Posted by: Khepera | Saturday, 28 March 2009

Control: A Cancer in Relationships

If we can step back a ways, and look with unprejudiced eyes, it becomes readily obvious that many of the problems we experience in our relationships — & communities — can be traced to struggles for control. Particularly in one-on-one relationships, this battle is fundamentally toxic.

It is human nature to lose respect for those we control; and it is also human nature to resist & rebel against control. There is no greater statement of “greater than/less than” in a relationship than for one to seek to control the other. As a woman, if your definition of a “good man” or “strong man” includes his capacity to stand up for himself, to be a ‘no nonsense’, ‘take no BS’, self-aware & assertive, then any expectation that you can or should control him, in any way, fundamentally contradicts your definition of a man, and creates a critical conflict between your expectations of him as a man, and your goals/expectations regarding control. As a man, if your preference is for a “submissive” woman(I think that model has been discontinued…as of about 1975), then you can give up on any hopes for her also being strong, self-sufficient, being able to think on here feet, or, perhaps most importantly, having the capacity to instill strength of character, self-determination & self-esteem in her children…which would be YOUR children, if that’s the kind of wife you are seeking.

Basically, no one wants to be *controlled* — it is a fundamental insult to personal integrity & personal sovereignty. If you have friends who always want to be *in charge*, or feel like they have to run things, you know this can be insufferable at times. If you are one of those people, and it seems like no one minds, it is only your selective blindness & deafness which produces that illusion for you. The bottom line is that a relationship — friendship, marriage, etc. — is a PARTNERSHIP. If you did not have enough sense, patience or self-control to choose a mate who is a peer, who will help you grow & stretch, who is at the root about your empowerment & keyed to reciprocity/balance in the relationship, then your ship may have sailed, but it’s already taking on water, and its sinking is preordained — by your choices. If what you wanted is a sidekick, a trophy, or a toy instead of a partner, then you will no doubt get exactly what you deserve.

Many of us are willing to be lead, but to lead, one must demonstrate superior knowledge/ability/vision/experience in a particular area or set of areas. Once this is done, as is often said, leaders command respect, but they do so through earning it by their example. There is a line in the film Emerald Forest, where the chief says to his son “I cease to be the leader as soon as I give an order someone refuses to follow.” This essentially means that if your orders/suggestions are clearly wise/informed/enlightened, then control is not the issue — people will follow because it is clear that you know better.

The same is true regarding children. If you live your life visibly in practice of the principles you espouse, making the hard choices, being accountable for your mistakes, etc., then, when you tell that child something, they will listen differently because of how they see your words in action. If you are saying one thing & doing another, then you are more likely to be ignored or dismissed.

Regarding these points, I will share the following:

“Let’s Get Rid of Management”

People don’t want to be managed.
They want to be led.
Whoever heard of a world manager?
World leader, yes.
Educational leader.
Political leader.

Religious leader.

Scout leader.

Community leader.
Labor leader.
Business leader.
They lead.
They don’t manage.
The carrot always wins over the stick.
Ask your horse.
You can lead your horse to water, but you manage him to drink.
If you want to manage somebody, manage yourself.
Do that well and you’ll be ready to stop managing.
And start leading.”

** A message as published in the Wall Street Journal by United Technologies Corporation **


End the War

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