[Workshop] Learning not to control others | INFJ Forum

[Workshop] Learning not to control others

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by slant, Apr 1, 2010.

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  1. slant

    slant Fairly Tragic

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    First, I feel an introduction to the title 'Workshop' is due. Whenever I post a thread with the title 'workshop' in it, it's part of a initiative I am attempting with the forums. There are specific guidelines to a workshop thread that I am going to list here, and I am going to quote on every workshop thread that I create so that it is clear what my intentions are and how to proceed with the thread.



    Today's topic is a Learning not to control others.

    I'm going to share my portion and opinion now to open the thread up to sharing.

    The thing which I think is important to note about this topic is the fact that controlling others is a very common part of everyday life. There are specific keywords that I think controlling others really shows when you say them, and these typically emerge in the midst of an argument.

    You should have!
    Wellyou could have, but you didn't!
    I wouldn't have done it in your position!

    I believe that trying to control others starts with expectations. A great saying I heard about this was this "Expectations are premeditated resentments.

    When you expect someone else is going to do something you often times feel like you are left with the short end of the stick when they do not do so. The key to this is not to completely devoid yourself from having expectations- this is impossible. Human beings' minds use the scientific method to work through most problems. Since we fear the future we take what we know and apply it form a hypothesis and form a hypothetical future outcome, to relieve us of the fear of not knowing what is going to happen. These are predictions, and can also lead to expectations.

    In a lot of relationship, we will be tempted to have unfair expectations of individuals based on past behaviors. Thinking that someone will behave in one way because of the past is alright, but rehashing old problems in a new conflict is not okay. I think that's where expectations become unhealthy.

    The main point of not trying to control others is to act not react. You have to realize you have no power over anyone but yourself. This other individual has the choice to do what they want, and whether or not it is the right choice is not up for you to determine. A lot of the time, our egos as humans get in the way of communicating with others. When we see someone who is not doing what we are doing, perhaps the opposite, we often feel lifted on a pedestal when dealing with these people. We know that because of our beliefs we are doing the right thing, and while we may not get angry a lot of the times we feel we are doing the right thing by trying to help the other person.

    We will offer advice that the other does not want to take, tell them to do things or offer messages such as "I was in your situation once and I know what it's like. You just have to do....". This is a prime example of trying to control someone. The hard part, I think, is determining when you are simply giving advice to someone who wants it or to someone who doesn't. The hardest decision is deciding whether you should even give advice to people who are seeking it.

    Ultimately, people have to learn their own lessons. We cannot take them out of their rubble for them. Offering a solution or going out of our way to help a person a lot of time is enabling them.

    I often get frustrated when I am trying to help someone change, such as trying to get a close friend off of illegal substances when it is obvious he is an addict, when the individual does not want to. They are happy with their lifestyle. I have learned recently that I will attempt to offer advice if asked for it, and if I know they are going to do something life damaging I will give them the resources to call or go to if they decide to change their mind, but I learn how to step back from the situation.

    I learn, that I cannot control if they take my help or not. I learn that, no matter how many times I call or try to inform this person they need help, if they don't want to do it, they won't.

    Learning not to control others is a difficult task, but it can be accomplished. I'd love to hear others contribute to this discussion--try not to be intimidated.
     
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    #1 slant, Apr 1, 2010
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  2. testing

    On Holiday

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    Wow.

    This is actually a really cool idea and I'd like to actually contribute, but frankly am a little intimidated!

    You spoke about sharing experiences as a means of controlling others

    Well, there are different kinds of sharing experiences and they're not all controlling:
    1. "This is what happened to me or someone I know, and this is what I learned from it."
    isn't quite as controlling as
    2. "This is what I did, and if you know what's good for you, you'd better do the same thing too. Dammit."

    and then there's the simple statement of
    3. "I love you and I want you to be happy and healthy, and I'm trying to control you because I think it will help you."
    THAT is really the subtext behind a lot of advice people give, particularly the kind you were talking about with the addicts.

    Most of the things people do, including controlling others, stem from attempts to try to make themselves feel better. We feel lousy seeing a loved one addicted. We feel embarrassed when a child throws a tantrum in public. We feel angry watching someone allow themselves to be treated badly. We want those feelings to stop, so we try to control people.

    And within limits, attempts to control others are sensible: I am certainly going to try to control actions that will hurt me. I feel bad when someone is, say, punching me and I will try to control that person as a result.

    Maybe the main trick is to realize that other people's behavior (for the most part) should not be taken personally, and therefore, there is no need to control the majority of it...

    Those are my thoughts anyway. Hope this is what you had in mind.
    Janet
    Completely Un-Licensed Know It All And Self Help Expert. Use at your own risk. All rights reserved. Copyright 2010. FancyPants, Incorporated.
     
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  3. OP
    slant

    slant Fairly Tragic

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    Please do not be intimidate, anyone! Janet's post is actually an excellent example of the type of replies that this thread aims for. Of course, not everyone can be as eloquently stated as Janet was, and so any attempts are welcomed as long as they follow the guidelines of the Workshop threads.



    I love this point. Controlling other's usually isn't a selfishly intended thing. In fact, the intent behind people who try to control others is usually loving, yet severely unhealthy. I love how she listed these three different types--I agree with them, I like that definition. People feel free to oppose other's ideas as long as you explain why you oppose it and what you think could correct the other's reasoning in the matter. We don't want flame wars to errupt in these threads but we still want constructive criticism. Just try not to combat believe vs believe "my belief is superior to yours so you must change your opinion". That is the type of criticism I think we should avoid.

    Hmmm I'm going to have to say that this is a different concept. I think maybe, instead of trying to control others, we should try to control ourselves, if that makes sense. The punching part is self defense and you are trying to get out of a situation. But in the case of hurt feelings I think we should attempt to control ourselves and how others effect us and our feelings. Feelings are valid, but others are not responsible for them. Someone cannot 'make' us feel anything. We can feel something that stems from an event with another person but they did not force us to feel how we felt.

    I believe that, and this is something I am working on, controlling our own reactions and what we react to is important. For example, if a barista treats me like a pile of garbage at a coffee shop, I can chose to absorb that negative energy and spread it out through the day. OR I can chose to spread my positivity.

    One analogy that I love is the analogy of picturing your life like a web of sorts. This web is of every person you interact with in one day. If, you've met with ten people one day and you're in a sour mood and tread 9 out of those 10 people with a bad attitude, it's going to spread possibly to those other people's webs and they aren't going to feel very good about that. But if you're in a positive mood and you interact with ten people and maybe 5 out of those 10 people you treat with an exceptional show of character and kindness, than that will spread.

    Hopefully it's clear what I am getting to.
    THIS is my point exactly! We must learn not to take other people's actions personally, because we can't control how that barista at starbucks treats us so we shall simply turn the other cheek and spread the room with love and positivity.

    I love the copyright mark at the bottom of your post. That was cute. And you know what? I absolutely loved your post and this is exactly what I had in mind. Thank you for sharing your unique and very wise point of view with us--you conveyed some of my points better than I even could =)
     
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  4. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    I am quite intrigued about the difference; could you explain it more?

    Enabling is probably the keyword here.
    And my personal response would be, "should this make me stop helping?" This is a selfish response but stopping because they refuse to listen........ Let me put it this way, For some reason, I accept rejection better than refusal.
    I agreed with this. There's a difference, a somewhat subtle, gentle, but definitely noticeable difference between these three types, between trying to control just because you can, and trying to control because you want the best from them. Between sharing your experiences just in case it might help, and believing that it always helps.

    And as far as personal experience are concerned, it's hard to actually distinguish those, because the rational part of the mind -would- make that third statement in outer appearance, but with the attitude of 2. This is generally unhealthy, and deceiving at best.

    This is quite a complex matter. I think it's pretty much the case with altruism; is it done because we genuinely want the good, or it's done for the sake of our mental well-being? In the end, such difference within fundamentals of each person makes the difference in attitude.

    As far as controlling is concerned, I would say the difference resides in the reaction. Those controlling and pushing their opinions for the sake of their mental well-being would react badly to rejection. "How come you don't follow my way? IGNORANT FOOLS."
    The others would...to say accept would sound too defeatist, but perhaps understand that perhaps, perhaps, the other party just see things differently and there may be something good, even when it's unknown to us. Certainly not the matter of illegal substances, but to other matters like acting rashly, having a bad boy/girlfriend, or going somewhere too far.

    Hmm, it drives me to think; to what extent could this be applied? A part of me; the INFP part of me, am afraid of changes, of the possibilities; it manifests in attempts to block things, to avoid being hurt. Sometimes as far as people are concerned, it manifested into 'hitting you before you hit me'. That's not good.
    I think I get what you mean, but in this case, wouldn't that becomes trying to change ourselves just for the sake of others; a case of ignoring one's wounds, I understand the need to not wallow in angst, and the need to spread positivity instead of negativity, but personally I still think ignoring and/or undermining one's feeling is a thing not very good by itself.
     
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  5. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    you know; bumping this.
     
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