I am a recovering control freak.
I realized that my effort to control individuals in my life was the opposite of love and respect because my love was conditional on their compliance—agreement with me. That was wrong. I placed these individuals in the position of having no freedom to disagree with me or state different thoughts, opinions, needs, or preferences. I was wrong. People do have the right to see things differently, to prefer something else, and to do things the way I wouldn’t. That’s what I’ve practiced the past decade.
How have you handled individuals who have verbalized their right to say no to you, or to disagree with you? With anger or with respect?
It’s important to accept and respect the opinions, thoughts, feelings, choices, and decisions of every individual rather than see it as a responsibility to convince the person they’re wrong, misinformed, or whatever. When we accept and respect others, we demonstrate healthy, adult behavior and self responsibility—we allow them to be who they are and we focus on who we are.
If we’re upset, mad, resentful, or hurt, when someone disagrees with us, then we’re not accepting and respecting the other person. Were saying that our acceptance of them is conditional on their compliance with our opinions. As you accept others as they are, you become less needy and dependent on them for happiness and well-being. You become more independent and self-responsible.
Wayne Dyer states: Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you.
We need to grant others the freedom to be themselves and be unlike us. People who accept and respect others don’t withhold their love or approval, don’t use guilt trips, and don’t try to manipulate the situation if someone sees things differently.
Your motive for saying or doing something needs to be one without conditions, strings, or expectations from the other person. This is exactly why knowing your motives and reasons for what you say and do is vital to healthy relationships! Ask yourself: What is my motive for saying or doing this? If it’s to get your way, change the person’s mind, prove that you’re right, gain approval, or criticize, it’s an unhealthy motive.
If you grew up fearing a loss of love if you disagreed with others or didn’t comply with their wishes, then today treating other people the same way is just the reenactment of your childhood atmosphere. You’re doing exactly what the adults in your childhood did, and remember how that impacted you! Take responsibility to correct any thinking that prompts you to control other people.
Think about it.
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