Fear wears the mask of control and manipulation.
Although the words control and manipulation can have a very negative image, they are both behaviours driven by fear and we can all find ourselves acting them out.
When we or another person are afraid of something, we may try to manipulate or the control the situation as a way of avoiding feeling the fear or the pain.
Instead of facing the fear, accepting it, and overcoming it, we resort to unhealthy coping skills.
Manipulation is just a less direct, less evident form of control. I will avoid this fear and potential pain by using my words and behaviours to work around having to do something or engage in this experience.
I will take the light and attention off of the true reason I’m behaving this way, which is because I’m afraid, and I will make it look like another reason or protect it on to someone else.
Control is a more direct, authoritative approach. If I am on top in this relationship, I can call all of the shots and avoid being put in any situation where I have to feel or face fear. I will stay on top no matter what. Even if it means stepping on or hurting another person in order to stay in my safety zone.
Refusing to face and overcome our fears will result in unhealthy relationships. It makes it impossible for us to meet the other person in the middle and hold the balance it takes. It also makes it impossible for us to have a healthy relationship with ourselves. We have to meet fear in the middle and dissolve it instead of avoiding it and running from it.
Why? Because we all trigger each others fears, especially in intimate relationships. No fear can hide when we become close to another person. If we don’t learn how to face and overcome fears in a healthy way when they come up, we find ourselves manipulating or trying to control the other person as a way to avoid fear and pain.
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