In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The illusion of Control

Have you ever been hit over the head by the fact that you can not control another human being?

I have. Several times.

One of the more valuable skills I've learned is how to back off.

I've learned this the hard way. I've failed in marriage in the past by trying to control my husband. When my now 21-yr old son was 17, we used to butt heads regularly; primarily because I was trying to control him. My first job where I was in a supervisory position, I tried to tell everyone exactly what to do and how to do it. Then I learned that it was way more effective to clarify the deliverables and deadlines, then let people achieve them in their own way.

It's a tight rope act, this backing off thing. I want to be available, supportive and helpful but not controlling. Of course sometimes the real problem is that I do want to control; because there's a part of me that always wants things my way.

But I can honestly say that I experience more peace today in my relationships than ever before and the biggest single reason is simply because I work at making sure I back off. I choose to accept people, my kids included, for who they are instead of who I want them to be.

What's a skill that's really helped you in your relationships?

8 comments:

RCUBEs said...

I think I am like you when it comes to that word "control"...But the Lord did change me...that I need to learn to accept each other's differences the way He accepted me, flaws and all. I learned now, that if I want changes from someone, I just lift it up in prayers...because I know that God is the only One Who can change people's hearts, the way He changed mine...

Just came here to wish you a happy weekend! God bless sister!

JD Curtis said...

I experience more peace today in my relationships than ever before and the biggest single reason is simply because I work at making sure I back off

Thanks for posting the above. I'm sure there is somebody (present company included) who could benefit from reading that.

OT- T, I found another article recently that might interest you Link

Tracy said...

JD, I'd already read that article (I'm a huge National Review fan); it makes my heart ache. I don't understand the darkness of the enemy to blind people's eyes that they can not see how wrong the is.

Have a great weekend Rcube and JD. John & I are blessed to be able to get away for a few days, just us two, to the seashore.

Inge' said...

I don't know that it is a skill as much as it is a blessing from God. He has enabled me to see the shortcomings of my friends and family through the lens of my own shortcomings. I can now look at those closest to me with a more compassionate view. This has helped me to be less judgmental of them and to pray more effectively for them.

I don't know that I will ever gain the skill of backing off. I am constantly working on that one. Because of my past, I have real boundary issues. It is something that I am better at recognizing, but not something I have conquered yet:)

Enjoy the sea shore!!

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

I get that reminder 5 days a week when I go to school to teach. We can have every system in place, but in the end, the child will act as he pleases!

Polly said...

This is such a good article and sound piece of advice. It is so easy for us to try to change this or that in other people when we are only wasting energy and time that could be put to better use such as accepting them for who and what they are. I love your blog, it has such a great message.

Valkyrie said...

well said. I think, if we're honest, we all can say we've done just that.

The Redhead Riter said...

I have a few things for you on my blog :o)

http://theredheadriter.blogspot.com

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