"If we believe that others are authority on our inner experience, we doubt ourselves and become subject to others definitions of us and subject to their control of us...and...when people tell us how we are or what we should do they are attempting to practice a dangerous kind of sorcery"....Patricia Evans.
This is the final blog entry on the topic of psychological abuse and the last chapter deals with "controlling people". We live in a society where various individuals, institutions, and groups want to assert control over others. Not all control and attempts to control is bad because a certain amount of order is needed and desirable, but when individual family members, colleagues at work, or perhaps even some of our closest friends attempt to control us out of fear or other insecurites than from my vantage point potential serious problems may follow, particularly if the control is a regular and ongoing part of the relationship.
Patricia Evans, the author of the book "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" has also written a book called Controlling People. The two subjects are interelated because when someone attempts to control you they most often will use some form of verbal abuse to accomplish their goals. Following are some of the things Patricia Evans has to say about how to recognize, understand, and deal with people who try to control you. All of the following comments are either direct quotes or general paraphrases of what she has written in her book. It is my hope that anyone who reads this entry will come away with a better understanding of the pathological aspects of certain types of control and will learn how to break the dangerous sorcery of control that may exist within themselves or the people who they may live or work with.....
When people encounter controlling behavior, they often feel "erased", as if, to the perpetrator, they don't exist. Trying to maintain this kind of relationship leaves one exhausted and subject to intense mental anguish and emotional pain.
Perpetrators usually believe that their oppressive/controlling actions are necessary, even right...but their attempt to control others eventually brings the perpetrators just the opposite of what they want or need.
People who lose their inner connection themselves usually try to take control of something/anything....even somebody.....
If we are taught to doubt ourselves,or to distrust inner knowledge in general, we may pay no attention to our intution which may have disasterous results such as the inability to recognize and resist those who try to control us.
One of the most common illusions people have about others and one of the most devastating to any kind of relationship is the idea of being of one mind with one's mate. This illusion opens the door for a "Pretend person" to be mistaken for a real person.
Being wrong is not an option for a controller. Their unconscious assumption is, If your right then I have to be wrong, but I am not wrong, therefore you are wrong and need to be controlled. It never occurs to them that both of you could be right at the same time.
When people resist controllers they become spellbreakers.
A healthy connection is one that recognizes the individuality of the other.
To the controller attempting to exert control is tantamount to working on the relationship and getting closer!
Controllers give orders and ultimatums and feel justifiably angry if their directions aren't followed and affronted, even enraged, if their mate shows a sign of separtness, or independence.
People who are coerced by a controlling spouse may give up and succumb to their mates repeated attempts to control or they may escape but often suffer great loss of children, home, money, etc.
Controllers reactions range from refusing to speak, as if the witness is non-existant, to a raging attack, even violence. All reactions are designed to silenced and control the witness....
Many people think that controllers are rational, but they are not, so it is not surprising that they believe they can be understood when they attempt to explain themselves. But explaining or trying to talk about it with a person who defines you ensures increased opposition and invalidation from a confirmed controller. Even people with excellent communication skills, sensitivity, and honesty can't get through...
Some psychologists attribute controllerws dictorial behavior to the controllers fear that if they ask for what they want, their request will be subject to negotiation and consequently the controller won't get their way. Asking suggests equality between the controller and the other...Asking gives aknowlegment of the others separatness and recongnition of separtness breaks the connection between the controller and the person they want to control.
One way to avoid giving up control is to avoid asking questions and give orders thus assuring compliance by instilling fear through threats and intimidation in the other. This may be accomplished by acting ferocious, loud, angry or by convincing the other that God is behind their imperious behavior. Or the controller may attempt to gain compliance in a more covert way by withdrawing....threatening the other with emotional abandonment.....
Controllers can be counted on not to do what they said they would do. It's not that they occasionally forget. It is that they consistently fail to do it. When witnesses repeat their requests, they often face accusation and denial. They're often told that they're nagging, or conversly, that they never made the request to begin with...
Some controllers persist without regard to means or consequences. This, in some cases, is a fight to the death.
Healthy groups are bonded together for, not against others. Unhealthy groups are bonded together against, rather than for, another person or group.
No one can prove themselves to a controller. These efforts alone do not break the spell. In fact, the more authenic and strong the witness becomes, the more the controllers feel threatened and are likely to escalate the attacks and tighten the grip...
Keep in mind that in some cases and circumstances, the spell cannot be broken...In other words...the controller will continue to attempt to control you no matter what you do....But the good news is....We don't have to accept the controllers demands and give into the controller. The controller is not unlimited in what they can do.
Arguing and explaining are generally wasted efforts expended on people who can't hear and accept what you have to say...
A few spellbreaking strategies
1. Recognize, acknowledge hte reality of your inner truth.
2. Be aware of boundary invasion, yours and others.
3. Do not respond to nonsense as if it makes sense.
4. Build your life on your own truth and not the truth, demands, expectations, imagination, or acceptance of the controller.
5. Speak up, when you need to, to break the control of the controller.
Well, that's it folks. The end of a three day journey into the world of psychological abuse......