5 step guide to being less controlling



When someone is very controlling they are usually trying to make themselves feel safe in their environment. Somehow they have learnt that the way to do this is to be in charge of as much of life as they can. It’s like they are the director of a play, but also want the lead role and to be in charge of costumes and scenery too – only then can they be sure it will be a success.

If you are overly controlling it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person – you’re more likely to be scared about the outcome of a situation if you don’t control it.

While it may be beneficial to be super organised and efficient in some aspects of life, especially matters of the heart, being controlling is likely to get you the opposite of what you desire. Most controlling people have been that way their whole life so they have no idea how to do things differently.

Here are 5 simple steps to help you break the pattern.

1.      See the illusion

How much of your life have you actually been successful in controlling? Most times you will find that things just happen and we have very little control over them, only our own behaviours. Relationships end despite our best efforts; people die; the weather changes and accidents happen. While people respond and react in different ways to life no-one really has control no matter how much they fight for it.

2.      Make your faith bigger than your fear

The need to control people, places and things is usually sponsored by a deep fear that if we let go of the reigns of control everything will fall apart. Practice letting go and see what happens. Start in small ways. What happens if you don’t decide where you go on your next date? How does it feel if you respond to matches even if they don’t seem ideal and you go along just out of curiosity with no expectation? Living in this way requires only one thing – a change of mind. You begin to believe that you will be ok no matter what happens; that you are safe already; that you are being looked after and life is unfolding exactly as it is meant to. It will be hard at first after a life time of fear and control but with practice it will become second nature.

3.      Stop trying to see the future

A large part of controlling behaviour is the belief that you know what is going to happen and constant efforts to steer life in the direction that you want it to go. Imagine how it would be to start to see life, and love, as an adventure. One in which you could engage fully or hide from out of fear. No-one can see the future, try to let go of the belief that you can and you will start to be happier in the present moment which makes for much better dates.

4.      Change your perception

While we may have little or no control over life events such as a loved one dying or natural disasters, we do have some control over how we respond and react in these situations.  Unhappiness is usually caused by the belief that something that should have happened didn’t or that something that did happen shouldn’t have. Accepting that everything that happens is neutral, not good or bad, and making a commitment to adjust yourself to life as it is, rather than as you would have it, will inevitably make you a much happier person and more attractive to others.

5.      Put in the footwork

When you stop trying to control life it doesn’t mean that you stop caring or stop wanting to fulfil your dreams and ambitions. If you want a job you need to write a CV; fill in application forms and go to interviews rather than lie on the sofa thinking the job will find you. The key is to put in the action but let go of the outcome. You do everything you can but have confidence in the fact that if you don’t get the job it may not be the right job for you. If you apply the same attitude is to dating it much more enjoyable experience where your heart leads more than your head.

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