Being Close and Being Controlling

When I think of control I often think of the dysfunctional relationships I experienced with my parents or saw them struggle with. I think of trusting someone I thought was my best friend and now seeing her as one of the most toxic parts of my high school years. Going through these relationships doesn’t make me exempt from experiencing them again. It doesn’t keep my from accidentally creating some toxic traits all on my own. Sometimes I have my guard up because I expect the worst of people. When you love someone you want to be involved in their life and love can look so much like manipulation. However, there is clear division between being close and being controlling.
I am still earning what healthy relationship dynamics look like, I am trying to teach my kids to make boundaries and healthy decisions. You can be faced with controlling toxic relationships anywhere. Your family, your friends, your work place. Here are 5 differences between being close and being controlling:
1.) They set rules for you that they don’t follow. These rules can be about anything but are usually centered on what you have to do to make them happy. You jump through hoops to make sure they aren’t upset but they aren’t accountable in the same way. You aren’t allowed to ask anything of them or state your feelings. In a close relationship both people are expected to put into the same level of work and understanding. Feelings will get hurt but both parties are expected to want to make each other happy and do whats best for them.
2.) Controlling people try to stop you from seeing other people. They want to be the center of your world and there isn’t room for anyone else. It’s natural to be jealous of your friends other friends, but sabotaging their relationships or punishing them for seeing others is where you cross the line. If you are beginning a new friendship or relationship but dread telling a certain person in your life, you might want to reconsider who you are spending your time with.
3.) You feel like you can’t disagree with them without causing a huge fight where you have to apologize. It’s okay to be honest and risk having someone you love upset as long as you have a good reason for confronting them. You shouldn’t fight to fight, but you shouldn’t feel afraid of talking to someone you care about. When you fight, you should be quick to apologize and want to move on for the good of both of you. Conflict can be good for relationships and it shouldn’t be something you avoid because you parent sure how much you really mean to the other person.
4.) Their compliments feel backhanded. You worry about your success threatening them and sometimes want to feel small so that they feel better. Even when good things happen in your life, you worry about them being upset. When they do give you compliments they feel back handed and make you feel like apologizing. Being close means wanting to celebrate the people you love, supporting them no matter.
5.) Controlling people refuse to respect your privacy and keep tabs on you. You have to keep up a completely transparent relationship with them, but they are free to what they wish. It’s normal to want to be part of your friend’s life, but it’s also expected that you will just be part of their life and not their entire life. No one relationship is supposed to fulfill you completely, including marriage. The more the merrier, the more people that care about you and support you, the better.

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