Very quickly we learn that we have to use whatever tools we can to communicate our needs to others and to convince them to help us meet those needs. This is entirely natural and desirable.
As we grow older we become so used to getting others to meet our needs, particularly our parents, that it becomes a habit of behaviour. Again this is fine for now, but later it becomes a serious problem.
The problem is of course, that no one likes to be controlled by others. How much we are prepared to put up with this varies from person to person, but in the end we will all find ways to resist the control of others, and usually seek to control them instead, and we do this from an early age!
And so the habit of external control, the belief that I am right and you are wrong and the belief that if only you would do what I think is right, then both of us would be happy, drives our desire to control others.
We do this in many ways, we cry, shout, use miserabling or depressing, use threat or violence, manipulate, withdraw, argue, nag, reward or bribe, and cajole.
All of these learned behaviours work a bit, but in the end they destroy our relationships with those around us as they become unhappy and resistant to the idea of being controlled.
Choice Practice Institute
Riviera Counselling Service