I’m back following my summer break! In this episode of The Baggage Reclaim Sessions, I explain common scenarios where we don’t realise that we’re trying to be in control. Like when we take over in our relationships, play rescuer, or choose authoritarian partners to direct us only for us to wind up feeling resentful and frustrated. I also address the question that so many of us ask when we realise that we have control issues: Does wanting to control the uncontrollable or having controlling habits in a relationship mean that I’m abusive?

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5 key topics in this episode

  • We use habits like people pleasing, perfectionism, ovethinking, overgiving and over-responsibility to try to influence and control people’s feelings and behaviour and also to feel as if we’re in control of ourselves or our environment. Yes, that would be controlling the uncontrollable.
  • When we feel resentful and frustrated with people it’s because the situation isn’t going how we expect it to. Or they’re not doing things the way we think they should despite all the things we’ve done to be in control. The truth is, we want to be in control about being in control. Having more or less control than we expected fuels tension, friction and resentment.
  • Choosing partners who seem ‘authoratative’ is about wanting them to direct us. We initially feel in control because we’re letting them drive everything. But by putting us in a child role, we wind up feeling like a child and resent them for treating us like one. Next thing, we’re acting out.
  • It’s easy to rationalise and justify our taking over in the relationship when we believe or fear that the person can’t do things as we expect. But we put us (and them) in tricky spot when we take control and then feel resentful. We lose respect for them for allowing us to be in control without acknowledging that these are our habits anyway.
  • What are you trying to get or avoid, and what are the specific things that you’re doing in response to this? Yep, these are examples of where you’re trying to control the uncontrollable.

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The Joy of Saying No by Natalie Lue book cover. Subtitle: A simple plan to stop people pleasing, reclaim boundaries, and say yes to the life you want.

Ready to reclaim yourself from the cycle of people pleasing and any patterns that reinforce feelings of low self-worth? My new book, The Joy of Saying No: A Simple Plan to Stop People Pleasing, Reclaim Boundaries, and Say Yes to the Life You Want (HarperCollins/Harper Horizon), is out now.

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