How to relate, instead of dominate or manipulate

Catherine Andrews
5 min readMar 27, 2022

Where might you be manipulating instead of tending to?

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Happy Sunday, Soothers. Most of us know that we live in a world that for the past several centuries has been created by colonization and domination. Where we have to begin the change of this, however, that we may not quite yet be aware of, is in ourselves.

The simple model of colonization is one of domination: one foreign entity comes in and through a variety of submission, exploitation, appropriation, manipulation, violence, dominates and subjugates the entity that was already indigenous to the area.

Where I think many of us don’t quite yet understand is that there’s a very good chance that most of us are working through a model of domination or colonization in our own lives, and to our own selves, to our own bodies and our own emotions. And of course we are. How could we have learned any other way, given it’s the air we breathe and the water we drink?

What do I mean by this? Most of us are taught that we are here to try to bend and force things to our will as a model for moving through life and getting the things we want (or we think we should want).

We should work through pain and exhaustion. Emotions are maaaaybe okay, but only in a certain looking way and in a certain time frame. Our body needs to be subject to expectations, pressure, modifications. We should have more time. We should have more money. We should be able to do more work.

What I’m asking you today is, where in your life have you been acting from attempting to dominate? And where can you begin starting to relate?

Where are you putting pressure on something to perform to your expectations rather than learning how to be the steward it’s crying out for?

Where can you begin to treat something you’ve viewed yourself as waging war on, or in opposition to, and begin to view it as a friend, as its own entity, as a relative, even?

Change starts when you ask the thing, person, concept or part you are trying to dominate, control or manipulate a couple of simple, gentle questions:

What do you really need from me to feel safe, and how can I best begin to give it to you?

Catherine Andrews

Teaching awakening + healing through vulnerability + self-compassion. Finding hope in a messy world. Author of the Sunday Soother.