There are several bits of wisdom that I want you to get out of today’s lesson:
If you have controlling people in your life, it’s not necessarily time to end the relationship. However, it is time to be aware of the situation and get your freedom back. Most abusive relationships last longer than they should because the victim doesn’t understand that they’re being manipulated and controlled.
When someone makes you mad, it’s easy to scream and cuss and get violent when you don’t understand the big picture of what’s really going on. When you are aware, though, that the person is simply trying to control you, it is much easier to keep your cool. Why? Because you’ll have a better understanding that LOSING your cool is only giving them what they want. Keeping your cool = Keeping your freedom. Do you get me?
The most important lesson I want you to take away, though, is this:
Instead of controlling people, offer them FREEDOM!
People are drawn to freedom. I have used this technique in leadership, parenting, and relationship building. Instead of telling people what to do, tell them that they are capable of making good decisions (and then let them demonstrate). Nothing attracts a person more than freedom. The happiest marriages are built on freedom. The most successful companies encourage freedom. Freedom wins EVERY TIME!
So if you feel like you know best in every situation, practice the art of shutting up. We are all amazing creatures with brilliant minds. If you are constantly telling others how to do their job, it only comes off like you think they are stupid and can’t figure things out on their own. People don’t respond well to being called stupid. Practice trust instead. When you show someone trust and offer them the freedom to show their unique genius and character, you’ll have a friend for life.
This is some SERIOUS JOYkwondo!!
Choose three confrontational episodes in your life that you feel did not go well and could have been handled better. Analyze these three situations:
- Who was doing the controlling, and who was being asked to give up their freedom?
- Did anyone in the situation finally give up their freedom in order to end the confrontation? Did that help the relationship afterward?
- With the perspective of freedom versus control, how could the situation have been handled differently?
This may be a pretty tough exercise to work through, so I understand if you don’t want to write down or share the answers you come up with. If you do write them down, though, you’re free to keep a copy of your report for yourself somewhere in your portfolio. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be helpful to have for future reference.