Help for The Controller in You

In my counseling lessons at Southbrook Church, Randy Creamer has explained “the more influence you have in a relationship, the less you need to control. And the more control you use, the less influence you probably have.”

“People who are free do not need to control others.”

The more I studied controlling behavior,  the more it made me realize I have been guilty of the behavior myself.  It made me start listening to how I interact with my daughters. There were times I was using guilt as a way to get them to do something or even talk with me. It became obvious that the more I tried to control, the more I pushed them away. When I started to give them the freedom to choose and listened and asked questions instead there was less fighting. I started explaining WHY it was important to do something to get them on board in a positive way.  I worked to show unconditional love regardless of their choice. It is sometimes hard. Yet it is critical.

Randy shared how based on his counseling experience and studies if we control our kids, they will learn to accept being controlled as adults. They will not learn to make choices on their own and it can hurt their self-esteem. So instead of forcing decisions on them, teach them to stand up for themselves, learn self-defense, set boundaries and also model the behavior you want for them. Love them where they are and for who they are.

In addition, it is important to teach children to work to understand the person hurting them.  Getting them to understand “hurting people hurt people” has helped my daughters remember to be compassionate and to not take things personally. They will now remind me of it when I need to be reminded.

Based on Pastor and Professional Life Coach, Founder and President of Time to Heal, Inc., Randy Creamer, here several indicators that you might be a controlling person:

a. Not respecting the other’s “no.” A person will make several attempts to change the decision of the other and disregard their feelings.

b. Punishing a “wrong” choice. When a person chooses to do something the other doesn’t like, they will act out out or like a victim, or they will accuse the person of not being loving or caring.

c. Not valuing freedom. One person will be more interested in the other making the “right” decision, the. In their free, heartfelt choice.

d. Bad results. The person who is being controlled will be resentful, act out, or retaliate.

e. If your influence isn’t accepted, you begin feeling anxious and/or angry.

f. You think, “I am always right; I always have an answer.”

As you start to be more aware of areas where you can improve even if you aren’t extreme, know it isn’t too late to change.  I have not always made the best choices, however, I now have techniques I have been practicing that are making differences in my struggles of control. Brene Brown makes a great point in her book I Thought It Was Just Me, but it Isn’t. She says “When we have our self-worth rising on the relying on something that we can’t control, we put our self-worth in jeopardy.”

Find Freedom from Controlling Behaviors