Control People Believe Others Won’t Change

Control people believe if they don't require change in other people's lives, those people will never change, or worse, they will die lonely and sad. Obviously, 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 Others Won’t Change

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

The Dictator's Mantra

Labeling control people as "Dictator" is harsh or over-the-top because control people are mostly "good people up to no good." (I sincerely believe I am a "poster child" for this mistake.)

Control people have an agenda for the people around them. And, generally, most of the control people want the best for those around them. Their intentions may be good, but the approach is entirely wrong and does not get the best out of people.

Subsequently, despite good intentions - and actions are what shows character - the way control people act implies this is their mantra:

"Other people should never be free to choose their own path, because they will mess things up."

A Big Problem for Control People

That means they have a big problem they need help to overcome. What is it?

Everyone is born with an innate desire for freedom, and internal or external rebellion shows up when that freedom is threatened. Unfortunately, control people do not consider the freedom of others. But they do want their own freedom. Additionally, if they accept that others are free, they believe people will use their freedom irresponsibly.

Therefore, they try to control, but the more they try to force someone to change, the more rebellion they get from the other person. Only when control people become aware of their controlling nature will they consider different actions.

Who's The Real Beneficiary?

Not only do control people create rebels, but they also create dependents. And, in both situations, the real beneficiary isn't the person being controlled!

So who is the beneficiary? Have you ever thought about that in-depth for all control people reading this? If most control people, "Dictators," fit the "good people up to no good" label, it's essential to consider why you have such a desire for other people to change.

Use the 5 Why's

You may 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 daily.

  • 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.

Control Boomerang

Do you see who the real beneficiary is? It is the Dictator - the control person. Unfortunately, they do not realize they are controlled by the person they are trying to control.

The Control Boomerang is at work.

Most control people do not need the 5 Whys; they need to assess the thinking driving their emotions. The more heightened you want someone to change, the more likely you want the change for your own benefit! So, when they FINALLY change, you can get some rest from your worry and all that energy you use to change them.

The Heart of a Relationship

There is more to the Dictator's mistake or control of 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 consequences they need to wake up to change their lives. Control people believe they have more control than they actually have. WORSE yet, control people try to take the place of God or, at least, act like the Jr. Holy Spirit in other people's lives!

Not Acting Like God!

In reality, control people don't act like God. God is the only being who can change someone, 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, Galatians 5:13).

Consider these five freedom actions you can take in a relationship:


Too often, control people only use the last two - exhort and rebuke. The first three are more appropriate – hope, pray and encourage. Why? Because that helps reduce rebellion and encourages a person to consider self-governance.

Slow Your Emotions Down

So, if you are a 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 them or me?" That means you slow down and assess your thinking that drives those emotions.

The answer to the above question is most often “them,” which allows you to refocus and learn how to imitate God. In those times, rely on HOPE, PRAY, and ENCOURAGE! God wants you to trust Him and not become an obstacle between Him and them. How does that happen? They focus their energy on you and you trying to control them, making it harder for them to hear God's voice.

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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