Authority - How do you react to it?

@wayz12 (2059)
United States
May 23, 2008 9:07am CST
Last night, I watched "One Flew Over's the Cuckoo's Nest," an old Jack Nicholson film. It's a story of how his character challenged the authority of Nurse Ratchet in the mental institution that she runs with an almost iron hand. It's a beautiful film and I higly recommend it. The movie inspired me to take a look at how I handle authority figures. I'm never openly defiant, having grown up in a strict household. However, I'm a silent rebel. I might say yes, but when the authority figure is away, I'll do what I want. How about you? What is your style when it comes to authority? Are you openly rebellious, questioning everything? Are you meek and mild, obedient to a fault? Or are you like me, docile in the outside, but up to mischief once the cat is away? Please share!
3 people like this
7 responses
@whiteheron (4223)
• United States
24 May 08
In my personal life, I tend to see the authority figures as people with their own needs and wants and try to help them meet their needs and wants so that they in turn will help me meet my needs and wants. I like having a good and nurturing relationship with my supervisors and try to caretake them a little bit. It do not like a boss who is picky or harsh or overly distant. I tend to do what I am told to do if what I am told to do works well. If I try it and it does not work well, I will stop doing it. I will not just blindly follow orders just to follow orders. I would like to understand more about what is causing those orders to be made. I have a tendency to like to communicate with my bosses and to give feedback not just for my sake but also for the sake of other staff members. I have in the past gotten into trouble for not questioning authority figures who told me to do something that was incorrect and then denied any responsibility when there were problems and instead told me that they had never told me to do it the way they had told me to do it and that the fault was all mine. I hate it when this happens. I like it when supervisors know what they want you to do, know that it will work and can facilitate the process of you learning something. This is the ideal... If a person is a dictator, prone to making rules that are strictly to punish people or in violation of rights and liberties that are guaranteed to people under the law, I would oppose that dictator directly. I would try to prevent him from harming others and would consider it my responsibility to do so. I would feel no regrets about going to his bosses and telling them what he is doing if I have confronted him first and have gotten no satisfaction.
1 person likes this
@wayz12 (2059)
• United States
24 May 08
Excellent response, white heron! I see your point. Just like you, I tend to be obedient when it comes to authority, especially if it seems right. You must felt totally betrayed with that incident that you shared. Thanks for sharing!
@jrsmith (293)
• United States
24 May 08
Don't matter if the authority figure and myself are best of friends I get really nervous around them. I always have. Away from work I am fine though.
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@wayz12 (2059)
• United States
24 May 08
Hmm...actually, I do have the same feeling. I just can't get comfortable with somebody who I knew has power over me. Thanks for sharing!
24 May 08
It must be about 20 years since I saw "One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest", but I remember enjoying it. I have a strong tendency to speak plainly, consequently it's not unusual for me to be in conflict with authority, especially at work. Large companies tend to be the worst, they don't like it if you criticise the training or health and safety standards - they'd rather get rid of the guy who points out the problems than actually fix the problems. This is one reason why I don't tend to stay working in one place for very long. Not that I'm automatically anti-authority, if a boss is being fair and reasonable then we'll get on just fine.
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@wayz12 (2059)
• United States
24 May 08
I know what you mean. Most companies are pretty much run like a government. They disapprove of anybody who questions their policies. Thanks for sharing!
1 person likes this
• Philippines
24 May 08
I guess it would depend on what kind of authority I would confront. If an authority uses his power lawfully and without prejudice, I will follow him/her even to my disadvantage. But if the authority clearly abuses his power then I would ask myself if I can confront him/her face to face wherein both our side would be given equal chance to due process, if that's the case I would confront it head on and openly so to speak. But and a big But, if the situation would favor the authority only which means it's bias, I would not confront it openly rather wait for the right opportunity to present my case. On a simple note, I would deal with an authority as wisely and as careful as I can.
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@wayz12 (2059)
• United States
24 May 08
I agree...prudence and care is important when it comes to dealing with something or someone that has power over us. Thanks for sharing!
1 person likes this
• United States
24 May 08
I loved both the book and the movie. Jack Nicholson was wonderful in it. It always makes me cry, though. Authority? What authority? lol I am not, in general, in any sort of awe when it comes to authority. I don't think anyone would ever accuse me of being meek and mild! lol I pretty much question everything. I always have. It got me lots of spankings when I was little; and I am sure I have given lots of people migraines since I have been grown. But heck, I'm 53 and I don't regret a lot, so I must have done ok. Like my icon says, I may not be perfect, but I'm always me.
1 person likes this
@wayz12 (2059)
• United States
24 May 08
Yeah..I find the movie poignant, too. It is good to question and think independently. Good for you..*smiles* Thanks for sharing!
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@teka44 (3425)
• Brazil
23 May 08
Hi wayz,how are you? I watched this movie too wonderful work from Jack Nicholson. I'm a rebel and have been all my life. If the authority is fair, nothing to say, but most of the time it isn't and I usualy question what I think that isn't fair and don't do. To be true I usualy do what I want to do since I never do what I think that is wrong or unfair so don't need none come to say me what I must need to do. cheers
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@wayz12 (2059)
• United States
23 May 08
I'm fine, Teka. And it's good to think for ourselves and not just blindly follow orders. Thanks for sharing!
1 person likes this
@jer31558 (3684)
• United States
24 May 08
hummmm, good question. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was one of the first Jack Nicholson films I ever saw. It was a very good movie. I tend to question some things from authority figures, but not all and it is according to what position the authority figure holds. For instance a police officer, I would question very little as it usually only gets you into more trouble. My supervisor at work though I may ask why because I genuinely want to gain an understanding as to the reasoning for something.
@wayz12 (2059)
• United States
24 May 08
I think its the first movie to really get him noticed. Yeah, I would not put up a fuss with authority until I really feel that they are doing something not right. Thanks for sharing!
1 person likes this