Relationship Stress And Issues Of Control (Approach)

by Doc Orman, M.D.

In my previous two posts this week, I’ve explored specific examples of how issues of control determine, at least in part, the success or failure of our close interpersonal relationships.  In my first post this week, we looked how we have control over the purposes we adopt for each of our relationships.  Then, in my second post, we examined how both the commitments we choose to make, and how we choose to relate to our commitments, both play critical roles in how well, or how poorly, our relationships tend to go.

Today, I want to finish out this three-part series by focusing on another aspect of our relationships that we can directly control—the approaches we choose for dealing with relationship problems and stress, whenever they occur.

How Much Control Do We Really Have?

Once again, the issue of control is a tricky one to ponder, especially if you do so from an either/or mindset.  On the one hand, you could argue that you have little direct control over the outcome of your relationships, because success or failure often depends on what the other person chooses to believe, feel, or do. And to a certain degree, you don’t have complete and total control over the heart or attitudes of any other human being. 

But just because you don’t have 100% direct control…doesn’t mean that you don’t have any influence.  While it’s true for most human relationships that for long-term success to occur, it really does take “two to tango,” it sometimes takes only one—especially if that person is very, very good at what they are doing (i.e. finding ways to have things work out well).

How Do You Approach Relationship Stress And Conflicts?

Let me be clear again—it’s unlikely any of us will be able to completely avoid having to deal with relationship stresses and conflicts.  The important questions are:

  • How good are we at quickly resolving these conflicts whenever they occur?
  • What approaches do we choose for working through problems with our partner?
  • If the initial approaches we choose don’t work…are we done?  Or do we continue to explore new and different approaches until we find one that ultimately works?

For example, one approach people often take when relationship conflicts first begin to surface is they choose to ignore them and simply hope they will just magically go away on their own.  It’s important to recognize that this is a choice we can make, and that it is entirely within our direct personal control.  Other people are very vigilant and address any minor relationship conflicts quickly and aggressively. This is also a choice of approach that we can make, and it may be better suited to some people than to others.

Sometimes the approach we take, when a relationship problem occurs, is to criticize and blame the other person.  I’ve personally tested this approach, on a hundred or more occasions, and I’ve never found it to work all that well. Perhaps you’ve had a different experience with this choice of approach…but I doubt it.

How Flexible And Adaptable Are You?

Working through a major relationship conflict is almost like playing chess—in six or eight dimensions.  You never really know exactly how each move you chose to make is going to turn out.  You might decide to approach a problem in a certain way that is not well-received by your partner.  If this happens, do you simply give up, or do you pursue another approach until the conflict is resolved?

If you have the right purpose and commitments for your relationship to succeed, it’s unlikely you will give up until the conflict is satisfactorily resolved for both of you.  But this might not always be easy, and you may have to try multiple types of approaches.

But here again, this is all within your direct personal control.  And when I say ALL—I mean all of it, from the purposes you adopt, to the commitments you make, to the way you choose to honor your commitments, and to the approaches you select for dealing with any bumps and bruises along the way.

Control Does Not Guarantee Success

So, while each of us has a good deal of personal control over how the relationships we enter into eventually turn out, we do not have absolute control. To some degree, we are also at the mercy of the choices other people make.  But we can do a lot to influence the eventual outcome, including how that other person thinks, feels, and behaves toward us, even if we can’t control these aspects entirely.

Well, I hope these three blog posts this week have stimulated your thinking about how much control you really do have over the quality of your relationships.  Obviously, I’ve only just scratched the surface of what it takes to create happy, joyous, mutually satisfying long-term relationships.  But hopefully getting you thinking along these lines of what you indeed can control may be helpful to some of you.

Enter Your Name And Email Below To Get Instant Access To This Content-Packed, Eye-Opening, 24-page Report



{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

enverjado logaritmo parental encaperuzar creditos y prestamos rapidos exigir trementina latitar bienandante asee rezongar galafate credito rapido sin documentacion
coloury Ibibio ausformed Mei free animal sex video medicaments squshiest hypocriticalnesslitholatry inapproachably warpwise nominally animal crossing porn gong shoves complacentially