Control People Believe Others Won’t Change
...so they try to control other people to get them to change. That means you relate to others as a "Dictator" making a classic relationship mistake. Control people believe if they aren't dictating and requiring change in other people's lives, those people will never change, or worse, they will die lonely and sad.
The Dictator's mantra
Labelling control people as a "Dictator" is a bit harsh or over-the-top, because control people are mostly "good people up to no good". (I sincerely believe that I am a "poster child" for this mistake.)
Control people have an agenda for the people around them and, generally, most of them want the best for those around them. Their intentions may even be good, but the approach is completely wrong.
Subsequently, in spite of good intentions, the way control people act - and actions are what shows character - imply this is their mantra:
"Other people should never be free to choose their own path, because they will mess things up."
Here is a big problem that control people cannot overcome. Everyone is born with an innate desire for freedom and when that freedom is threatened, internal or external rebellion shows up.
Unfortunately, control people do not consider other's freedom, only their own freedom. And, if they do accept that others are free, they believe the other people will use their freedom irresponsibly.
Therefore, control is the action they take, but the more they try to force someone to change, the more rebellion they incite. When control people become aware of their real belief or mantra, it helps them consider different actions.
Who's The Real Beneficiary?
Not only do control people create rebels, they also create dependents. And, in both situations, the real beneficiary isn't the person being controlled!
So who is the beneficiary? For all of you control people reading this, have you ever thought about that in depth? If most control people "Dictators" fit the "good people up to no good" label, it's important to consider why the great desire for other people to change.
You can find an answer by using a simple technique like the "5 Whys". Think about one change you want to see in another person's life.
Use this simple statement as an example: I would like Joe to call me every day.
- Why? Because that’s what friends should do.
- Why should friends do that? Because that shows the friend that you care.
- Why should friends show they care? Because without caring the friendship may not be real.
- Why does the friendship need to be real? Because that may mean it is really not a friendship.
- Why does that matter? I want a real friend that cares about me.
See what that implies about who the real beneficiary is? It is the Dictator.
Most control people do not need the 5 Whys, they just need to assess their emotions. The more heightened your emotions for someone changing, the more likely you want the change for your own benefit! So, when they FINALLY change, you can get some rest from all of your worry and expending energy to change them.
The Heart of a Relationship
There is more to the Dictator mistake or control people, but consider this - can you actually change someone? Of course you can't! Change is solely the decision of each person.
"But if they don't change it will hurt them and the people around them!"
Yes, that may be true and it may be the very consequences they need to wake up to make the change in their life. Control people believe we have more control than we actually have. WORSE yet, control people try to take the place of God or at least acting like the Jr. Holy Spirit in other people's lives.
But control people aren’t acting like God. God is the only being that could make someone change, but what does He do? He allows you to choose His way or choose your way. He is about FREEDOM, not control (Galatians 5:1, 13).
There are five freedom actions you can take in a relationship:
HOPE, PRAY, ENCOURAGE, EXHORT and REBUKE
Too often control people only use the last two - exhort and rebuke. The first three are more appropriate – hope, pray and encourage. That helps reduce rebellion and encourages a person to consider self-governance.
If you are a Dictator, control person, and you feel your emotions rising about someone’s lack of change, slow your emotions down and ask, "Am I trying to change me or them?"
The answer is most often “them” which allows you to refocus and learn how to imitate God. In those times rely on HOPE, PRAY and ENCOURAGE!
For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. -- Galatians 5:13
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