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Are you controlling or relating?

I received this question from our Practitioner Program participant:
What is the difference between controlling and relating?”
That is a good question!
And also another one related is coming up for me: how do I recognize in others and in myself ways to control?

For me almost everything starts with motivation or intention.

Such as
“Why am I saying this?”
“Is there something behind my advice or offering an opinion?”

“Do I have a question or is there actually a statement or opinion behind my question?”

“What do I truly want?”
“Am I making it clear?”

For me relating sounds like wishing to have contact and connection.
Wanting to relate is close to caring: I like you, I love you and I care for you.

Controlling for me is coming from another place: I want to feel good, I want to feel important, validated or loved when you do what I want you to do.

That is fine too.
We all have wishes to be and feel important, loved and being right.
Even better when we are able to own it!

It can be quite endearing when someone is owning their desire to be loved, cared for or for being right (or actually feeling they are right!). And their desire to control!

A wish to relate often arises from a sense of love and acknowledgment of the other one as a separate human with their own wishes, while controlling usually starts with feelings of insecurity or resentment.

Unfortunately often our words and actions, born from an intent to show caring, are however received as though they are controlling.
Some people have hard a time ever giving the other the benefit of the doubt: they tend to question motivations ongoingly.
That is sad and tiring.

For me true wish to connect stats with listening to what is being presented, verbally and visually, from a perspective other than your own.

When hidden agendas, personal thoughts, and one’s own well-being takes priority, the controlling actions become present.

And so often we are not aware of our motivation and the efforts of it until we experience the negative effects in the (lack of) connection and ourselves.

Many of us have a lack of awareness on how the communication and behaviors may be controlling even though the intent is to show how much we care for the other.

Control and dominance also shows up in romantic relationships.
Many times in an unaware way, “I only want to help” and with similar thoughts and statements.

There are sayings like “who wears the pants in the house” that reflect this power imbalance some couples have or seem to have (for some it might be a game or joke which works for all parties).

When one party shows dominance over the other, most times the feelings of resentment and resistance tend to show up sooner or later in the relationship.

(In case you are interested in improving your connection and communication check out our webinar on Practicing Radical Honesty in Relationships ❤️

I read this in google search
“…control freaks believe that they’re just helping you with their “feedback or suggestions” or by finishing something “so it’s done right.” They don’t see their controlling behavior as a symptom of their own anxiety.”

So true.
And we can all start to be more aware and reflect more on our motivations and ways of behaving.

Controlling behaviour is mainly motivated by fear.
Fear of things going wrong.
Fear of fucking up.
Fear of a break up or challenges in a relationship.
Fear of not being loved.
Fear of feeling or being unworthy.
Fear of not being enough.

Let me ask you:
When do you feel controlled and when cared for and connected?
How do you enhance connection and care towards your loved ones?
When do you tend to slip into controlling behaviours?

Oh, and at the end of this message I want to share that on Tuesday 13th of February we are starting the fifth year of Honesty Europe’s Practitioner Program! We are a lovely group coming together and we still have some spots.

This program helps you to look into your patterns of relating and showing up with others. And a lot more! Work on shame, unhealthy patterns and compulsions, owning your greatness, looking into how you make yourself small or hide your voice, knowing and asking for what you want, pretending and withholding.
And much more.

Lots of love from Copenhagen where we are about to kick off a sold-out weekend workshop – our fifth workshop here! ❤️

Tuulia & Pete

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