Did you know that your partner can control your brain? Believe it or not, mind control in relationships is very common. Our brains can change when someone puts their thoughts into them.
When we blindly trust someone, it becomes easier for the controlling partner to put their needs, demands, and opinions into our minds and control us in such a way that we only focus on fulfilling those demands.
A new study sheds light on how other people affect our minds. Search On mice, whose brains are remarkably similar to humans, it reveals that our brains are influenced by those around us. The main factor is dominance.
The brain of the subordinate mouse is synchronized with that of the dominant mouse. This probably applies to our relationships. Usually, people with stronger personality make decisions and meet their needs more often than their partners do.
Other factors play a role. The more mice interact with each other, the more synchronized their brain activity. Hence, the longevity and intensity of the relationship influence the degree of influence of those close to us.
Another development in brain synchrony leads to two types of brain cells. The first group focuses on our behavior, and the second group focuses on other people.
How we think and where we place our attention. At Carnegie Mellon University, neuroscientists track our thoughts in fMRI brain scans to see which areas and neurons light up. Autonomic and other neurons light up to varying degrees between certain populations. (60 min Episode 52, “How MRI Scans Show Scientists the Physical Structure of Our Thoughts,” November 24, 2019)
Dominance vs. Balance in Relationships
Ideally, friendships and intimate relationships are in balance so that both friends and partners have an equal say in the decision-making. In general, each of the individuals gets their needs.
Each of them is able to assert himself and negotiate on his own behalf. There is give and take and compromise. This is an interdependent relationship. It requires independence, self-respect, mutual respect and assertive communication skills.
Contrasting dependency relationships are unbalanced, and this is often true in abusive relationships. One individual leads and the other follows; One dominates and the other absorbs.
Some relationships are characterized by constant struggle and power struggle. Conquer shame and switchy describes the traits and motivations of ‘main’ and ‘compliant’ characters.
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The master is aggressive and motivated to maintain power and control, while the adaptive is passive and motivated to maintain love and connection. Most of us have aspects of both types in our personality, although some people often fall into one category. For example, many dependent people are cooperators, and most narcissists prefer to be masters.
Mind control in relationships: How our partner controls our brain
Brain synchronization enables the dominant animal to lead the animals, subject them to read their signals, and follow them. What does this mean for our relationships? The new research indicates that in unequal relationships, The brain of the dominant partner will attract the brain of the subordinate partner, with which his brain will synchronize.
This pattern becomes more entrenched the longer the couple interacts. Some individuals, including dependents, are assertive and seem to act independently before or outside of a relationship. But once she is attached to the master, she is increasingly accommodating to the dominant partner.
There are many variables at work, but presumably it is brain synchronization that makes it difficult for a subordinate person in the relationship to think and act independently and challenge an imbalance of power.