Is control the dominant force driving your romantic relationships, friendships or business partnerships? If so, fear is alive and well in your relationships.
People create defense mechanisms, which manifest themselves as control issues or tactics because they fear losing someone or something they value. Control is not at all about the person being controlled. It is, however, about the unresolved fears of the controlling person. Control equals fear of loss, fear of being hurt and fear of being exposed. So look deeper into your relationship to see if any of these three fears are at play.
Fear of Loss
Is your mate trying to control where you go, what you do, who you associate with, what you wear and even what you eat? If so, they are trying to create a protective environment that safeguards them from experiencing loss. By knowing where you are, what you’re doing and whom you’re doing it with, they provide themselves with an immediate sense of security to calm their fears.
If you find yourself in a relationship with a controller, you must realize the behavior the controller is exhibiting is not at all about you or a legitimate reason to exercise power over you. Understand the behavior is not a personal attack of your character nor is it an indicator you’ve done something wrong. The controller may just have a history that includes infidelity, betrayal or abandonment.
The controller is so keenly focused on preventing loss that it often results in anxious decision-making, which can negatively impact their mates. The person being controlled may see the controller’s words and actions as limiting and accusatory whereas the controller views their actions as protective and safe.
Fear of Being Hurt
When trust has been broken in any type of relationship, people either forgive and move forward or deeply bury their trust. For those who choose to bury it, they simply opt to leave a relationship or stay in the relationship while deciding to disconnect emotionally, mentally, spiritually and/or physically. When a controller has experienced a break in trust, they create defense mechanisms, which decrease the opportunity for trust to be broken again, thus protecting them against hurt.
For instance, if a controller’s previous mate, business partner, friend or family member has stolen money from them, they become very protective of their money. This could result in the controller’s refusal to open joint bank accounts with future mates, an unyielding insistence to control all of the money in a business partnership or a blanket refusal to lend money to any family member regardless of circumstance. This may feel very offensive to an unsuspecting mate, new business partner or a relative in need, but to the controller it feels safe. Again the if you’re the controller’s mate, you may not understand that your partner’s need to control is actually the result of unresolved trust issues.
Fear of Exposure
Controllers can feel unworthy and undeserving of love or praise.. A controller may feel inadequate in certain environments like work. As such, they try to control the people they work with, the assignments they are given and attempt to influence decisions that are out of their scope of authority. This form of control allows the controller to feel competent and powerful. It also deflects attention away from any insecurities or inabilities.
Controllers who fear exposure become masters at avoiding sex, dancing, being honest with themselves, etc. The cost of hiding their insecurities ultimately becomes very high for them and very taxing for those around them. They’d rather run the risk of alienating themselves rather than expose themselves.
In order for controllers to change their behavior, they must acknowledge their behavior. Once they become self-aware, they must be truthful with themselves. They must seek to understand where this behavior stems from, why they feel the behavior is necessary to survive, recognize how they have contributed to the circumstances that have caused these behaviors and acknowledge how their behavior impacts those around them. This work must be done for them to free and heal themselves of their unresolved issues. If this work is not done, the controller will sink deeper into their protective abyss while simultaneously alienating themselves from reality and those around them.
If you’re in a relationship with a controller, you must first realize the controllers actions are not a personal attack on you. Seek to understand the reason for the controller’s behavior and work to help support them in finding and dealing with their total truths. Both the controller and controlled must understand that this work is not easy and doesn’t happen overnight. For this work to be successful, it must be done is a respectful and non-judgmental space that is filled with patience, love, mercy and grace.
BMWK family, is control the driving force in your relationship. If it’s you or your mate, are you willing to deal with the fear behind the behavior?
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