If you’re like me, you probably try!

But it doesn’t feel good to control. That tense/tight, heavy feeling, so why do we do it?

We control other people and external events because we want things to go in a way that won’t make us feel a negative emotion. But the only reason we feel negative emotions afterward is because WE think thoughts about the event or someone’s behavior that don’t serve us, like: “They shouldn’t do that,” “I’ve failed at this,” “He doesn’t love me.”

I use to try to control my ex’s like my life depended on it. I subconsciously felt like if they didn’t comply, I would just internally die somehow — that I couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t handle the terrible feeling that I would inevitably feel if they did whatever it was that I told them not to do. And because I felt like my life depended on them complying I’d be all up in their business, controlling my desperate little heart out. Always suspicious, watching, waiting, worrying, warning, etc…

In essence, I felt bad AHEAD of time by controlling (and thinking I’m protecting myself) trying to avoid POTENTIALLY feeling bad later on. What sense does that make?! The first scenario I feel bad 24/7 and the second there’s only potential risk of feeling bad.

When we take responsibility for how WE feel, we aren’t terrified of how others could potentially “hurt us” because we know at the end of the day they can’t hurt us emotionally unless we let them. And sometimes we might choose we WANT to feel hurt, but it’s OUR choice alone.

Saying all of this, however, is NOT to say you can’t ask things of people, have boundaries and standards. But it is saying if someone in your life doesn’t meet your standards, to either break it off with them or change your thoughts about it.