If someone was to take a dog for a walk and they were told to keep it under control, they are unlikely to think that there is anything wrong with what they are being told. However, if they were in a relationship and one their friends told them to control their partner, this might not be the case.
What this comes down to is that there is a time and a place for it and this is something that can be said for most things in life. For example, if one was to hit another person in self-defence, it would be completely different to hitting someone for no reason.
Therefore, there are many factors involved, and if this is not taken into account, it would be easy to say that something is either right or wrong. To have this outlook would also be the same as saying life is black or white and that there is no grey.
So in order to understand something, it is going to be important to look at the context; from here, it will be a lot easier to come to the right conclusion. But even though this is the case, it doesn’t mean that everyone is going to take this approach.
This can then cause them to believe that life is either black or white, and not only is this going to affect on their own life; it is also going to affect the people they come into contact with. One thing this can do is stopped one from having to think, and this is because there will only ever be two options.
Whereas if they were to realise that life is rarely this simple; they would need to use a lot more energy. During this time, they would think about the kinds of things that can be found in-between the two extremes.
Now, if one was to do this instead of operating from one side of the spectrum or the other, their world would open up. So even though they would use energy through doing this, their life would be far more rewarding.
On one side, there is the chance that they would experience more pain, but on the other side, this would be backed up by more pleasure. The reason for this is that one won’t be living on the surface of life; they will be able to embrace it.
When one doesn’t say that something is either or black or white and allows themselves to go deeper into what is taking place, they won’t be on the sidelines. If on the other hand, they were to just label something, it would stop them from having to go any deeper.
Thus, the amount of pleasure or pain they experience is going to be set at a certain point, and this can be a way to protect themselves from what might appear if they were to go deeper. In this case, it could be said that it takes mental and emotional strength to be able to take a deeper look at life.
Without the ability to tolerate mental and emotional pain and to let go of the need to be right, it is to be expected that one wouldn’t be able to see life differently. There is then the chance that they have always been this way, and unless they realise what is taking place; they might stay this way.
Still, even if one does see life in this, there is still the chance that they have had moments in their life where they have experienced control and moments where others have tried to control them. It could take a while for them to get in touch with these situations, or they might appear almost straight away.
If they were to get in touch with a moment where someone has tried to control them, it could relate to how they spoke to them and or to something they did. This could also be a moment where they were controlled.
Perhaps one was in a relationship with this person or it could have been something that took place when they were at work, for instance. The words that someone used or the actions they took may have been overly abusive or it could relate to something that was far more subtle.
When the latter takes place, someone can use words, facial expression and actions in order to make another person feel bad about themselves. Of course, this is also something that can take place directly.
Through making them feel bad about thesmevles, it will then be a lot easier for them to get one to do something. And when this doesn’t happen straight away, they can end up doing the same thing (or other things), in order to gradually where one down.
One way this can take place is by using labels, as this will cause one to feel as though they are bad. This will then shut them down and they will no longer be able to express themselves.
Alternatively, someone could talk about one’s appearance and act as though there is something wrong with how they look. Through being treated in this way, one can end up believing there is something inherently wrong with them, and this will then make it harder for them to be themselves.
When one is overwhelmed with shame, they will feel as though they are separate from others, and this is going to be an experience that one is naturally going to want to avoid. Therefore, to avoid feeling this way one can end up doing what someone wants them to do in order to belong.
This is not to say that everyone will respond in the same way to being shamed, as there will be people who are able to stand their ground. What this can all depend on is what is taking place within them and the kind of support they have around them.
When one is in a position where they are already carrying toxic shame, it will be a lot easier for someone to control them. The reason they feel this way could be due to what took place during their childhood.
If one can relate to this and they no longer want to experience life in this way, it will be important for them to reach out for support. This is something that can be provided by a therapist and/or a support group.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.