As I discussed in last week’s blog, control destroys relationships. Often our intentions for control are good, yet the consequences can be painful and damaging. Most people don’t want to be controlled and may react by lashing out, avoiding, and/or blaming themselves. Being controlled can lead to rebelliousness, feelings of inadequacy, and/or chronic fear. The reality is that we can’t ultimately control others especially since we often have enough trouble controlling ourselves. We certainly have very little control over life’s circumstances and events. Our greatest nemesis is not accepting our lack of control. Many of us resist, deny, bargain, fight, and struggle daily to relinquish control even when it is clear that it’s out of our hands. So how do we let go of control?
Good question. For starters, focus on changing only yourself which includes your thoughts and actions. In fact, relinquishing control in relationships and focusing on ourselves can have a paradoxical effect that often leads to stronger connections and influence. When we are given freedom to make our own choices and decisions we are more receptive to others input. In your relationships, practice delegating, giving up control, and trusting others and observe the impact on the level of connectedness. Letting go of control may take courage, faith, and acceptance which requires patience and perseverance. Acknowledge your fears and insecurities to reduce their power over you.
Personally, I believe that control is highly overrated. When we are focused on controlling people or situations we have very little energy left over for relationships. We need to stop telling others what to do or how to do it and instead work at accepting people where they are. Work on being humble and acknowledge that there is a power greater than you. Nurturing a relationship with God and accepting that he’s in control can provide great comfort and peace. Sharing control with your partner and accepting your limits of control will lead to a healthier relationship and more joy in life.