• Mary Ruth Velicki

3 Steps Out of Hierarchy

Updated: Oct 6



We often engage with each other with hierarchy and control; these dynamics are powerful and old. They are reflected in our personal relationships, societies, cultures, and religions. When we change our internal relationship with hierarchy, it can shift how we perceive and experience our lives, and contribute to the evolution of our society. If you are ready to examine your relationship with hierarchy, here are a few steps in this direction.

Step 1: See The Dynamics In Action

Here are some ways that the powerful players in the hierarchy dynamic will use to control others. Read through this list and consider, "How have I been controlled in this way?"

  • Not acknowledging the accomplishments, talents, or power of others

  • Requiring others to conform to rigid rules

  • Being punitive when others don’t follow the rules or they act independently

  • Not communicating directly with others

  • Not allowing others to speak or contribute

  • Assuming others are ignorant

  • Being threatened or jealous when others demonstrate their skills and talents

  • Saying or doing things that may make others fearful 

  • Using or hurting others for pleasure or gain

We can see the dynamics in action only when we appreciate our participation in both the victim and the perpetrator roles. So now, read through the list again and consider,

"How have I controlled others in this way?"

Step 2: Choose To Dismantle The Dynamics

  • When you recognize that you are controlling, take a different course. 

  • See these behaviors (in others and yourself) as primitive or fear-based ways of interacting.

  • Be patient with yourself and with each other- you are wrestling with very old patterns.

  • Treat people (yourself included) who are engaging in these behaviors with compassion. This does not mean accepting or ignoring these behaviors. 

  • Sometimes the most life-giving course of action is to act. Consider responding with actions motivated by love and justice for all instead of reacting in fearful or aggressive ways.


Step 3: Appreciate Personal Growth

You will know that hierarchy has less of a hold on your heart and mind when:

  • You notice the dynamics, and you are able to stop your controlling actions or fearful reactions.

  • You feel more peace, hope, love, compassion, and connection. 


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