Many of us live with control issues that aren’t serving our highest good. When we are too controlling, that sets us up for anger, frustration, and reactionary behavior. Why? Because control, like perfection, is not possible to achieve. If we are too controlling, we end up experiencing negative reactions, stress, or opposition when things are not in our control. It is our responsibility to take this on, even if our controlling behaviors stem from childhood and how we were raised. Doing so means addressing the root cause that is driving our need to feel in control. (The solution is not to try to control a situation or another person.) When we learn to give up control, we can stop all the anger, upset, and unhappiness that go along with it.
Being controlling in any way crosses personal boundaries. We need to replace our controlling behaviors with behaviors that maintain self-control and boundaries. As mentioned in this series many times, this kind of change requires awareness. Quite simply, exerting our control over a spouse, child, friend—anyone—is something we can no longer do. After all, do you like anyone having control over you? Of course not
When we assert control over another person, we are not respecting them or their boundaries, and it robs them of their individuality and sense of self. Control only works against you because it leaves you in a position of being aggressive, fighting, manipulating, and creating stress you don’t need. You don’t need this stress, just like you don’t need control issues
Do you see how controlling behaviors perpetuate problems, not solutions? When we cross boundaries, we create problems. So, if you take on your control issues, you can keep the peace by not fighting over control that is not yours to seek in the first place. It helps if you learn how to set and maintain effective boundaries in your relationships. This works by forcing yourself to operate with self-control and with respect to both your boundaries and others’. Trust me, YOU will be happier.
Being free of control issues gives you a whole new kind of liberation. And it definitely affects your happiness and quality of life. Our control issues are ingrained behaviors, and it takes unlearning them, uninstalling them,
That’s just it, you have to learn to give up control. You need to acquire new rationalizations, adopt new thought processes, and relearn empathy and respect. We all have an internal compass, and we need to learn to listen to our own—not try to drive people into doing things our way because of our control issues. Do you see the wrong in this? When people can objectively observe their own actions, controlling behaviors, or manipulative tendencies—especially with their loved ones—my hope is that they see how those behaviors do not serve them or those around them.
We know intellectually that controlling behavior does not make situations better. And with controlling behavior, people don’t have the freedom to be themselves. It is more important that we accept people around us and allow them the space to be authentically themselves than it is to perpetuate unhealthy behaviors, flaws, or negative ways of being that keep us from being authentically ourselves.
It is hard to make a positive change to ourselves when we don’t recognize and identify how our own ways of being are getting in our own way. One helpful action is to lower our own defenses. This is needed for our own growth and development. The best thing we can do is be honest with ourselves. This provides us with empathy and clarity to see what we need to unlearn for our own happiness.
If we were to make a list of everything we need to unlearn in order to be happy, being controlling would definitely be on that list! You won’t miss your controlling ways, and you will be much happier maintaining self-control. You will discover the benefits of not being in control, which you don’t have access to when you are driven by your control issues. Don’t be afraid to tackle your control issues. Be afraid to live your one life with them driving upset and unhappiness.