boundaries, choices, communication, delegation, abuse, negative mind chatter, stress, love, courage

FORMS OF CONTROL

 Control is the misuse of power, the process of taking away your right to choose your actions, your words or your attitude about yourself. Abuse comes in many forms. If you feel you are being abused and controlled, look at what it is in reality so you will know you are not going crazy.   

WHO CONTROLS YOU? 

Any person you give power to or make an authority over you can use that power against you. It becomes abusive when they diminish you in any way. Frequently, they don’t take responsibility for their abuse. 


HOW THEY CONTROL YOU

Directly, out of fear.  Fear of physical or emotional harm by threatening or actually harming you.

  • Intimidation     
    - Example: “Do it or else.” “You’ll never see me again.”
  • Anger perceived or overt    
    - Example: throwing things.
  • Demanding     
    - Example: “I don’t want to talk about it. Don’t bring it up again.”
  • Physical force     
    – bullying: physically attacking you or harming you in any way.
  • Deprivation      
    – denying you money, a car, self respect, etc. 
  • Fear of rejection or embarrassment
    – Ridicule and Sarcasm
  • Making you look foolish, small, inadequate or insignificant in your own eyes and in the eyes of others without being held responsible. This makes you become smaller than you were, thus you are more manageable and controllable.    
    - Example of ridicule: “You’re doing WHAT?”    
    - Example of sarcasm: “Don't you ever shut up?”

Indirectly by Manipulation

  • Guilt: “think about others”, “we’re depending on you”, shoulds 
  • Suggesting bad results of not taking their advice

Passive aggression - make you pay for not being controlled but not held responsible for their actions. 

  • Disrupting
  • Interrupting 
  • Forgetting
  • Implying but not clearly stating something
  • Denying what you know to be true, undermining your sanity.  - Example: “I never said that.” “You told me …”
  • Refusing to enter into a two-way conversation and mutually agreed on resolution.

WHY THEY CONTROL YOU?

They frequently believe that they are very nice people, but they are small people, insecure and afraid. They don’t believe that they have any personal power or security within themselves so they feel they must take power from you to survive. Controllers live in a win/lose reality. They will win at all cost, even at your expense. They believe that being controlled (losing) places them in an inferior position. They think your reality is the same as theirs.


You are living in a win/win reality. You want an equal relationship and don’t expect anyone to lose. You expect cooperation and an open mind. You expect them to accept you.


"People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character."  - Ralph Waldo Emerson

WHY YOU ARE VULNERABLE TO BEING CONTROLLED?

  • You were taught to be polite
  • You believe the controller over your own instincts
  • You don’t realize that the controller lives in an alternate reality
  • You take complete responsibility for the happiness of others
  • You believe that the controlling behavior is normal
  • You have low self worth

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT IT?
Recognize when you are being controlled. You feel: 

  • on guard
  • Afraid of harm
  • Afraid to be spontaneous
  • Not accepted for who you are
  • Confused
  • Judged and found lacking
  • Inadequate
  • Uncertain of yourself
  • A need to explain yourself further
  • Responsible for working things out
  • More willing to believe the controller than your own instincts
  • You are getting mixed messages
  • Crazy

When you feel uncomfortable about a statement or action, consider that something is wrong. Either your perception is wrong or they have overstepped your boundaries. Share your feelings with them. If your feelings are ignored or invalidated or you are afraid to share your feelings, you are being controlled.


Stop reacting. Another person cannot control you if you do not let them.


Self-trust is the first secret of success. So believe in and trust yourself.Decide that you are your final authority for your thoughts, words, or actions. Don’t give the other person authority to validate your worth. You can accept their actions, argue, or recognize that the action is based in their reality. Trying to convince them that they are wrong is ignoring their reality. Choose how you will act and what you will say and do based on what is best for you. 

  • Stop feeling that you are solely responsible for making the relationship work.
  • Stop being vulnerable and afraid. Work on your insecurities and hot buttons.
  • Don’t accept toxic, destructive behavior.
  • Develop a support group 
  • If all else fails, remove yourself from the relationship

It’s YOUR life!  Appreciate it!  Enjoy it!


© LifeSkills International 2013 by Betty Eddy. Duplication with attribution permitted and encouraged.  www.lifeskillsinternational.com. betty@lifeskillsinternational.com 


 IF YOU FEEL YOU ARE BEING ABUSED, CALL YOUR LOCAL WOMEN'S ABUSE CENTER. LOOK UP THE PHONE NUMBER NOW! 


I am NOT affiliated with Life Skills International at lifeskillsintl.org, founded by Dr. Paul Hegstrom. I help abused victims. I do not try to help abusers. That is beyond my scope.

Get the help you deserve

LifeSkills International

(713) 459-7222

Subscribe

Sign up for my monthly newsletter