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March 03, 2011

Are You Being Controlled?

When it comes to control, many people feel they have no say in whether others control them or not.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  The truth is that no one can be controlled without them allowing others to control him/her.  People can be controlling, they can try to force their choices on you and they can threaten, intimidate and even demand that you do what they ask.  They cannot, however, force you to do anything.

Take that in for a minute.

Do you believe that no one can control you unless you allow him/her to control you? What if they have a gun to your head? Would that gun make you do what they want you to do?  You may think the gunman would “make” you do something, however the reality is the gun only makes things harder for you, but it does not force you into doing what the person wants. One person may respond to a gun in their face by trying to fight to get the gun. Another person may respond by doing whatever the person said.  A third person may respond by talking the gunman down. These are three different responses to the same form of control.

I realize this is an extreme example and hopefully none of you will ever have to face this scenario.  I used this scenario though because it’s extreme.  If a gun can’t control you then your spouse, colleague, boss or friend certainly can’t control you either—unless you allow it.  They may make it difficult for you, however ultimately you’re the decider of your own fate and moment-to-moment actions.  If you’re parent is paying all your bills and demands that in turn you let them run your life—you have to decide if that’s okay for you.  If it is—take the money; if it’s not—stop allowing their money to hold you captive.

Once we are legal adults, there are very few situations in life where we truly have no choices.  Some of these choices may be difficult, some may be hard and some may seem like a lose-lose, however, we still have a choice.  Refuse to allow anyone in your life to control you.  Think through the situation, weigh your options and choose.  Do not allow fear to be the driver of your choice.

Challenge: Where in your life are you allowing people or circumstances to control you? Take an honest look at these areas and brainstorm all your options—then-- choose.




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Been controlled by a family member for years, and not truly realizing the extent until I was forced to. It has literally crippled me in many ways. I am more introverted than I am comfortable with. I don't know how to relax when there is nothing to stress me. I Am unhappy a lot because I feel useless; especially after being told this in many ways over and over.
Dear Determined: Don't allow others to determine who you are. When others are putting you down that's because they are off--not you. You may want to get some professional help to work your self esteem and assertiveness. You deserve to be treated well and to believe in yourself.
Take Care-

Most people are not willing to sacrafice their own lives in order to maintain control. Your crass example does not support your arguments, sound as they are. I know you may be expecting criticism for using it, but your argument would have been much stronger without it. I do agree that we can't allow people to control us in most day-to-day situations.

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