Controlling is hard to spot, and even harder to talk about.
Several reasons for this:
(1) It’s automatic and unconscious, like blinking or the beat of a heart. You can make yourself aware of your own controlling, but it takes effort.
(2) It’s normal. You do it all the time. Everyone around you does it all the time. So controlling behavior fades into the background of awareness, like a chameleon blends into its surroundings.
(3) We use stunted language to describe it. We apply the verb control to wildly different behaviors, to our handling of everything from feelings to finances, foreign trade to cholesterol, termites to acne. We almost need to construct a new language in order to adequately describe this chameleon we’re looking for.
Let’s try to do that, then.
We’re forming two online study/support groups for readers who want to explore these ideas with me in real time; one is for therapists who want to integrate these ideas into their clinical work. Both groups will be small, six members at most, and meet weekly. Fee is $50 per session, and group members may purchase Monkeytraps (The Book) at half price. Interested? Write me: email@example.com.