Categories
control self-love

My Secret to “Not Caring What People Think”

I know I can’t control what people think.

People tell me they they admire how I don’t “give a f*ck about what people think.” It’s not that I don’t care (on some level we will always care about what other people think of us) it is that I know I cannot control it. If I cant control it then what is the point in worrying about it?

We could do everything we could think possible to make someone like us and them still not like use due to us reminding them of someone who treated them poorly; or because they misinterpreted something we said; or because they are just a jerky person – the list is endless.

Of course, while we can’t control what people think, we can partially control or lead them to think certain things by the way we dress, speak and conduct ourselves. However, no matter how hard we try, or what clothing we wear we cannot control what people think of us.

Since we cannot control it, then the logical answer – for me anyway – was to not worry about it, to try and be myself the best I knew how and to hope that people would accept me for who I am. If they don’t accept me, welp, I can’t control that either.

Categories
control mind spirituality

Scapegoating, How Others Use It to Control and Manipulate Us

“I am not your puppet master.”

When I said those words, it felt like an epiphany, but it sure did not look like what you would expect an epiphany to look like. The sky did not open, there was no bright light shining down on me. Due to fear, my face showed no emotion. I had an internal smirk. It felt good to stand up for myself, and while I would do anything to avoid confrontation, I was prepared to fight -my life would never be the same.  

People used to tell me I made them do things. They would tell me I was the one who made them yell. I was the one who made them mad. Essentially, I was the one who made them treat me in a manner I did not deserve. Avoiding confrontation and not wanting to ever make someone upset – I was submissive.

I would say sorry and feel guilty that I did something wrong. I would be upset with myself and try to think about how I could avoid making someone upset or mad in the future. I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to control myself from making people mad. I was confused. I felt like I had to be quiet and invisible in order not to make any waves.

Then I grew up.

Spiritually that is. With finding my own spirituality I realized that I am the only one that can control my feelings and actions. While my environment and other people may affect me, I am in ultimate control. With that comes the realization that others control their actions and their emotions. I do not make someone mad. I do not make them do something. They do that on their own accord, and if they suggest otherwise, they are using me as a scapegoat.

It seems so simple. So logical. I feel like I knew it all along, but I didn’t actually know it. I realized the confusion from before was due to me controlling my emotions while others used me as a scapegoat for their own. I was holding myself accountable for not only my own emotional state but other people’s emotions as well. With me taking on all accountability there was none left for anyone else – how convenient for them.

Scapegoating is something that I do not see discussed often. However, I see it in everyday life and have experienced it in my own. It is a way that people can try to control others – sometimes without even noticing it. Scapegoating seems to have been intertwined into our culture, and people, with even the best intentions, may not realize they are doing it.

Scapegoating can come in many forms and I believe that people use emotional scapegoating to cover their poor emotional intelligence. We hate to admit we are bad at anything, but one thing I am certain of, is that our society does not nurture emotional intelligence. It is no wonder why we are better at pushing our emotions down than facing them.

We need to be accountable for our own emotional state. We need to stop allowing others to scapegoat their feelings and actions. If we no longer allow it then it will force others to learn how to control themselves. We also need to be diligent to not use others as a scapegoat.

“I am not your puppet master.”

There was no fight. There was confusion, but this time it was not mine. After all this time, I finally stood up for myself. Something he least expected. It seemed he did not know how to respond, but he gave me this, “Oh yeah, you are not my puppet master?” Like a proud tutor whose most troubled student just solved a complex, algebraic equation I said, “exactly!” I elaborated, “I am not in control of your emotions, you are. I do not make you mad, you make yourself mad. I am cutting the strings, you are accountable for your own emotions, control yourself.” I found the strength to stop the abusive manipulation I had lived with for the majority of my life.

There are a lot of inspirational quotes and analogies that reference the lion. Encouraging others to have the strength of the lion, to be the lion amongst sheep, etc. Hell, I used a lion analogy in one of my previous posts. I realized the other day, that instead of being the lion, for now I am going to be a goat. No longer a scapegoat, I am going to be lively and adventurous. I am going to climb on the side of cliffs and graze in meadows. Maybe I’ll make an appearance at one of those goat yoga classes, baaaaaaa namastday. Sometimes I’ll chill in my meadow and stare at the sky and the clouds or the stars. When any lions walk past, they know better than to enter. Because I am the goat that walked through the lion’s den and came out stronger than before.

Categories
control

5 Ways People Try to Control Their Partner via Social Media

Coupling up should improve our life -not have us feeling controlled. If we end up in a controlling relationship we may not realize it. Below are 5 ways someone may try to control their partner via social media.

1. Getting Mad at Their Partner for Liking a Post of an Attractive Person

People are going to look at people they are attracted to. We are programmed that way. As long as we are not posting comments that are derogatory or disrespectful (to the person in the post or our partner), there should be no issue with commenting or liking someone else’s picture. We can still be respectful of our partner while innocently admiring another person for their looks.

Note: There is a chance for one-off situations here. If your partner asks you not to comment on a particular person’s photo, hear them out. It is controlling when they want you to not comment on photos of an entire group of people just because they are the sex you are attracted to.

2. Posting Passive Aggressive Comments

I’ve seen couples who joke around and I’ve seen couples where one partner is obviously trying to control the other. In a relationship or not, we should be able to post comments on social media without fear of someone being passive aggressive. If your partner chases down your comments or posts comments on pictures “claiming” you, they are trying to control you.

3. Having a Shared Account

Having a shared account may have its benefits. Couples can post pictures of their kids for family and friends. However, if someone gets upset because you want your own account, they are trying to control you. The shared account is no longer an innocent thing but rather an outlet of control. We should be able to have our own accounts -if we have a shared account or not.

4. Using Your Password to Look at Your Account

A social media profile is a personal thing. No one should be forced to share their password with their partner. If your partner is trying to force you to share your password they are trying to control you. This can stem from trust issues or past trauma, whatever the case -it is unhealthy.

5. Stalking Your Profile

Any kind of stalking is a clear sign of unhealthy habits. Our partner looking at our profile from time-to-time is understandable, it can turn into unhealthy control when they continually look and comment on anything we post. Being overly concerned with everything that another person does is due to a want to control that person.

Conclusion

There are many reasons why someone may want to control another. They could have unresolved issues, trust issues, or they could have been controlled in a previous relationship. Whatever the case, healthy relationships do not involve one partner controlling the other. We should be able to navigate social media without fear of our partners.

Categories
control

3 Ways People Use Religion to Feel in Control

God, grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Reinhold Niebuhr

We like to be in control. Without control we can feel anxious, uneasy or overwhelmed. Religion and the idea of God can help us feel like we have control in otherwise uncontrollable situations. They are coping mechanisms that help us to face and manage unpredictability in an uncontrollable environment.

1. Promise of an Afterlife Gives Us Some Control over Death

Death is a reality of life we will all face. While we can take actions, like eating healthy and focusing on our health, death is inevitable and we have no control over it. Since we cannot control death it may feel uneasy or scary. Understandably so! With Religion and God we are given the promise of an after death -a heaven and hell. So while we cannot control the reality of death, and we cannot control what happens after death, if we believe in an afterlife we can do things that will control what afterlife we go to. We can do good deeds to get into heaven and we can avoid bad deeds to avoid hell. This is our roundabout way of controlling death. A coping mechanism, have you, for us to ignore a sad reality of life.

The best part here, is that a thing we can control (our perceptions and interpretations) can help us to have bad habits while also allowing ourselves to feel worthy of the pearly gates. Premarital sex and abortion are both considered a sin. However, a woman who does not abort a pregnancy that resulted from pre-marital sex is still considered able to get into heaven due to her decision not to abort. The pre-marital sex part is wiped under the rug. As for the man who got her pregnant, society adheres to their sex drive so he will be good for heaven as well. This is all our perception. We can control our actions > we can decide to do good deeds so we go to heaven > we can manipulate our definitions of good deeds > we have obtained the most amount of control we can over death.

2. God and Religion Can Help Us Feel Control in Uncontrollable Situations

If someone we love is sick and in the hospital there is not much we can do. We may try to make them as comfortable as possible, but the rest is out of our control. Understandably, this can be distressing and hurtful. The situation reminds us of our utter and complete lack of control (whether we realize it or not). Religion and God can help us here. We can leave things in “God’s hands,” to help us face the uncontrollable situations.

Our friend is sick and we have no control over that. If we pray to God we are able to say that we did our best, and we can relieve ourselves of any guilt and feelings that come from not being able to control the situation. We can sleep a more peaceful sleep thinking that God is working for us. This way, not matter what the outcome, we can say that it was God’s will, thus taking any pressure off of us, and relieving any anxieties that come with being in an uncontrollable situation.

3. Religion Can Provide an Excuse for Us to Try and Control Others

Something that has become a norm but seems very unnatural is the advocacy for people to stop living the life they choose. Or using Religion as an excuse to denounce other people for being who they truly are. I am all for advocating for a good cause but sometimes we need to just let people be… people. Unless someone is taking advantage of another or preying on the defenseless, I do not see reason to try and control their life style. Usually a need for control is stemmed from a feeling of anxiety or chaos. People can use religion as a means to try and control others and other people’s choices. Living near a Planned Parenthood in a gay section of a major metropolitan city I’ve seen the demonstrations.

Demonstrators scream and tell others they are going to hell for their choices because the demonstrators are scared they are going to go to hell for their own. People who try to control others are avoiding themselves. They feel like if they can control other people they will have a release from the uneasy feelings. God helps here by giving this kind of person an excuse for their unhealthy coping mechanism. They can use their perceptions to manipulate the cardinal rule of religion to “love thy neighbor” and they are ripe to try and control others. These demonstrations do not do any good. They are an outlet for the demonstrators to try and gain some of the control they seek. While the demonstrators may get a rush in planning, executing and the afterglow of the event – they will never find the control they seek unless they look within. 🌈