One of the common challenges in relationships and a challenge that has existed throughout time is that of control. This can be something that is fairly subtle and anything but overwhelming. And then it can be so extreme, that one’s whole life is taken over by another person’s control.
So there is going to be different degrees to control and therefore different consequences. But no matter what kind of control it is, there is going to be resistance to it and one is unlikely to just accept it.
For some people, this is going to be a problem that colours every relationship in their life and cause them to feel trapped and almost as if they can’t breathe without someone getting in their way. And even if it is something that happens from time to time, it can still be a problem for someone.
When this control is taking place, one is unlikely to see it as something that they actually want to experience. If one was to say that they did enjoy being controlled, it would come across as dysfunctional and unhealthy.
This can cause them to see themselves as victims and that they have no choice in what is occurring. And yet if one is in a relationship that is based on control, one is unlikely to come to the conclusion that they are getting anything from it.
It can seem completely one sided; with the other person getting their needs and wants met. The other person is then seen as taking away one’s life and making it hard for one to live their life. That’s if the control is so bad that one can hardly function without the other getting involved.
To be in this situation is going to warrant that kind of outlook and one is going to be validated by others who will see this dynamic at work. One can feel like a puppet whose strings are being pulled by another or others; with them having no sense of autonomy.
One can end up feeling incredibly hopeless and powerless through being in this type of relationship. And yet that doesn’t mean that they will want to leave either. It can seem a lot harder to leave that it can to stay. As the saying goes ’better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t.
There is going to be all kinds of relationship where control can appear; with intimate relationships often being the most influential. It can also be found with: friends, family and colleagues amongst others.
If one is in a relationship with someone and also living with them, then this is going to be a massive challenge. And if one is reliant on a family member for something and they are controlling, the same challenge is going to be experienced.
So if one were to be in a relationship with someone who is controlling and soon leaves after this behaviour becomes evident or makes it known that they wouldn’t put up with it; then it is clear that control is not something that works on them.
And then there will be other people who don’t have the same approach and when control appears, it causes this person who move closer and not further away. They might speak up or they might not, but their actions show that control is acceptable to them.
Because while it is natural for them to feel that they are being victimised and that they have no choice, they are doing something different to people who are not being controlled. It is not simply a random occurrence or that one has no choice in the matter.
What is going on in this persons mind is not being supported by what is going on in their body. Intellectually they may know that the person they are with is no good for them or that they should leave for instance, but at an emotional level the outlook is different.
While ones intellect can be extremely evolved and well developed, emotionally one can be undeveloped and feel as they did as a child or baby. And as emotions have far more control over how one behaves than what is going on intellectual, this can lead to problems.
This is why it is not just people who seem unintelligent who can be controlled, but people with the highest qualifications the world can offer. One’s mind may have been developed, but their emotional body could have been completely neglected.
So the mind can wonder what is going on and why one is around someone who is controlling and yet their body has its own set of reasons. And these reasons can relate to ones very survival.
It is then a form of dependency and consciously one may well feel controlled, but under that there are many benefits and these are not always conscious. Here, one can feel: supported, comfortable, loved and accepted. And this enables one to feel safe and that they are in familiar territory so to speak.
Years will have gone by since one was a child and yet this dynamic can mirror ones early beginnings. So their mind has been educated since then, but their emotional body has stayed the same.
During this time, one could have had a caregiver that didn’t show love and affection, what they did show was: control, conditional love or even abuse. So although these experiences were not healthy and functional; they become known as familiar and therefore safe to the ego mind.
And ones emotional development would also have been stunted through this kind of care giving. So as one was not allowed to emotionally grow up and realise their inner strength and sense of empowerment; they became emotionally stuck at this age.
Emotionally one can still see others as their caregivers and see themselves as children. And if one is like this emotionally, it is not much of a surprise that they are attracted to controlling people or can’t leave a controlling relationship.
One way of moving beyond this challenge is to emotionally grow up. And this can be done through releasing the trapped emotions and feelings that are in one’s body. This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer who will allow one to face them and gradually release them.
This will enable one to realise their adult strength and to no longer feel comfortable with being controlled.
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, 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.