Control is the most common source of anguish in our lives. Most of us secretly would like to control the actions and choices of those who impact us the most—our spouses, parents, children, ex-spouses, bosses, co-workers, etc. If we could just convince them that our way is the best way, our lives would be so much easier. If we could just get others to behave in ways that make sense to us, our problems would diminish. If we could live in a world where people accommodated our needs, life would be great. And then, there’s reality. I know you’re thinking, “I don’t want to control everything and everyone. I know that’s not possible.” I know you think you are the reasonable one. The one that understands what you have control over and what you don’t. I know you believe that it is those other people who are so controlling. But guess what? You are that person. We all are. Whether you are conscious of this or not, you spend a lot of time and energy trying to control people and things that are completely outside of your control. You leave notes for your husband in hopes that he will remember to complete your “to do” list today. You lie to your wife to avoid her anger. You threaten your kids so they will complete their chores and stay out of trouble. You spread gossip at the office about your co-worker so you will get more recognition and she will get less. And so on and so on. We are all busy squiring about trying to control our world. Sometimes we win but most of the time our strategies lack integrity and end in conflict, disappointment, frustration, or outright war. So what can we do instead? I’m certainly not suggesting you live your life in a way that relies on chance alone. You don’t want to be a victim of circumstance or someone who does not act to achieve your goals and create your life. You do have power. While you will never have control over what others think and do, you do can influence others and take actions that impact situations and interactions. Here are five golden rules to help you manage your need for control. Identify what is most important to you. What do you want to create or impact and why? Understand where you have control and where you do not. Be honest with yourself. Get your emotions under control first. While you are entitled to feel frustrated, worried or angry, good decisions always come from a place of balance. Remember, you do not live on an island. You will always need to consider and work with other people’s agendas and needs. Avoid power struggles whenever possible. Take time to consider your options. Look at the short-term and long-term risks, rewards, and unintended consequences. See what actions are in alignment with your intentions and goals. Make sure your personal integrity is intact. Consider where your motivations lie and course correct as needed. Focus on where you do have control and influence, and act accordingly. This may take the form of communicating with others, decision-making, accommodating, withdrawing, compromising, motivating, inspiring, and taking actions that move your life forward. So, the next time you struggle with wanting control, taking control and losing control, follow the five golden rules. In doing so, you will retain your personal power, be more effective in achieving your goals, and build positive relationships with those around you. If you or someone you know is struggling with the issue of control, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m here to help. I provide personalized counseling and coaching. Take advantage of the opportunity to receive the support and guidance you deserve. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Contact me at 310-379-5855 or email me to schedule an appointment and start creating the life you choose today. Be well, Julie The Pathway to Love at-home program: www.julieorlov.com/pathway-to-love Get your Free Relationship Assessment Quiz at www.julieorlov.com/quiz
Communication is the lifeline for relationships. It is the way we understand one another, ask for what we need and want, and express how we feel. We resolve issues, generate understanding and create intimacy through our words. And yes, our words matter. How we communicate can make the difference between a conversation resulting in connection or conflict.
Here is one communication strategy that will help you diffuse defensiveness and move the conversation toward resolution and intimacy.
When you find yourself disappointed or judging your partners’ actions (or inactions), talk about you instead of focusing on your partner and what they did or didn’t do. Speak from the “I”.
For example, instead of saying,
“Why would you park in an isolated parking structure rather than on the street where there are restaurants and people around? This is just stupid!”
“I worry about your safety and feel anxious when you park in places that I believe are unsafe. And when I’m not with you, I feel frustrated that I’m not able to ensure your safety.”
Feel the difference? When you speak from the “I”, you let your partner know more about who you are, how you feel and what’s important to you. It is less about judging or shaming the other person. In doing so, your partner will feel less defensive and more empathic toward you. Generous listening is easier. Responding with understanding and compassion increases. The ability and desire to find a solution that makes both parties comfortable increases. You set the stage for a win-win.
Let me give you another example.
Instead of saying,
“That idea is just crazy. You will never be able to get all that done and still be on time for my family get together.”
“I’m worried that you will not be able to get to my family’s celebration on time. It is a big deal to be on time in my family and when I am unable to control this or feel like you may make us late, I get very anxious.”
Picture yourself on the receiving end of both examples and see which one you would rather hear. How differently do you react based on hearing the different versions? When we speak from the “I” we communicate something about ourselves. We don’t assume or judge another. We create the space to receive support and understanding. We communicate in a way that leads to cooperation and problem-solving as opposed to power struggles and defensiveness.
Take some time this week to practice speaking from the “I” and let me know how it goes.
P.S. If you or someone you know is struggling with communication within their relationships, don’t hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help. I provide personalized counseling and coaching. Take advantage of the opportunity to receive the support and guidance you deserve. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today.
About me: www.julieorlov.com/about
About The Pathway to Love at-home program: www.julieorlov.com/pathway-to-love
About your relationship: Get your Free Relationship Assessment Quiz at www.julieorlov.com/quiz
Today's question deals with how difficult it can be to forgive someone who has hurt or disappointed you. This video Q&A talks about the power of forgiveness, how to move from anger and defensiveness toward forgiveness and why it will set you free!
Click “Read in Browser” to access the video. And for those of you that rather read than watch, enjoy my article on the topic entitled “The Art of Forgiveness” right below the video.
To view on YouTube, go to http://youtu.be/5BqKDzWP2dY
The upside of anger is its ability to mobilize you into action--to change, remove and protect yourself. Your anger may lead you to addressing a problem rather than avoiding it, leaving an abusive relationship, finding a new job, moving from a bad living situation, setting stronger limits with others and taking care of yourself better.
The downside of anger is that it is easy for anger to take over. You can lose control. When anger runs the show it is easy to alienate others and make poor choices. You may say things you regret, act out in malicious ways or seek revenge. If you don't have a handle on your anger, it can destroy relationships, create financial and legal problems, and wreak havoc on your physical, emotional and psychological well-being.
So what are you really angry about? Here's some "real" reasons why you get angry.
- You're scared
- You're hurt
- You feel disrespected
- You feel unappreciated
- You didn't get what you want
- You can't get what you need
- You feel victimized and violated
- Acknowledge your feelings
- Test reality
- Take a look at the situation from all possible perspectives
- Own what is yours
- Confront what is not
- Seek mutual understanding
- Find forgiveness
- Take action that moves you and your life forward in a positive direction.
Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Learning to manage your anger is a lifelong process. We never attain perfection. So give yourself and others a break when anger runs amuck. Clean up the mess and resolve to do better next time.
If you or someone you know is struggling with managing anger, please reach out and contact me. I'm here to help. Sometimes it only takes a session or two for powerful shifts to occur. You and your loved ones deserve it. I work via Skype or telephone for those that are not in the Los Angeles area. Email or call at 310-379-5855310-379-5855 to schedule your session today.
If you've ever been in a controlling relationship, you know how easy it is to get caught in its web.
It usually starts out with a simple suggestion like, "Do you think that outfit is the best you can do for the banquet tonight?" or "I think you're better off ordering the salad," or "You should get a real job and stop all that nonsense about making it as an artist."
At first, you take the suggestions as a reflection of love and concern. After all, the comments are not that far off base, and you certainly don't want to appear unappreciative or defensive.
At this stage of the relationship, you want to please your mate, not alienate him or her. It's more important to appear receptive and understanding of your partner's opinions than to challenge them. You don't consider what he's doing emotional abuse.
Some time goes by. You now notice that your significant other's opinions of you continue to be critical. Only now, there is an emotional undertone that suggests if you don't abide by his opinion, he will be angry, punitive and emotionally manipulative. The scariest times come when you believe the threats of rejection and abandonment.
The cycle has repeated itself in such a way that somehow, you've become sucked in and are believing the rhetoric. Or, at the very least, you've been trying to manage the critical outbursts.
You're now so consumed with keeping your partner's emotional judgments at bay that you have trouble considering if the demands have crossed over into an abusive and inappropriate arena. Your judgment is clouded.
You continue to ask yourself, Is it me or him? You feel anxious around him, believing that somehow you can make things right again; you want to feel the love you did when the two of you first got together.
Deep down, your biggest fear is that his opinions of you are right ... that there really is something wrong with you, and you just may not be lovable the way you are.
The bad news? You are now caught in the web. The good news? There is a way out. It is so important to understand what control is really all about. Let me show you the way.
Here's what controlling behaviors are really all about:
- His own sense of helplessness and powerlessness.
- Getting someone else (like you) to make him feel OK.
- Wanting to hand-off his own anxieties so he doesn't have to deal with them himself.
- Ensuring that you will never abandon or reject him/
- Projecting his deepest fears of being inadequate and unlovable.
Note: His controlling behaviors are never about you.
Here are five steps to getting out from under his control:
1. Get your power back.
The quickest way to do this is to be willing to walk away from the relationship if need be. This enables you to move forward with the next steps from a place of power, not a place of fear.
2. Set limits on his criticism and emotional outbursts.
Let your partner know that you are open to hearing his concerns about your actions and how they affect him, but will no longer engage in conversations that attack who you are as a person.
3. Consider your partner's concerns.
What are you willing to do for him? What is completely off the table? Make sure you align these requests with your personal well-being and integrity. Don't agree to do things simply in order to keep the peace or save the relationship, especially if deep down you know it isn't right for you.
4. Be clear and honest with yourself first, then your partner.
Consider your values, goals and needs. Make sure your decisions are in alignment with your highest self, needs and all. Let him know what you can and can't do for him. Whatever you do, do not be intimidated. Have a powerful "no" and make it clear that he will need to accept the "no." If he can't, then it may be best for the two of you to part ways.
5. Find people and experiences that celebrate who you are.
Find ways to reconnect with the powerful person you truly are, i.e. someone that would never tolerate being treated in such a manner. Engage and connect with other people that support and love you for exactly who you are.
At the end of the day, only you can decide if his controlling behavior is something you are willing to live with or not. Relationships should be something that supports your growth, not something that diminishes it.
Love celebrates who you are; it does not put you down. You deserve to have a powerful and loving relationship. So start with yourself. Love yourself enough to take the first step in reclaiming you.
If you or someone you know struggles with emotional abuse in their relationships, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm here to help. I provide personalized counseling and coaching. And if you want to start right now, go and purchase The Pathway to Love at-home program. You don’t need to wait. You can begin the process today. Take advantage of the opportunity receive the support and guidance you deserve.
Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker, and author of The Pathway to Love: Create Intimacy and Transform Your Relationships through Self-Discovery
Retrieve Your FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz and see if YOUR Relationship is on track at www.julieorlov.com/quiz
Wouldn't it be great if we could magically eliminate all those annoying and less than attractive qualities we find in the people we love.? You know what I mean—what they do is not so bad that you would end the relationship but it's bad enough to cause concern and doubt. I'm sure you have glanced over at someone significant in your life and thought "Ugh—I wish he or she was more like this or less like that or did these things more or those things less." Fill in the blank and find what fits for you.
We all judge. We can't help but judge others—it’s in our DNA. Some of us try to pretend we don't judge; others have no problem publicly annihilating others. We judge for several reasons. First, it makes us feel righteous and superior. Find someone who judges others incessantly, you will find someone with many hidden insecurities and self-doubts. Second, others' perceived weaknesses or faults highlight our own unmet needs. And most of us don't like to feel empty and unfulfilled. Third, no one likes disappointment and everyone has expectations. When others show up less than who we want or need them to be, we are left with the job of dealing with our own feelings and issues. And finally, there's nothing more satisfying to the ego than to project our own weaknesses onto others. No one likes to admit their own imperfections and it is much easier to either project them onto someone else or distract yourself from being responsible for your own.
So this week, I want to send a little reminder to everyone, myself included.
Whatever you are judging in someone else, you have your own version within you. To illustrate my point, I'll share an example of my own. (To read my story, click Read in Browser. I know you will be able to relate!
Love and Relationship Q&A with Julie Orlov - How Do I Handle Co-Parenting with My Ex? Relationship Help is on the way! Learn how to handle differences in parenting with your ex and what to do when your ex puts you down in front of the kids. Watch as I explain how to deal with these issues as you co-parent your children after divorce.
Now that summer is over and the kids are back in school, parenting is once again, front and center. Parenting is tough enough for two parents to negotiate within an intact marriage, but if you're divorced and working with an "uncooperative" ex-spouse on parenting issues, the challenges can be enormous.
Today's question addresses how to deal with differences in parenting as well as what to do when an ex puts down and sabotages your parenting efforts and authority. This is common in families with two separate households. However, conflicts about parenting issues are one of the main issues over which married couples argue. So regardless of your status, this video will shed some light.
Enjoy the video and full article by clicking Read in Browser
To view the video on YouTube, go to http://youtu.be/3dPtWEnq7-A
Get relationship help! Watch as Julie Orlov answers your questions on love and relationships. Today's questions addresses why your spouse is overly critical of you and what you can do about it. Just click on the read more in browser and it will take you there!
Get your questions answered by sending them in today at Julie@julieorlov.com or leave it on this blog's comment section. Your questions will be answered this Friday, March 22nd LIVE on “Pathways to Love w’ Julie Orlov” at 2:30pm PST on www.latalklive.com/new/pathways-to-love . Or call in with your questions and comments during the show at 323-473-3100! Can’t catch it live? No worries—you can always watch the recorded show anytime at www.latalklive.com/new/pathways-to-love!
You can also view this video along with all my other videos on my Youtube channel at http://youtu.be/J30SMZbSFLI