Controlling behavior of certain kinds can serve us at work, or in leadership positions. It doesn’t necessarily translate well into relationships, though. Here’s why.
Sometimes in relationships one person is the boss and the other person kind of just follows what the boss wants and says. This can work, and in some cases it can work very well.
But sometimes some of us bristle at being told what to do by the boss. I had this experience recently, not from my mate but from a friend.
Controlling Behavior Can Hurt Others’ Feelings
I was stopping by her home unexpectedly recently and disturbed her sleep. I was deeply sorry about the intrusion and she scolded me about texting always before showing up.
Easy to understand. So the next day I apologized again to smooth things over. But she was still telling me of my error and explaining again how I interrupted her sleep and how I must text before coming. It felt like overkill. I had already heard it.
I then felt bad, like I really upset her. And I carried around this feeling for about a day, until I had this thought. People who are the bosses don’t know another way. I think it’s very comfortable for her to tell me how to do something. When I thought of it that way, it felt like no problem at all. This helped me get rid of the hurt feelings I was carrying.
Controlling Behavior Can Separate Us From Those Around Us
A boss is very lonely too. They sure can tell you what to do, but that means they are always on point seeing what isn’t working and letting you know about it. This must be exhausting. It is also very isolating.
The more she clung to what was done to her, the less she could let in the apology that was supposed to heal her. So people who are bosses probably spend a lot of time thinking about what isn’t working and how to fix it.
And when we are in this mindset we are thinking all these things alone. We are not in connection with another, we are isolated with our disturbing thoughts.
Controlling Behavior Complicates Acceptance
I remember being more bossy in my life. I would tell people what to do without even thinking about it. But I got trained that not everyone wants what I want. We all have differing views of how things should go and how they should be and there has to be room enough for all of us in relation to each other.
If not, then we have an imbalance. One person’s way is the way. And what about everyone else?
We all want to be accepted for who we are and how we see things. If you feel you are too bossy, start to notice this trait. Once you notice it, speak about it with people you love. And if it’s done with kindness they will be more than happy to help you learn about yourself.
And isn’t that the greatest gift of all, knowing about how we are, how we act and how we impact people? The reason I call it a great gift is because when we are open and know these things, we are free, and I mean that, always free.
Reign in Controlling Behavior in Your Relationship
Read a Book About Relationships
If you’d like help with communicating in a way that feels more collaborative and less controlling, try reading Linda’s book Safe. Happy. Loved. Simple Skills for Your Relationship. It might just help you develop a gentler approach that helps you and your partner feel closer. Give it a read.
Get Couples Counseling
Come in for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you and your loved one get the most out of your relationship. It'll equip you with coping strategies and tools for communication that can help you argue less and love more.