The Authoritarian Person
My Way Or The Highway-You Choose!
There are people in life who can be classified as the ultimate control freak. These are the people who contend that might equals the right to control those who are perceived to be more vulnerable and weaker than they. They are the people who believe that because of their status, they have the right to dominate people to bend them to their will. These are characteristics of authoritarian people.
Authoritarian people believe that people should adhere to their rules because they said so. They do not believe in providing people with any explanation of why things should be done. They further contend that their way is the only correct way of doing things. They demand unquestioning obedience from those whom they consider their subordinates whether it is an employee, student, child, and/or patient.
Authoritarian people are extremely comfortable with people who they can easily mold. To the authoritarian people, these people are considered obedient, cooperative, and easy. The main emphasis in the lives of authoritarian people is unmitigated control and dominance. They "value" those who they can easily dominate and bend to their will.
Authoritarian people value people who are perceived to be more vulnerable and weaker than them. The latter's perceived vulnerability and weakness makes the authoritarian person feels powerful and in charge. They are the most comfortable when others are in an inferior status to them. Authoritarian people, in fact, thrive on unequal relationships because that is where they obtain their power and control from.
Oftentimes, authoritarian people do not value relationships where there is equal parity. Their main goal is to dominate and to mold a person to their will. If they cannot do that, they do not wish to have a relationship with you. Equality is a bane in the existence of the authoritarian personality. There simply cannot be two equals in the world of the authoritarian person. Either they want to complete dominate and rule you or want nothing whatsoever to do with you if you demonstrate that you are a strong and independent person.
Authoritarian parents believe that their children are extensions to them. They further contend that children are subordinates and should have no voice regarding familial affairs. They assert the old dictum that children should be seen but never heard. According to them, children are to be stay in a child's place so to speak.
Authoritarian parents insist that because they are the adults in the household, they are superior to the child who have a subordinate status. They maintain that they should make all the decisions regarding their children's lives. It is their contention that their children are to do what they say without any questions. These parents maintain that the duty of their children is not to question their rules but to blindly follow.
These are the parents who do not find it unusual for them to dictate almost every aspect of their children's lives. These are the parents who decide what type of friends their chidren should have, what type of books they should read, the styles of clothes they should wear, and what activities they should undertake. Children of authoritarian parents have very little or no decision making power in their lives. They are usually at the mercy of their parents.
Authoritarian parents are more comfortable with nonassertive and more compliant children because they are easy to control. However, if the child is more assertive and independent minded, these parents are in for quite a trial. The latter child will not blindly obey their parents. They have minds and wills of their own and are not hesitant in asserting their strong wills. To such parents, this child is considered defiant, stubborn, hardheaded, and difficult. Of course, this child is not one that can be controlled and easily molded. The more independent and assertive child will give the authoritarian parent a run for his/her money so to speak.
Many authoritarian parents even though they are outwardly dominant and in control, are quite insecure and fearful subconsciously. They want to retain their facade of complete power over the children. They are afraid of letting their children exhibit their independent natures because that would disturb and threaten parental authority. They want to be constantly in control and power at all costs even to the utter detriment of their children.
There are many reasons why parents are authoritarian. Some came from an environment and culture where authoritarianism was encouraged and praised. Others grew up in authoritarian parents and they are just modeling their early familial pattern. Quite a few are bully parents who view parenting as a game of upmanship and totally dominance with the sole purpose of completely subduing a child to their will.
Children of authoritarian parents develop low self-esteem as a result of not being allowed any decision making into their own affairs. They also believe that they are insignificant as their parents considered them to be appendages of them, instead of individual in their own rights. They have poor judgement and decision making skills because their parents made most of their decisions for them. They are also hesitant and risk aversive because their parents prohibited independent thinking but instead enforced unquestioning obedience.
Conversely, there are some children are become extremely rebellious under the "tutelage" of authoritarian parents. They become highly individualistic and assertive of their right to be their own person. Many more become quite antiauthoritarian and antiestablishmentarian, believing that no person should rule another person and that each person is his/her own master.
Authoritarian bosses/employers believe that their employees exist just to follow orders. These bosses/employers usually subscribe to the theory X version of supervision. This method of supervision states that employees are not capable of thinking and working independently and the only way they will work is under strict supervision. This boss/employer adheres to this principle.
Many authoritarian bosses/employers assert that employees cannot intelligently contribute to the work place. According to these bosses/employers, an employee is just follow their orders without question because they have the higher positions thus they have the expertise. Some authoritarian bosses/employees do view their employees as childlike and quite incapable of making an intelligent decision. These are the bosses/employers who usually micromanage their employees because in their eyes, these employees are utter children.
These are the same boss/employer who often use punitive disciplinary measures if their instructions are not strictly followed. If they give instructions, those instructions are to be followed exactly and without question. They also do not appreciate any employee who questions the feasibility and/or validity of their instructions. They also control the details of their employees' work. They also do not want their employees' input regarding their work process. According to them, that is their responsibility, not that of the employees.
Like the authoritarian parent, the authoritarian boss/employer is the most comfortable with employees who they deemed to be inferior to them in some way. They also are comfortable with employees who are of a more compliant and submissive nature. These employees, by virtue of their so-called inferiority and more submissive natures make the authoritarian boss/employer appear more powerful and in charge. The more weaker and/or compliant employee is seen as more manageable by this boss/employer.
The employee who is more independent and assertive will have quite a problem with the authoritarian boss/employer. This employee is seen by this boss/employer to be on a more equal paring hence more threatening and uncontrollable. Many independent and assertive employees of authoritarian bosses/employers eventually leave them because their working styles are totally incompatible with one another. Still other stronger natured employees are either transferred and/or terminated by the authoritarian boss/employer "because of personality differences."
Employees working under authoritarian bosses/employers feel as if they are anonymous in the work place. They furthermore feel as if they are nonentities as their opinions are not encouraged because in the eyes of the authoritarian boss/employer, the employee is nothing while the boss/employer is everything. Some of these employees just submit to their boss/employee, totally resigned to their fate.
Other employees rebel against the authoritarian boss/employer. They believe that as employees, they have intelligence and rights. They portend that the work place is a democracy, not a dictatorship and they are free to question the authoritarian boss/employee if they feel uncomfortable with the order. Authoritarian bosses/employees are some of the reasons why unions were invented.
People who are authoritarian are often insecure in that they are usually mired into a certain way of thinking, acting, and/or being. They believe that their methodology is the only correct and legitimate one and that other ways are suspect and/or invalid. Subconsciously, they are fearful of other divergent views of a belief that these different ways would pose a threat to them.
Many authoritarian people are bullies. They are quite uncomfortable in an equal relationship. The word equality is quite an anathema to the authoritarian person who wants to exercise total control and power. The way he/she can effectively do this is to be in a "relationship" with a person who he/she deemed to be more weaker, vulnerable, and inferior than he/she is. The motto of such a person is might equals right.
Authoritarian people are also immature. Immature people often believe that their way is the only way. They further would do anything to get their way like young children do. People who are mature respect and nurture the differences in others. Mature people know that there are many valid ways of doing things. They are also not threatened by people who think different and press a different opinion. Mature people are also comfortable with equality and strength.
In conclusion, authoritarian people want to seek ultimate control over people. They usually seek out more vulnerable people in order to freely exercise their power. They furthermore believe that such people are more manageable. The authoritarian people thrives in unequal relationships. They only feel happy when they are in control.
Inwardly, they are insecure and fearful. Insecure because they must use inordinate control over people to make themselves feel significant. Another reason for the insecurity is that they are loathe to form equal relationships with people and/or to value them as individuals in their own right, not as appendages to them.
Authoritarian people are insecure that they believe that there is only one valid way of doing things-their way. They are afraid to consider that there are many valid methodologies of doing things. Instead of being open to others' differences in opinions and ideology, they fearfully prefer to close their minds to anything they consider different than their perspective.
Authoritarian people are also bullies because they target those who they consider weak to mold to their will. They also feel threatened by stronger people who will not tolerate their abusive behavior. They also exhibit immature behaviors because they will do almost anything to get their own way instead of realizing that each person has their own opinion and beliefs which should always be cherished and respected. Authoritarian people are inwardly unsure of themselves which explains their need to control people. If they were truly comfortable in their own skins, they would realize that others are entitled to their ownership. In other words, they do not OWN anybody!
© 2012 Grace Marguerite Williams