Activate Your Relationship Knowledge

turning knowledge into actionYou’ve heard it your whole life: Knowledge is power. This simple phrase is so deeply ingrained in us that we don’t question it. Why would we? It’s one of those things practically everyone accepts as fact.

There’s just one problem. It isn’t true.

Knowledge isn’t power. Knowledge is potential power. Or, to quote Dale Carnegie, “Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.” The difference is profound.

Consider this common example. You’re in the middle of a disagreement with your partner. It’s frustrating, tense and uncomfortable. You’re certain your perspective is right, and he’s certain his is.

The two of you push and pull, dragging the conflict out. But, at some point during the fight, you see clearly how silly it is. Like most arguments between couples, it wouldn’t even be that hard to stop. One of you just needs to validate the other’s point of view. You could do it, but you won’t get the satisfaction of feeling like you won.

At that moment, you have knowledge. You know how to stop the conflict. However, that knowledge isn’t power because you haven’t put it into action yet.

The only thing knowledge gives you is a choice. You can choose to make a small, sacrificial move and validate him. If you do that, you take control over the situation and bring an unpleasant conversation to a quick and productive end. Or, you can ignore what you know and dig in your heels. If you do that, you surrender the power you could have had.

The only difference is whether or not you act on what you know.

Don’t get me wrong. Knowledge is important. It’s a big deal to realize that validating the other person’s point of view can defuse an argument. But that knowledge is practically useless if you don’t act on it.

This dynamic plays out between couples all the time. It’s not something that just happens when we fight.

If you think about it for a moment, you know a lot about your guy. You know what he likes and what he doesn’t. You know what boosts his self-confidence and what deflates his ego. You know what he enjoys and what he considers a chore. You probably even know and understand some of his deeper needs better than he does.

The question is this: what are you doing with that knowledge?

When you put your relationship knowledge into action, you take control over your relationship’s destiny. You have the power to navigate the course your relationship will take, but only if you act on what you know.

turning knowledge into actionI encourage you to spend some time reflecting on what you already know. There are probably things you could do today that will strengthen your relationship and encourage its long-term health. What needs does your partner have that you haven’t met? What would it look like to act on that knowledge?

Knowledge by itself isn’t power. The only way to turn knowledge into power is to act on it. Seize power over your relationship today by putting what you know about your man’s needs into action.

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7 thoughts on “Activate Your Relationship Knowledge

  1. Kelly said:

    Brilliant James… just brilliant! Thank you for the friendly reminder and nudge to take action. My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for a year and 7 months now, and he enjoys getting a text from me out of the blue during his work day with a simple, ‘i love you’ or ‘hope your day is as blessed and beautiful as you are.’ He told me once that my simple, i love you text, lifted him up and brightened his day making him smile for hours thereafter on an extremely cloudy and rough day. I just pressed send on a text to him before I drafted this reply. Thanks again for sharing your wisdom! ; )

  2. Betty said:

    This was a very good article but after 15months I don’t know much about this man we hardly ever talk and don’t see each other very often . he told me recently he feels like at this time in his life he can’t handle a relationship. but wants to remain very very close friends for now and see what may happen down the road. what is upsetting is he keeps adding women to his facebook knowing it upsets me. and says he will call me but doesn’t .when on facebook doesn’t even message me. started to text me by my name and no xoxo at end . what can I do to make this better to build on a relationship.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Betty. Our relationship coaches could help you to clarify the situation, the problem, and potential solutions. You can go through the process of submitting your question by clicking here.

  3. Ludah Gaabinelwe said:

    Hellow James! It is true what you said, about, that knowledge is apotential power, which of course it becomes power only when it is implemented or used to act onto what occured. I have learnt that in most our relationships stays the same because we wouldn’tlike to act on what we know, one will be looking onto someone to act, and yet anger and fear keeps on controlling taking part into our lifes.. thank you James.

  4. Colleen said:

    Hello James, this knowledge certainly was a turning point for me whilst working through a break up. The knowing that all you have to do is change a word, change your tone, address the behaviour, not attack the person has had a profound effect in not only being able to get my ex to reconnect, but also in my working and social environments. This is the kind of insight that showed me what it meant to work on myself first, before even attempting to try and mend a broken relationship. It was a true AHA! moment… Thank you James for the great reminder 🙂

  5. SUNDARI said:

    How to make a man love you?

    • Catalina said:

      thank you for all your tips it really had help me a lot thanks!!!

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