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10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

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For a lot of people in recovery there is a fair amount of difficulty with letting go of control or at least admitting to a lack of control, especially when it comes to substance abuse. Some of us find it hard to come to terms with the fact that many things in life and the people we surround ourselves with are out of our control, much like our drinking and drug use in active addiction. Trying to control people is a character defect a lot of us deal with.

Once we realize how much it actually hurts others, combined with how often it blows up in our face, we can start taking action toward letting go of that controlling mentality and let life take its course without us wanting to force our will onto others. Here are 10 ways to stop trying to control other people. I would tell you to read it carefully, but I’ll leave that up to you.

1.   Practice trusting others… 

10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

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Trying to control everything and everyone shows a definite lack of faith. If you need to stop trying to control other people, you should keep in mind that a huge part of letting go is putting faith in others and knowing it is not up to you. Very little in life is actually EVER in our control outside of ourselves.

 2.   Eliminate unreasonable expectations…

10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

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Expecting people to live up to an unreasonable standard they aren’t even aware of is pretty ridiculous. If you are trying to control the people in your life, you should probably reconsider why you have these expectations and realize that the other person is happy without those expectations.

 3.   Acknowledge your own motives…

10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

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Part of stopping yourself from trying to control others is acknowledging the fact that the vast majority of controlling behavior stems from your internal struggle to control your feelings and anxieties. People who stress over trying to control the chaos outside them self are really trying to control their inner struggles.

 4.   Evaluate the outcome…

10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

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Be aware of the way things end up. Try and notice how others feel and react to you trying to control them, and think about if you stopped trying to control them would they really be worse off?

 5.   Understand it may go the opposite way…

10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

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If you find yourself trying to manipulate others to reach an outcome that you look to benefit from, you need to understand a lot of times when people are overly controlling the events they try to plan out will back-fire. When people are afraid of losing people and try to control them they typically drive people away.

 6.   Surrender to the circumstances…

10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

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To surrender is to stop fighting. In this case you have to stop fighting the people around you and the circumstances. It is OK to give up against things that you stress yourself trying to change, especially when it is something about someone else.

7.   Humble yourself and support others… 

10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

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Even if you think differently, or you think that you had a better idea or strategy, one of the best ways to stop trying to control others is to humble yourself. An easy way to do that is to support their choices, if you like it or not.

 8.   Speak with Sponsor/Therapist…

10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

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If you are struggling with trying to stop your controlling behavior, speak with someone about it. Reaching out to a sponsor in recovery or a therapist can give you an insight into all the reasons why this won’t work, and is definitely not healthy for you or anyone.

 9.   Know you might be wrong…

10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

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To stop trying to control people this is very important. Know that you are NOT always right, and your opinion is always valuable, to you. Other people might not care, especially if you’re wrong and don’t even know it. Know that you are capable of making a mistake and give someone else a chance at making the right decisions for themselves.

 10.  Face the fears you have of letting go…

10 Ways to Stop Trying to Control Other People

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When we try to control people, it is out of fear. We are trying to prevent something that has not yet went wrong from going wrong, and we are selfishly forcing our will onto a person. To stop trying to control other people it is important to recognize that as a fear based reaction.

If you or someone you love is struggling is substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-777-9588

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