Control and its impact

When a person directly controls your reality without giving you an opportunity to say how you want things to be, that person is controlling.

If you’re unfortunate to have been brought up with a parent who initiates controlling behaviour that parent will probably continue to control your life long after you’ve left home, even when you have your own family. As hard as it is to navigate any relationship, a relationship is even harder to navigate when that person uses control to get what he wants.

From my own experience of family members who constantly used control, it impacts not only the person who is being controlled, but everyone else too; even if we don’t think it is having an impact. The use of control will also impact others too, as we all learn to deal with that person’s controlling behaviour.

Of course, opinions about that person will differ when it comes to other family members’ opinions. Some family members may not be aware they are being controlled, whilst others may be aware but won’t know how to deal with the control. Different perceptions of the same situation will always put a different slant on our opinions, even when we’re dealing with the same things.

If it’s a parent whom we have the problem with, then moving house or getting married won’t help if that parent is still in our lives. Having children won’t ease the problem either; in some respects, having children makes it worse as we try to lead a more normal life, without wanting to subject our children to the control. It’s almost impossible.

One thing we mustn’t do is apportion blame for our circumstances and as hard as it is, we must learn to put emotional distance between us and the other person.


11 Jul, 2013

6 thoughts on “Control and its impact

  1. Luckily I don’t think my parents or anyone else has tried to control me. I’m my own person and everyone knows I do what I want. I do think my mother has control over my daughter though and unfortunately it will continue until my mom is gone.

    I hate it for my daughter because she doesn’t see it and depends on her ‘nanny’ for almost anything, even though she has moved away to try and live her life.

    My son is almost 6 and he has control issues which we are working on stopping. He wants everyone to do what he wants NOW and has melt downs sometimes if he can’t control the issues.

    1. Thanks Lisa. It must be hard for you to watch your daughter. From my own experience when someone chooses to control, they will usually control others too.

      I’m just wondering Lisa, whether your rebellious days as a teenager had a lot to do with your mother if your daughter has had a problem with her. I know in my own case it’s not something we can easily get away from if someone is controlling.

      I hope things with your son ease up. It cannot be easy dealing with those kind of issues. Perhaps through maturity and your own disciplines of him, things will get a little easier in time. I’m here for you.

  2. This post certainly resonates with me.

    I went from very little parental control when growing up to independence at university and after but then a tremendous amount of negative control and interference over a prolonged period of time from extended family members.

    I have certainly learned some lessons as a result, the two key ones being never to inflict that on others and also never to take it from others too.

    It has been a bitter lesson but I’m trying to make it a positive one.

    1. You’ve hit the nail on the head! Very astute. All we can do in those circumstances is learn how to do things better. I have nothing more to add. Thank you.

  3. My parents were from opposite ends of the spectrum with my mom being very controlling and my father being very passive. It made for a very difficult childhood considering I never really knew what to expect from day to day.

    It is a very long story but boils down to always having had other people in control of my life and hating every second of it. I’ve made far too many decisions based on other people’s opinions with always a very negative result.

    Right now I really have to work on learning how to have control of my own life and feeling comfortable with it. My Mother went very far to break my spirit when I wouldn’t do what she wanted me to and did a very good job of it.

    Parts of my personality surfaced that I really didn’t like, but trying to totally disassociate from them very nearly caused me to become a sociopath! My feelings are pretty raw at times but it’s nice to be able to control how I deal with them and how to properly express them!

    1. I also made many decisions based on other people’s opinions which had a negative effect on where I was going with my life, so I know exactly how you feel.

      As hard as it is to break the behaviour that comes with other people controlling us and us making decisions based on their thought process, it’s still something we must turn around.

      I managed to change things in my thirties when I realised where I was with my life. As the saying goes, we must ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’ If we don’t, we’ll stay stuck until we change it.

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