Anyway I think you drive home a great point in the little story about your dad. It really got me thinking. Perhaps there is some fallacy among the, let's just say "people in charge", that their, "underlings", "minions" , whatever we shall call them, desire their approval. Sure this may actually be true to a degree, maybe depending on the personalities involved and the situation. However, I think it simply just works out best for said person in charge, because it allows for easiest manipulation (conscious or not) and obedience. I would say that in most cases, those "not in charge" simply only wish to please enough to not stir the pot. They really just don't want to be on anyone's shit list. The authority taking a liking to them is more of a bonus than a feel-good thing.
Okay so family is a bit different. We want to get along with our family. But I think one idea remains the same: Authority positions itself as higher than the ones it governs over. Therefore, authority is not our peer. We can never be friends. So naturally, we should we care if they like us? As long as we're not directly in trouble, right?
I do see this as a thing we are societally (well except maybe in gov) moving away from, the idea of authority as this big bad unapproachable wolf in charge. A benefit to this is that a lessened hierarchy makes us more willing to participate and make changes.
I just saw this on instagram, is it not the truth?
There must be something in the psyche that makes us want to resist. At least for us self-pres types anyway. But yes I agree that we need balance. Especially with kids, some parents are too laissez-faire and they end up not teaching them anything. And there are good laws and rules out there, I'm not a total anarchist or anything.
Yes, respect and willingness to not be domineering, that would make good criteria for authority figures. I think sadly that such positions often attract the wrong types. When in reality, it should be a service job. Deciphering other people's needs and putting them before your own. This is where we cross the territory into what makes a "leader".
We seem to also be reaching a day-in-age where people are becoming more able to make their own decisions. With the internet, we have the prowess to become more informed than ever. From medical options to fashion styles, we don't need to go to certain figures the way we used to. This change is affecting not just people, but entire industries, such as magazines and even television. Choice is becoming increasingly feasible.
The real question goes to those in positions of authority. Shall they respond to this increased demand for autonomy, or risk relinquishing what power they have left?