With the recent news overage about coercive control and it now being recognised as a crime, the word control still conjures up negative vibes in our minds.
But what if control were the only way we could get through the day? What if being in control was our safe place?
Google the word control and get an idea of how many meanings we have for control.
Recently, I have experienced an array of ways in which control and the thought of having it taken away or indeed having it gifted, can send us into a spin…
Case 1 – A teenager who lives in fear that something will happen to her Mum, following years of emotional abuse from her father. Control of her environment is key. She has to know where Mum is all of the time and panics if Mum doesn’t instantly respond to her messages. This leaves her unable to leave the house out of school hours and is crippling her as she would love to go out and meet friends.
Case 2 – A young adult who has lived his life in the fast lane, spending all of his money (and then some) and finds himself at the age of 22 wanting to settle down with his girlfriend. She feels safe when she is “in” control whereas he feels safe when there is “less” control. Thus, there has been created a see saw whereby she feels frustrated by his apparent lack of commitment and he feels hemmed in by her planning and saving money.
Case 3 – A Mother who is facing the loss of control of her daughter who is about to move away from home to attend Uni. It’s not that she feels a need to control her daughter’s life, far from it. Rather that having to juggle the needs of her daughter and control how she does this has defined her. Shes almost losing control of her “self”.
Do any of these scenarios feel familiar to you?
Here is one of my top tips for managing your need to gain or give away control…
- Imagine you are the pilot of an airplane – you are flying the plane with your co-pilot
- You are in control of the plane and the 150 passengers on board
- You find that you need to use the toilet
- Before you give away control, you have to ensure that your co-pilot is in control
- In aviation, this exchange of control goes like this…
Pilot: “Bob, you have control”
Bob (Co-pilot): “I have control”
- Not only do you now know that you have given control to Bob but he knows it too!
- You can retake control whenever you want
- You have the choice…the power to both be in control and to hand over control
- So, either way – you’re in control of your choice
Try it and let me know how it goes
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