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Are You in a Controlling Relationship?

Relationships are everything. Without them, we wouldn't survive. We need them when we are babies, and
Are You in a Controlling Relationship?
Relationships are everything.
Without them, we wouldn’t survive.
We need them when we are babies, and we need them as we get older.
Relationships don’t have to be perfect to provide us with the strength we need, but they shouldn’t be toxic.
One kind of toxic relationship is the controlling relationship.
How do you know if you are in one–or have been in one?
And what does that mean for you?
Let’s take a look.

What is a Controlling Relationship?
A controlling relationship is when a person thinks and acts like they own you. The problem is this: you are not property. You have a right to your own body, mind, and feelings.
If someone makes you get permission to do something, you might be in a controlling relationship. Healthy relationships are based on trust and mutual respect. If you don’t have an equal say in a relationship, whether it’s with a friend or a partner, it might be time to reconsider the relationship.
There are so many different kinds of relationships that it would be an impossible effort to consider them all here, but this is what you need to know in general terms.
Controlling relationships rest on a foundation of fear. One person limits the other with the hope that the other person will become scared and tethered.
This, however, is a tenuous link. Relationships like this sit on a cracked foundation. Healthy relationships start with healthy principles, which grow healthy roots that only become stronger over time.
Healthy relationships require a give and take. They require input from both sides. Relationships that are healthy simply feel different than toxic, controlling ones. If you feel nervous when you are around someone and always unsure of what they will think of your actions, you might be in a controlling relationship.
Conversely, if you can be yourself, if you can act without the fear of retribution, it’s likely that your relationship is on solid ground.
What to Do About Controlling Relationships
I’m going to be careful not to give generic, blanket advice that is hard to apply. I know how nuanced relationships can be.
That being said, this newsletter is about timeless wisdom, not advice.
Take from the following what you will. Discard the rest.
To start, you need to get a bird’s eye view of what’s going on. Consider the interactions you’ve had over the past week, month, and year. Would you consider them healthy? Trust your gut here. Don’t try to rationalize what others have done. Your gut feeling is usually the right one when it comes to the relationships in your life.
Once you’ve done that, you need to decide what to do with that information. If you trust your intuition, you’ll usually know what you need to do next. But if you’re still unsure, go to others for help. Find the people you know have your interests at heart and ask them what they think. The information-gathering process is crucial. You need to try to paint a complete picture of what is going on. Bad information leads to bad decisions. Junk in, junk out.
Finally, and this is usually the hardest part, you need to act with the complete resolve of someone who truly loves themselves. You need to realize your worth–and act accordingly.
No one deserves to be treated terribly. No one deserves to be controlled by others. It’s so easy to apply this logic to others, but when it comes to ourselves, we have a very hard time following through.
So this is your sign that you should follow through. Gather the information you need–and likely already have–and then act on it.
Controlling relationships can destroy your mental health.
This is because relationships are one of the primary ways we form our identities.
I have news for you. You get to decide what your identity is.
And you get to decide if there are relationships in your life that need to go.

This is a tough topic that can bring up all kinds of feelings. Take care of yourself. Don’t judge yourself because of your relationships. Just know that you deserve love and respect.

With love and respect,
Jordan

P.S. Have you dealt with domestic violence? Please go here. Know someone who is in a controlling relationship? Learn how you can help.
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