When other people control

When other people choose to control and make their problems about us, without stopping to question their actions, after a while we may begin to think it’s us. It must be something we’re doing for others to behave in that way.

Having lived my life in the shadow of others controlling and making decisions for me and making their problems mine, that is exactly how it goes. In time, if it’s not something we see, understand or reconcile, we can start to feel resentful. Unfortunately, it’s not a problem easy remedied or one that others will recognise in themselves.

In this situation, it’s important we take control and let go of allowing ourselves to be controlled, or blamed. Working the control thing is hard. Unless we’re constantly engaging in a conscious understanding of what is being presented to us, it’s not always easy to see that’s what it is, but in order to recognise the patterns, we must be and stay consciously aware.

In the early stages of control, we won’t always be aware that we are being controlled, or that we’re allowing it to happen, but when our thoughts are continually being micromanaged in what we say, what we think and how we act, then we know we’re being controlled.

As children, we allow others to control us when we don’t have the option to make our own choices. But control goes deeper than that. When someone chooses to control, they do so through their own insecurities, preventing us from making independent decisions. Insecure people will always try to exact a positive sense of self from other people, because they find it difficult to do it for themselves.

On our part, and I’m guilty of this too, we unconsciously allow ourselves to be manipulated into others indulging us in their controlling ways. We put up with control, either because it’s all we’ve known, we’re too scared to retaliate, or retaliation doesn’t work. Control is a psychological attachment, which is impossible to break.

In almost all cases, the death of a person is what breaks the cycle. What we need to understand is that their behaviour was never about us. When we can see that their issues aren’t about us but them, it becomes easier to distance the thoughts that go with how we feel. It then becomes easier to let go of the resentment.


3 Feb, 2017

4 thoughts on “When other people control

  1. Yes, if it’s something that other people have always done to us, it’s not surprising that we don’t realize it, until it’s too late.

    My Mother started doing this at a very early age, when I was too young to know any different. I think she mostly did it because she didn’t seem to know how to control her own life and she didn’t want me to be able to leave her, since I was the youngest.

    Once my other siblings were old enough to know better, they were able to break free, while I got the worst of it when they weren’t around any longer to protect me. People think I’m kidding when I say she should have worked for the CIA, considering how good she was at brainwashing.

    Now at my age I am finally tired of having others run my life and have to figure out how to do it on my own. I was just told that my Psychiatrist has labelled me with dependent personality disorder, which would have been nice to know a long time ago.

    I didn’t know that this was an actual term, but it gives me an issue to work on that I didn’t know about before. This is probably the biggest reason I have stayed with my girlfriend for so long, because she treats me pretty much the same way my mother used to.

    In a lot of ways, it’s what I’m used to, but it doesn’t mean that I have to keep tolerating it like I have always done. I no longer need to take one for the team, which I have always felt like, for some insane reason. It is finally okay for me to work on living my own life and I am actually worthy.

    1. Thanks Randy. Yes, you’ve summed up your response beautifully in your second paragraph and I believe you’re right.

      Unfortunately, your mother didn’t know how to work or function normally in her own life; wasn’t capable of functioning in the way a parent should, so she controlled you in yours. But it’s more than okay for you to work on living your own life.

      You’re not only worthy, but you’re more than worthy Randy, so please don’t let others convince or tell you otherwise.

  2. I realize now that I was not only controlled but confused by the passive aggressive nature of it. I wasn’t sure who the enemy was, her or my weakness.

    I just wanted love, but in return I was controlled by someone afraid to be loved.

    1. Thanks Tim. Yes, I get that. In describing your life you have described my life too. As I see it the enemy certainly wasn’t your weakness Tim, but it’s easy to see why you would think that.

      As a children we’re not emotionally or strong enough to see or understand what’s being presented, but that doesn’t make us weak. We’re children, it’s not our job to. That job falls on our parents and sometimes they let us down.

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