First, I feel an introduction to the title 'Workshop' is due. Whenever I post a thread with the title 'workshop' in it, it's part of a initiative I am attempting with the forums. There are specific guidelines to a workshop thread that I am going to list here, and I am going to quote on every workshop thread that I create so that it is clear what my intentions are and how to proceed with the thread.
The purpose of a workshop thread is to focus on self improvement and solutions to problems. These threads often focus on positivity and attempt to diffuse the traps of negative thinking and pessimism. All responses are expected to have solution-focused answers and to be well thought out. These threads are considered serious and it is asked that you keep off topic and silliness to a minimum. Workshop threads strive to tackle members' everyday problems and find meaningful, effective tactics to solve them.
Today's topic is a Learning not to control others.
I'm going to share my portion and opinion now to open the thread up to sharing.
The thing which I think is important to note about this topic is the fact that controlling others is a very common part of everyday life. There are specific keywords that I think controlling others really shows when you say them, and these typically emerge in the midst of an argument.
You should have!
Wellyou could have, but you didn't!
I wouldn't have done it in your position!
I believe that trying to control others starts with expectations. A great saying I heard about this was this "Expectations are premeditated resentments.
When you expect someone else is going to do something you often times feel like you are left with the short end of the stick when they do not do so. The key to this is not to completely devoid yourself from having expectations- this is impossible. Human beings' minds use the scientific method to work through most problems. Since we fear the future we take what we know and apply it form a hypothesis and form a hypothetical future outcome, to relieve us of the fear of not knowing what is going to happen. These are predictions, and can also lead to expectations.
In a lot of relationship, we will be tempted to have unfair expectations of individuals based on past behaviors. Thinking that someone will behave in one way because of the past is alright, but rehashing old problems in a new conflict is not okay. I think that's where expectations become unhealthy.
The main point of not trying to control others is to act not react. You have to realize you have no power over anyone but yourself. This other individual has the choice to do what they want, and whether or not it is the right choice is not up for you to determine. A lot of the time, our egos as humans get in the way of communicating with others. When we see someone who is not doing what we are doing, perhaps the opposite, we often feel lifted on a pedestal when dealing with these people. We know that because of our beliefs we are doing the right thing, and while we may not get angry a lot of the times we feel we are doing the right thing by trying to help the other person.
We will offer advice that the other does not want to take, tell them to do things or offer messages such as "I was in your situation once and I know what it's like. You just have to do....". This is a prime example of trying to control someone. The hard part, I think, is determining when you are simply giving advice to someone who wants it or to someone who doesn't. The hardest decision is deciding whether you should even give advice to people who are seeking it.
Ultimately, people have to learn their own lessons. We cannot take them out of their rubble for them. Offering a solution or going out of our way to help a person a lot of time is enabling them.
I often get frustrated when I am trying to help someone change, such as trying to get a close friend off of illegal substances when it is obvious he is an addict, when the individual does not want to. They are happy with their lifestyle. I have learned recently that I will attempt to offer advice if asked for it, and if I know they are going to do something life damaging I will give them the resources to call or go to if they decide to change their mind, but I learn how to step back from the situation.
I learn, that I cannot control if they take my help or not. I learn that, no matter how many times I call or try to inform this person they need help, if they don't want to do it, they won't.
Learning not to control others is a difficult task, but it can be accomplished. I'd love to hear others contribute to this discussion--try not to be intimidated.