Power Imbalance And Conflict Case Study

A situation that happened recently that was an example of a power imbalance was between my mother and sister. In this situation, both felt like the other person held too much power and were unjustly being treated. My mother does not work and lives off disability leaving her with free time during the day. My sister works long hours but can not afford a sitter. My mother and I watch my nephew during all the hours she works. This is where the conflict starts and the perceived power imbalance comes to light. On my mother 's side she feels she is being taken advantage of and while yes she does not work she suffers back problems and is getting older and has trouble taking care of a 3-year-old. Her issue is that she relies on my sister for assistance …show more content…
In this situation both of them are not talking and are either acting in a passive aggressive manner or avoidance. They need to both set time aside and talk in a ration manner about the issues they are having with the current set up and discuss ways on which to improve the situation. When the dialogue finally takes place they need to work on “metacommunication” (Hocker and Wilmot 140) which is “(talking about the relationship or about how the parties will handle their conflicts), the parties can agree about behaviors that will not be allowed (such as leaving during a fight)” (Hocker and Wilmot 140). Between these two there is more often than not someone who will just walk away from the conflict. It needs to be established that we can not have that behavior before the conversation can begin. Next would be “restraint” (Hocker and Wilmot 135) and in this conflict what needs to be restrained would be what they perceive they could hold over the other person. For instance, my mother would need to restrain herself from saying or threatening my sister from living with us or paying us. My sister would need to reframe from saying things about taking away my nephew or transportation assistance. Then we “focus on interdependence” (Hocker and Wilmot 136). They need to understand that their relationship is dependent on each other and no one person holds more or all the power. Just as Hocker and Wilmot explain “The focus shouldn 't be the singular amount of power each one has but the balance of power between them” (136). One of the most difficult things my family might encounter when they talk is “calm persistence” (Hocker and Wilmot 137). The both tend to be very emotional and loud individuals and it can become amplified when they feel they are under attack. The huge problem is that “when intensity is high, [they] react rather than observe and think” (Hocker and Wilmot 138).

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