The Domination Technique – a common form of power manipulation?

Have you left a meeting or a situation with an uneasy feeling in your stomach that you just can’t put your finger on? During a meeting have you ever felt invisible or put down? Then you’ve probably been dominated. The debate about it coined the term Domination Technique and has circulated for decades. This concept was designed to show how men subliminally oppress women or how managers abuse their power. More recently, the concept of Domination Technique released the gender perspective as it is something that we all, regardless of gender, age and location use against one other. Domination techniques are practiced in all situations, at work, during the job interview, in school, in private life, etc. It is therefore important to know what Domination Techniques are, when and how they occur in order to know how to tackle these situations.


Elaine Eksvärd writes in her book ”Härskarteknik – den fula vägen till makt” (Domination Techniques – the ugly way to power) about seven different techniques of domination which are:

  • Projection Method. You complain about something but you yourself are blamed for what you complain about. Anyone using this method often proves to be omniscient, suffering from a Messiah complex.
  • Compliment Method. A friendly domination technique that begins with a compliment. The purpose is to get you to do something beyond the expected, but an uneasiness remains despite the compliment.
  • Stereotype Model. You are punished or treated negatively when you do something beyond the expected.
  • Self-inflicted Domination Technique. You give an uncertain impression with your tone of voice and body language. You diminish yourself and what you say, “ruler” thus has the upper hand.
  • The Exclusion method. You are not seen when you ought to be seen, in a conversation or a debate. For example, your speech at a wedding is “forgotten”.
  • Hierarchy Method. Involves using superiority or disadvantage to silence someone. It can be the manager who oppresses their employees, but also the opposite.
  • Time method. Many use the time to silence others: “I’m older than you are,” or “I have been longer in this gang than you have been.”

Communication, communication and communication – comes in so many forms and how you use it to show the world who you are. We interpret the message in order, perspective – clothes – voice – body language – the message. Communication is not concerned solely about what you say.

Brief tips regarding Domination Techniques:

  • Try to focus on the exercise of domination technique, not the person making it.
  • Begin to regard yourself rather than waiting for when someone exerts domination technique against you.
  • “Get the mirror” and direct it towards the ruler – reflect the situation. Ask how the person was thinking instead of acting in attack or defense mode.

Keep suppression techniques in mind the next time you are exposed to the same situation.
Have you been dominated over or dominated another person? Do you have other tips on how we dominate others or how others who are often dominated over can think or react in these situations? Maybe Domination Techniques are just a part of daily life that we just need to learn how to control and master in order to create better dialogues and relationships? Give us your comments.

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