Time to dull your control

Want to Reduce Your Stress?

Then Stop Trying to

Control Other People!

Especially during times of stress, it seems natural to focus on controlling other people—what they do and how they act. Since stress prompts you to feel like you’ve lost control, it’s human nature to try to regain that sense of control in some way. Many people accomplish this by attempting to control others—including their partners, children, and co-workers. But did you know that the more you focus on controlling other people, the more stress you’ll experience?

How do you know if you’re being too controlling? If you experience stress when interacting with others, chances are that you are aiming to control them. The fact is that people being controlled have low motivation to carry out decisions IMPOSED upon them. As scores of researches have documented, coerced enforcement is difficult, time-consuming, and usually ineffective in the long run.

Aiming at controlling people is really focusing on controlling the body and hoping the brain follows. In contrast, influencing people without coercion whereby you aim at the brain and have the body follow is less stressful and far more effective.

Controlling people aims at obedience. Except where the relationship is so strong that the person being controlled feels that the control is in his or her own best interest, control rarely brings either desire or commitment.

Realize, too, that control is only temporary. In contrast, influence is long-lasting. In the final analysis, people change themselves. Therefore, the most effective way to actuate change in others is through noncoercive influence—rather than through coercive control.

Tip: Successful influencers empower—rather than overpower. They are positive—rather than negative. They encourage by examples—rather than by just telling without showing “how.”

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