Years ago, someone told me, “You can’t control people, places, or things.” It’s hard to give up control, especially when it has to do with the people we have in our lives. We automatically want to control what is happening around us.
Most people feel a need to control their world, which includes themselves, others, and things that are around them. Ask yourself whether you are trying to control “people, place or things outside of you?”
A persistent need to control:
- The need to control could be potentially rooted in a fear of uncertainty.
- Are you a perfectionist that holds yourself and others to high standards?
- When things don’t go how you want, do you have difficulty dealing with it?
- Traumatic events may have elevated your need to control your world.
- Maybe as a child, you didn’t have control, so you need to implement a strict focus on managing your world.
- Do you feel responsible for what happens to another person, or feel guilty you aren’t able to help them?
- Our need to control others can often interfere with our relationships and overall well-being.
How can you stop trying to control everything:
- Recognizing that none of us can change other people. No amount of nagging will make someone do what you want them to do. It’s up to them to decide if they want to change.
- Recognize that your preferences are what you create. Other people are following their preferences.
- You are not responsible for other people’s reactions or behaviors.
- Set boundaries – what is acceptable regarding behavior towards you. If you react to what other people are doing toward you, you can decide what is good and what is not.
- If a person lives with you and their behaviors annoy you, and you want them to change, you have a decision to make. One, to recognize you can’t make someone else change, and two, can you let go of what you think should be and potentially create an opportunity for you to feel better and have better relationships.
- If you have a hard time letting go of controlling others, consider reaching out for support. There is no one way to get support – therapy, a religious leader, or a friend. You decide how serious the issue is and find the appropriate support to help you release this need. When you let go of control around what is not your business, you will have more energy to do what is essential to you.
What are the basics of a responsible person:
- You are accountable for your actions and behaviors.
- You do your best to follow the laws of the land.
- Courage to stand up for what is not right
- Treat others with respect.
- Honor your commitments.
- You are mindful of your words – don’t gossip, or put down others and their thoughts, minimize advice, and communicate respectfully to others.
- Self–compassion – recognizing you are not perfect, you correct your mistakes as best as you can, and let go of self-criticism.
Do you have an issue with control and feel the need to reduce the tension that builds up within you because of this? Are others around you trying to control you?
Women’s Group Topic
Discussing what you can and can’t control is a powerful topic. We become aware of how others feel about control, expose ourselves to what others think is controlling behaviors, and help ourselves become more accountable for our behaviors.
“To fully enjoy the ‘richness’ of our lives, we need to stop long enough to visit with ourselves.”
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