Controlling People Don’t Know How To Control

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION from the Florida Jewish News, January 27, 2006, pp. 16, 22. Abusers are complete wusses. I’m serious. I’ve never met an abuser who knows how to be assertive. Abusers abuse because they have no skills at getting—the nice way—what they want and need in life. All this stuff that abusers are “controlling” is utter nonsense. Let me ask you something. Why do your kids want the Nike sneakers? You know, the ones that they can roll down the street on? The answer is because those darn commercials worked. The commercials got those kids under their control, didn’t they? Isn’t that the same reason you want the Gucci bag? Don’t deny it. You want it because everyone “knows” it’s good. Marketing worked. That, my friends, is control. That is real control. Control happens when someone gets you to do what they want—and you’re thrilled to do it. You want to do it. That’s control. Anything else isn’t. The abusers, on the other hand, don’t have that skill. They wouldn’t know where to begin. The best control is one that you don’t even know is happening. As another example, think of your most cherished beliefs. How did you get them? The answer is that somehow, in a loving and important way, the message of what those beliefs stand for got transmitted to you—and you accepted them. You would die for them. Now, that’s real control. Only it doesn’t feel like it. Real control is pleasant and painless for both parties. Take another example. Take a child who is highly self-disciplined and a hard-working student. How did she or...
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