“My significant other feels controlled in our relationship,” says my 20-something client.
“Well, are you trying to control him?” I ask.
“I don’t think so. I’m organized, but I don’t try to control people,” she says. “He has a lot of female friends who are always hanging all over him. I know they want him, and it makes me angry that he doesn’t turn them away. I’m his girlfriend. He shouldn’t need attention from other women.”
I ask, “How are you addressing it with him?”
“I tell him that it has to stop,” she responds.
“Have you offered any other solution to him?” I inquire.
“No. This behavior is unacceptable,” she snaps.
No one wants to feel controlled.
When you don’t give people options, you give the impression that you think your agenda is more important that theirs. Regardless of whether the behavior is appropriate or not, no one wants to feel like they have to behave in a certain way. When you give people options, you make them feel like they have control. By giving them space to make decisions, you don’t make them feel like they need to defend their independence.
“If you tell him how you feel and offer solutions, you empower him to make a decision that will make you feel more comfortable and valued,” I explain. “But nagging him guarantees that your needs won’t be met.”
When you push against resistance, you create more of it.
Pushing against something you don’t like doesn’t make it go away; it builds its momentum.
“It’s not just that. He travels all the time, and he doesn’t communicate. I’ve told him that he has to try harder or we won’t make it. He makes me feel insecure, like everything and everyone takes precedence over me,” she says.
Making everyone hold your hand will never give you security.
You can’t force people to give you enough love that you feel secure with yourself. It’s not their job. Your issues with control signal that you feel out of control of your own life. You feel unsafe, so you feel like you need to control others’ actions—but it never works. If your security is contingent on something outside of you, then you are never in control of it. It has to come from within. Otherwise, you’ll be blown over every time the wind blows.
Your need for control is actually a distrust in your own life.
You have to learn to trust the process. Everything is always working out for you—even when it doesn’t seem that way. You don’t need to push for a specific outcome, and you don’t need to control others to get what you want. You don’t have to make something happen; you just have to get out of the way and allow it to happen.
The less you demand, the more freely you will receive.
When your need to control is off the table, you will find that the world naturally falls in line with your needs and desires. There is no more resistance, there is no more push back, there are no more conflicts. When you stop trying to control everything, everything flows freely to you in its own time. You don’t need to control the natural flow of your life; you need to learn to receive it. But first you have to trust that it is actually there.
Letting go of the need to control the outcome is everything.
When you let go, you will get everything. But if you hold onto your expectation of the outcome, it will continue to elude you. Your path has already been mapped out for you; your job is to walk along it.
You may not always get what you want, but what you get will be even better.
When you cease trying to control everything, you open yourself to receiving things that are better than you could have imagined. Admit it: You don’t always know what’s right for you. By trying to control your life, you seek an ideal that may not be right for you. When you trust that you will be brought to where you need to be, you will always land in the best place for you—even though you never knew it existed. Life is funny that way.
Based in New York City, Donnalynn is the Author of “Life Lessons, Everything You Ever Wished You Had Learned in Kindergarten.” She is also a Certified Intuitive Life Coach, Inspirational Blogger (etherealwellness.wordpress.com), writer and speaker. Her work has been featured in Glamour, the iHeart Radio Network and Princeton Television. Her website is ethereal-wellness.com. You can follower her on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.