1 min read

Confused stances? of submission and rebellion

I'm noticing a pattern of relating (which I want to call dysfunctional) that is about power. There is a subject and an authority. For example: A student and a teacher. A less-experienced person and a more-experienced person. A younger person and an older person.

From the student/less-experienced/younger side of this, there can be a tendency to collapse the possible actions down to two meaningfully different options: To submit (willingly or grudgingly) or to rebel.

Like: Someone responds to a comment with information. Depending on the context, I could interpret that as a lecture, making this a student/teacher dynamic where I am the student. And if I don't like that frame, maybe I want to rebel against this — to respond negatively to the comment somehow, or to assert independence. Responding in such a way implies I've already accepted that this is a reasonable frame.

In collapsing things down, one focuses and chooses based on the power dynamic: If I like it, I submit, otherwise I rebel.

When I do interpret a situation like this, the feeling that usually arises is rebel!" although I rarely do that in practice.

I swear I got this from Meaningness, but can't find an exact source. Meaningness does feature a schematic overview about authority. That overview seems to be about stances toward a broader idea of authority than that in one relationship, though. This seems analogous, but here I've focused on two people and on one side of the dynamic. The liking/not-liking could relate to such a broader stance.