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How To Break Free Of The Addiction To Possessiveness And Control

Apr 13, 2008
When life presents many challenges the desire to control can seem natural. There is the illusion that if we control events, ourselves and others, we will be safe, successful and secure. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. The tighter we grip, hold on and manipulate, the more out of control we become.

Especially in relationships, where people feel vulnerable, where emotions are high and a great deal is at stake, the wish to control arises. At first this may appear as possessiveness, wanting to know all about what the partner is doing, dictating what he/she can or cannot do. Possessive often intensifies. Power struggles erupt. There is the sense that the person belongs to you and you have the right to direct their choices and the way their life goes.

Both the person dominating and the one being dominated lose freedom and well-being. Although the dominant one may say they are doing it out of love, for the good of the partner, the bottom line is that there is fear and anger here, manifesting as the desire to control. Love always honors and respects another, it gives a person space to be who they are, to make their own changes and discoveries. It does not seek to take over another's life, but to enhance it.

However, some very much enjoy being controlled. They feel that if their partners are possessiveness and controlling, it means that they care. This is a dangerous confusion. When one individual controls another, it is always to make themselves feel safe and secure.

The Dynamics Of Control

The more out of control one really is, the more the desire to control arises. Being able to control another person or situation can provide a feeling of power, strength, authority, or the sense that one's world will stay stable and secure. However, the more we control, the more of our own energy we have to use to keep this vigil up.

Control and domination can become an addiction. There is a rush that goes with control, the person feels powerful, as though they are strong and on top of the world and often the one being controlled may also feel a rush of safety and security, as though they matter a great deal to someone. Sooner or later all of this has to collapse.

Fear Of Domination

Another strong source of the desire to control others is fear of domination. We do not want to be controlled. Although many long for approval and acceptance, they also fear being dictated to. The way this conflict is handled is by dominating others. They feel that if they are doing the controlling, no one can lasso them in. In fact, they are lassoing themselves, tying themselves to the one they so need to control.

Many will do almost anything to feel secure. Much anxiety can be traced to not having a true sense of stability within ourselves. This happens when we do not live from our core. The need to control arises from this. It is vitally necessary to contact our true the true source of security within that which provides stability, no matter what is going on.

Exercise:

Step 1: Who Are You Controlling?

A)Make a list of everyone you are controlling - or want to control.
B)Include yourself in this list. Write down the ways in which you control and dominate yourself.

Step 2: Stop Controlling Them

A) Take one person on the list and just let them totally be as they are. Accept them completely.
B) No matter how much you've tried to control them, have you succeeded?

Write down what the result has been. How has it made you feel? What price have you paid for this?

C) Imagine that you simply allow them to be exactly as they are. How does this make you feel now? What happens to your relationship? What happens to your own energy and sense of well-being?

Step 3: Granting Freedom To Yourself As Well

A) Now do this exercise with yourself.

B) Allow yourself to be exactly as you are. Stop fighting, pushing, and punishing yourself for ways in which you function. Take the noose off your own neck.

C) How do you feel? What new ways of being may be open to you now? What has your endless desire to control yourself stopped from happening?

Step 4: Realizing Who Is In Control

Different people will come to different conclusions about this part of the exercise. That's fine. The purpose of the exercise is to grapple with this question. Spend time with it. Dwell upon the question - who is really in control of your life and the life of others? Let the answer reveal itself.

A) Who is really in control of this world? Think about that.
B) After you've done all you can, who is in control of what happens to you?
C) What good does it do you to fight life?
D) Is there another way to respond?
About the Author
Watch upset and tension melt away on The Anger Diet (30 Days To Stree Free Living). Get award winning program by top psychologist at http://www.theangerdiet.com. Well known relationship expert, mediator and workshop leader has helped thousands discover strength, balance and peace of mind. Subscribe to free ezine at http://www.brendashoshanna.com. Contact - topspeaker@yahoo.com. (212) 288-0028.
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