he could see where competition has taken us. Ronald Fisher, on the other hand, would probably shrug and point out all the long, frivolous tails.

Psychopaths, though, fuck. That’s pretty shocking, right? Well, it might have been, but it isn’t anymore. We seem to have digested this theory, accepted its relevance, and moved on to doing the same thing we we doing before.

I imagine power is seductive. And I think it corrupts. Does it corrupt in the pursuit of it or in the achievement of it? I think the whole damned thing is corrupt.

Power over is not healthy. And no matter what any person leads you to believe, there was a point in every child/teen/young adult’s life where (s)he felt powerless because someone with more authority exercised power over him/her. That might be a big thing. That knowledge might be a very big thing.

There are as many people who have no idea that some in position of authority use their status to fulfill their personal agenda as there are people who choose to consciously use their authority to get what they want, what they feel they deserve.

Are there as many people who choose to forgo the scarcity route and seek power from within? I honestly don’t know. I can tell you this, though: the number of those who seek power from within are difficult to calculate because they are quiet, unless they choose to publicly stand up and help to empower members of society who feel powerless.

Author: tendrilwise

Hi, I have a diploma in Journalism, I've published a novel, and I am currently studying psychology. My odd way of viewing the world either gets me kicked out of parties or invited to them. Jenn McKay

18 thoughts on “Tale Spin”

  1. Wonderful post Jenn
    Most of the people are following a rat race. They don’t know about their true path. In order to achieve a powerful status in the society, they are ready to take any measure. The humanity is getting diluted in this power race.
    Ya, we have become psychopaths by changing the meaning of power. Power is not calculated by the domain of the knowledge. It is calculated by the area of dominance. You have raised an important question of the corrupt nature of power. I think the concept of power is installed in our framework from our birth. The feeling of powerlessness leads to ill effects in future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! Thank you for bringing this up, Yatin! I agree that we have a sense of power at our core – that it’s in our nature regardless of our nurture, regardless of what society teaches us that power means. In our cores, we know that power is a sense of mastery over our fears, an inner wisdom, confidence and authority that reverberates and glows from within. And a drive to help others.

      This true power can only be accessed through a long, sometimes perilous journey. And this definition of power is not something that is up front and center in popular media.

      It’s difficult to take a path when we don’t see any examples, and even if there are prominent examples, if we don’t understand those examples, or don’t see how the people living this way relate to us, it’s not very effective as a catalyst.

      There seems – to most – to be only two responses to powerlessness at the hands of another: submit or become powerful in a way that nobody will ever fuck with again. But there is a third choice.

      Power, and therefore powerlessness, always comes – ultimately – from within. And that’s a controversial statement knowing that there are so many currently in a state of being victimized and betrayed and humiliated. I am not in any way blaming the victim. No. It is never ever the fault of the victim.

      But, no matter what we are put through, we can always regain our power. Always.

      There first has to be an awareness of this inner power. Of the ability to take it back. Or at least an inkling.

      And everyone’s journey is different. It’s important to listen to your gut.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think that sometimes in a work situation, the fear of the power that an individual can have over another is stronger than the power that they actually have. Unscrupulous people sometimes use this to their advantage.
    I think it can be incredibly powerful if, in the midst of ruthless competition, people stand up and show integrity by demonstrating that there is a different and better way to behave than just following bad examples because that’s what everybody else is doing.
    It’s a risky thing to do but it can take the wind out of the sails of individuals who want to use their power to manipulate an entire workforce into a certain type of divisive or destructive behaviour, irrespective of whether the reward for that behaviour is career advancement or favour with those who could make life easier or miserable for individual employees.
    This can be a lonely path as others may not have the courage or strength of character to follow. On the other hand, it may be the inspiration for which others are waiting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kirsty, thank you for reading and for your wonderfully written comment.

      I agree that unscrupulous people use unspoken fear to coerce, manipulate and to push through their personal agendas over and above the rights, needs and desires of everyone in the way of those agendas.

      Specifically in a corporate situation, the fear – in my experience – is the loss of a stable income or of being blacklisted for future advancement either in the company one is currently working for, or in other companies in similar fields.

      This fear keeps people quiet and compliant while thanking the corporate Gods for “security”. I believe this is a pretty basic tool in the corporate world to keep a large non-management workforce in check.

      Some see the best way to “beat the system” or play the game (ie: sheltering, clothing and feeding a family; or achieving a sense of self-fulfillment) is to rise up above the level of mass and expendable workforce into management (the elusive force where you have heard that you get to make a difference, or at least an impact).

      In order to do this, you have to make choices and be willing to act a certain way – generally this means you have to express your eagerness and capability to tow the company line – whatever that line may be… If you find a company that matches your heart, a company with a product or service that you truly believe in, then you’re golden. But if not…

      Now, if there is competition between two or more people for a management or fast-track position, the person who will “win” the position is the one who knows what the company is looking for in a leader and is willing to play that role fully. Ruthless behavior is often rewarded and celebrated in corporate culture under the euphemism ‘efficiency’.

      If you are among the slighted, your stand against this is often seen through machismo-colored glasses (and this applies to female corporate culture as well). You are seen as weak because you cannot “handle” the situation on your own, which is not a good quality in a leader according to most corporate culture.

      Inspiring leaders might be worth something to a corporation as a team leader or a motivational speaker (consultant, always), but this alone will never amount to climbing the ladder.

      Corporate culture does not reward ethical behavior. And those who actually want to make a difference anywhere in the world often find themselves deflated and without meaning in a corporate setting.

      It’s not just a lonely path – it’s an uphill battle, and you eventually either get sick or find yourself needing to weigh your energy expenditure against your own effectiveness as a leader-by-example to avoid getting sick.


  3. **REPLY TO COMMENT RE: TALE SPIN LEFT ON ANOTHER POST BY ACCIDENT. Read original comment here: https://tendrilwise.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/consent-to-bear-the-weight-togeher/comment-page-1/#comment-29 **

    Hey Max, thanks for visiting and for reading and commenting on my power post.

    I agree! Many people do not think about the nuances of power dynamics, unless they are in a position of power or authority or an obvious position of oppression where there is an entire group with which to openly discuss this dynamic and support each other.

    I’m glad to hear you are one of the supporters.

    I must make a distinction here, though. I do not think that people who support/inspire/help are exercising power OVER another – because that would mean asking/forcing them to be in a position of submission/oppression. I believe these people are actually using their power/authority to empower members of society.

    And to empower means using your position of power/authority to be a catalyst/guide/advocate that allows another to see and to believe in power within themselves, which allows people to live and love from that place of authentic power.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jenn, Excellent post and discussion. I totally agree with you about those who cultivate power from within. I also think it is important for us to work to break down our conceptions and misconceptions about each other – even the powerful corporations. And as I read this discussion, a thought came to me about the power of story and its transformational potential. I woke up with story on my mind and thinking how I can use it. So, thanks for generating these thoughts. Below is a response to your comment on my blog post, that I have trashed. Because I totally revised my shop. I do have a link on my page, and have included the link for you so you can check it out. The Personal Pyramid is now a free bonus. Thanks again for your interest and comments.

    Jenn, Thanks so much for bringing this to my attention. I revised the offering. Here’s the link https://gumroad.com/skywalkerstoryteller. I’m removing this blog too, since I have the products available on the page. Trust you will enjoy them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for coming by, Skywalker! I completely agree that it’s important to break down own perception/worldview by actually allowing those around us to be mirrors for the parts of us that we have hidden, dismissed or are afraid to accept as part of the human capacity.

      In my mind, the only true definition of perfection is wholeness. And I think we would be so much more peaceful if we all wanted this, but I fully understand that everyone has their own journey, desires, fears and free will to make choices. And we all have a different suite of needs that come at different times in our lives with different priority structures, etc.

      Oh, Skywalker, I’m so glad this post inspired you in a small way. The healing power of story is so incredibly potent and beautiful. It can help heal the writer or it can help heal an audience, or sometimes the work that is put toward a story can heal the writer and then the journey of those words can be reshaped to share with an audience and both can experience a certain healing.

      To be witnessed and to witness has healing power, which is why sharing a personal story can be an amazing experience for both the author and the reader.

      And there’s something a little different but similar in ways in the writing and sharing of a fiction story or poem or other word of art that tells a story. If I had to put it into words right in this moment, I’d say that it has to do with the widening of perspective/worldview, in order to incorporate the experiences of several people playing different roles in a certain situation. Which takes us back to the beginning of this conversation 😉

      Thanks for sharing your new link. I will check it out!



  5. Hi Jenn

    Wow! it has been long since I have seen a topic on the issue of power. I mean you discuss a very important issue.

    I agree that the concept of Power has been abused. For Power should be used for empowerment, Those in authority are meant to be an influence. However, as you mentioned, the reverse is the case.

    I think the reason why Power corrupts people is because most people use power to feel up their insecurities. They believe that being in authority makes them gain status and recognition.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey Ikechi, thanks for reading and commenting. I agree with you that power can be used to fill insecurity. And if we want to take this idea all the way home, I can comfortably say that those who abuse positions of power and authority are running from that icky feeling of powerlessness they have somewhere inside of themselves. For the most part, those who fall into this pattern of needing power over, have compartmentalized or pushed away that feeling of powerlessness so effectively that they cannot recognize it exists inside of themselves.

    It’s a sideways approach. The sideways approach seems to be the way many in today’s society handle interaction, especially those who have learned to approach things sideways before they knew what they were learning. (I’ve done some things sideways, especially before I did shadow work.) It’s scary to look within. But shadow work teaches us that we are everything, and what we avoid at all costs or seek to destroy is often what is subconsciously destroying us.

    Those who seek to destroy the powerlessness in others are truly seeking to destroy the powerlessness within themselves. It isn’t an effective approach. And these people get stuck in a pattern of destruction/avoidance/consequence as the universe reflects back to them what they put out.



  7. Jenn, I totally see where you’re coming from. I seems like now, more than ever, people are accustom to stepping over each over and exercising what ever power they have over another. It makes what once seemed like an honest living more like a bed of lies.

    I always hated how corporate america pitted employees against each other just to get ahead by an inch.

    People are more caught up in things that really have no depth or meaning over things that do.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Lea, thanks for reading and commenting.

      I agree, many people are caught up. I think it’s fear. Fear permeates everything when we live in scarcity.

      This is why solutions are complex.



  8. Hi Jenn,

    Great post. You are right about how some older people use their authority to exercise power over younger ones. I know of such a situation that is ongoing and it’s so disgusting. I have so much contempt for the one doing it BUT I’m doing all I can to empower the affected person. Psychopathic agendas are so selfish, and so shameful, considering that many of the perpetrators are people that we should be looking up to for guidance and advice.



    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hey Jenn,

    Power can be awe inspiring when utilised correctly. Have you ever seen or worked with someone who sits at the top and knows how to work their people? However saying that, there are more ruthless power pigs out there, who will do whatever it takes to get to the top and I agree generally for their own personal agenda.

    What is a turn off is abuse of power and I don’t think there is anyone who has not had their own experiences to be able to tell a tale. Problem with psychopaths is they are starting to grow in number, they used to be a minority group, but they same to be popping up everywhere now.

    I wonder what got you writing about this topic. Because it is one of my favourites. Thanks for the post. Talk soon.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Rachel!

      I was inspired by several different stories in the news over the last few months.

      The numbers are growing according to reports (though this can be actual growth or it can be a greater awareness), but the psychopaths are still a minority. Thank God 🙂

      If the number of people who are psychopaths or who display psychopathic traits is actually up, then my guess is that it has to do with what we value and what we teach children to revere in our corporate/consumer culture.

      I can see a tendency toward psychopathy going really sideways when someone who puts everything – absolutely everything – into image of self, and their ideal self lines up perfectly with the stereotypical societal image of success (big boss, big spender, power, ‘respect’/fear).

      No true vision or inner power. All need.

      Though, in all honesty, I think using the word psychopath to describe this phenomenon was done to shock people (even if it didn’t work for very long). The term sociopath fits more appropriately, I think.

      What is one of your favorite topics? Power or psychopaths?



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