We already know that domestic violence, Intimate Partner Violence, domestic abuse, RAPE, Sexual Assault, Domestic Abuse, and Bullying are all based on power and control.

It comes down to one person’s want to have power over someone. This power disease is quite destructive and can be seen in all sorts of nonviolent people, but most are extremely violent in order to get what they want.

Control however is a whole other animal.

Control starts out very simple….as a child (doesn’t it always start here).

As a child you are always being told what to do, how to do, and when to do what you’re told. If you don’t do what you’re told you’re made to do what you’re told. This is a parent, who most of the time knows what is best for you, trying to teach and help you along your way the best way they know how….by controlling what you do.

The child longs for a time they have something they can control. Enter toys, stuffed animals, and little siblings. Now there is someone they can tell what to do.They assert this control and parents see it as being independent. But when does being independent turn into bending others will to yours.

Because that is essentially what controlling behavior is: Bending someone else will in order for it to be yours.

Now…if you see adults use this same controlling behavior on other adults as they use on you, then it means this is a normal way of being.

CAUTION….This is true for many many people in our world….and they don’t know it!

Then boys are taught by men that they have to be “in control of everything.” They are told that they are the |”man of the house” and have to “protect and keep everything in control” (This is a big job for the 5 and 6 year olds that are told this…don’t you think. It’s a big job even for the 15- and 17 year olds.

Suddenly, the people who have been told of this controlling ability and has seen this as the way to be…not as a way of being taught because you’re smaller and don’t know…they see this as a normal action. Look around…it’s all over.

Then you start telling your partner that they “have to” do something. Why?  Because they told you to and they know better.

This idea of “I know better” spins more and more out of control, the more these people see this thought reinforced and the more people agree that the controlling person is right and in control the more the person believes that they are right and everyone should be listening to them. Soon they become the leaders of things because they tell everyone what to do and how to do it.

Once this happens…feelings towards other people’s feelings go out the window. These people now believe they DO know what’s right for EVERYONE, and anyone who doesn’t listen and goes along with their ideas and thoughts are stupid, dumb, below them,etc.  Once you are placed in this status by a controlling person…there is only abuse.

Here are a few websites to take this further to see what controlling abuse is:

How to recognize a controlling person

Controlling behaviors

But what about people who are not abusers and see that they are controlling people…what do you do to CHANGE!!!

#1.  Congratulate yourself that you realize you are controlling. As you can tell from the dialogue above…it’s hard to do.

#2 Begin asking people what they want, instead of telling them. Would you like to go to dinner now…instead of….Come on, let’s go to dinner.  In this way, you are making sure that the person is ready and wants to go at this moment. You’re taking the time to see what someone else wants instead of just you.

#3. Realize – You aren’t always right. This is very very hard to do for many of us, especially the males in the audience who have been told they are right every minute of their lives, or who have always been told women are always wrong. Even if your idea is right and sounds right to you, there is a possibility you are seeing it through your old “controlling” lens. Also, it might not be right for everyone. (This is a very big lesson.)

#4. You have to start listening to others There are other people around. They have thoughts, opinions, and ideas just like you. They might think they’re right and they might have their own time schedule…you have to take everyone into consideration…not just you and what you want to do.

When we start working together its amazing what happens and how great things work. It’s also nice to not be angry that things aren’t going your way. Instead…just let it roll.

Soon…that controlling behavior turns into a “let it ride”  “go with the flow” attitude. People like you more and you will like yourself more.