Recently, I have become aware of a control issue; people needing to control others. How do people control others, you ask? There are many ways I am becoming aware of. People offer their opinions and also try to force others to do things their way. They choose what they think is best for others without asking them, like where to eat or what movie to watch. I am not sure if I am seeing more “controlling” people because I need to learn to set healthy boundaries or just that more and more people feel the need to control others.

I left home at 18, from being under the control of my parents to an apartment alone in New York City where I no longer had to answer to anyone. It was a big shock and for awhile, I didn't know what to do with myself. I had free time and got to make all of my own choices without parent supervision. I jumped into a business where I was paid to have other people “dress me up” so it took awhile for me to learn what I really liked to wear. (I dressed as a punk for a bit, then wore a string of pearls with sweatshirts and a pony tail.) People still told me what to wear when I worked, but after work, I eventually found what I liked and felt comfortable in.

I don't feel that I am a controlling person. Most of the time I don't care where I eat, what movie to see or what the plans are for the weekend. I don't force my ways and opinions on my 3 sons either. I am much more of a hands off and let people make their own decisions type person. I have never been bossy or overbearing and I don't like that quality in others.

I find lately that many people want to give me advice and tell me their opinions without me even asking. I had to examine that and wonder why others felt the need to give me advice. Do I come across as weak or stupid? I don't think so. I have come to realize that I am taking offense when others push their opinions on me which isn't good either. I rise up like a little kid and push back, firmly letting them know that I don't need their advice. A happy medium would be for me to learn healthy boundaries and stop people before they offer their opinions with a gentle warning or kind word stating that I can figure it out on my own, thank you very much.

So, as you read this article, do you find that you are someone who has to give their opinions and have their way all the time or do you sit back and let others have their way? Which way is the right way? Should everyone be able to do what they want without advice from others? When is it okay to step in and voice your opinion? Are there certain circumstances when it is right and good to try to direct someone away from doing the wrong thing?

I have found that it is best to listen and not voice your opinion.