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Don’t live someone else’s life as if it were your own |

This is not always evident, but many of us (especially controllers) live other people’s lives more than our own. This probably happens when we are afraid to take risks, to face the new or even to be truly happy – especially when we were taught that suffering is the “right” way to live.

Thus, we begin to depend on people for comfort or emotional stability, which inevitably leads us to control and watch over them. After all, if you need someone to do certain things to make you feel good, that person no longer has the freedom to come and go. Therefore, anything she does or says that deviates from what you expect will generate frustration and anger in you. It is no wonder that manipulation will be used as a common and constant artifice to keep everything within “normality”.

To understand this better, see some examples:

Parents who live their children’s lives: when the mother or father does not fulfill himself professionally or emotionally, he may tend to live out his fantasies through his offspring. Therefore, it is very common for children to follow professions that their parents did not have the ability or courage to follow. However, this usually causes suffering and generates bad professionals, harming society in general. That is, nobody wins: the parents are still not successful in what they wanted; children are frustrated by feeling obliged to continue being doctors, engineers or lawyers, not liking what they do. And society loses by not enjoying quality services. After all, those who don’t like what they do don’t go beyond the basics. And what’s worse is that parents still end up getting their children’s resentment back, for not being supportive in the professions they really wanted to be in. – Men and women who are “on top” of their partners: if the person is insecure and for whatever reason does not live their own life, either because they do not want to be alone, or for fear of what “others will say”, they waste their time criticizing and making demands of their partner. So, the woman who still believes that the man should be the provider will keep an eye on the professional evolution of her husband/boyfriend. Especially because she wants to get married, buy a house, put her children in the best schools, travel in comfort. Of course, it’s okay to want these things. However, many women have the ability to earn well and succeed. Why should they diminish their potential to realize a (male) ideal that no longer makes sense today? Some men also watch their women so they don’t dress a certain way or be authentic if it goes against what they feel is right. One way or another, there is the death of the individual and the opening of doors for revenge (even if veiled) and heartache. – Fans who live their idols’ lives: admiring someone’s work is very good, as it motivates us in many ways. However, when we become so fixated on our idol to the point of knowing everything that happens in his life, leaving us in the background, the problem sets in. In other words, a woman can keep dreaming about her perfect man, without ever dedicating herself to improving her personality, which would help her to have more satisfying relationships, instead of just projecting her ideal onto her suitors. A man who focuses too much on his football team, for example, may struggle with motivation and determination to help his club pay its bills and be totally negligent about providing for his children.

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So, before you start criticizing others for doing this or that, getting hurt because they didn’t live up to your expectations, remember that there is someone more important in your life who is being left out: you.

And what does that mean in practice?

– Go after what you want, instead of waiting for the other to solve it for you – Take responsibility for your mistakes and failures, instead of thinking that the other will compensate you or assume – Pay more attention to what you are doing, thinking and feeling, letting the other enjoy their own privacy – Analyzing their internal issues and changing themselves, instead of dedicating 100% to the other’s improvement, even when not requested – Stop taking responsibility for problems that are not yours, but that you it does just to use as a form of manipulation later.

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