I believe one of the fundamental roots of problems in many relationships is when the more powerful (more options/leverage) person assumes disagreement, frustration, or separate vision is a challenge to a persons power. I constantly see these parents/managers act like they have to hold this thin line over their powerless children/employees or else their kids/employees will start lose any respect and try to assert their domination. The results of this mentality makes it so people feel like their parent/manager is someone who arbitrarily chooses to assert a domineering attitude in various sensitive situations. The result of this is a person feeling unsupported in the most sensitive times and like their parent/boss is more concerned with domination rather than relationship.
The root of this often rests in insecurity and in feeling like the ‘authority’ you have is razor thin and can be taken away any moment. Now, every time a kid/employee gets strong emotions, you refocus the situation onto your insecurities.
There is no magic bullet in escaping this mentality. Many people’s fear is somewhat valid. When you have little experience in maintaining cooperative and self-respecting relationships, everything will feel like a power struggle. When you have this mentality and you give up power, you will often become a permissive doormat.