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10 Ways to Get Over Ourselves

10 Ways to Get Over Ourselves

We take ourselves too seriously. We allow ourselves to get tied up in things that are insignificant in the grand scheme of things. A person cuts us off on the way to work, and it ruins our whole day or the stranger in front of us at the coffee shop grabs the last croissant and we curse them on the way out. We get upset with our partners for not taking out the trash, or let our lazy co-worker get under our skin. But remember, we can’t change anyone but ourselves. We can live a life where other people dictate our feelings, or we can be the ones in control. A person starts to live when they can live outside themselves. So here is a piece of humble pie, let’s eat it and get over ourselves.

1. We need to tell ourselves to get over ourselves.

We need to remind ourselves that it’s not about us. So I suggest you tell yourself, out loud and in the mirror, to get over yourself – over and over. Put a post-it note on your computer at work or leave a reminder on your phone. Just remember, it’s not about you. The more we can remember that, the easier life is.

2. We can think about the size of the Universe.

We are but a speck in the grand scale of space and time, but so often we think that we are larger than life. Think about how enormous the Universe is and the Universe of that Universe, and then think about where you are to put it all into perspective. So, so tiny.

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When they discover the centre of the Universe, a lot of people will be disappointed that they are not it. – Anonymous

Don’t be one of those people. Of course, life is challenging and sometimes our problems seem insurmountable, but with a little selfless thinking we can check ourselves at the door and approach those hurdles realistically.

3. We could make a farting noise with our mouth.

When we get so caught up in our own negativity, sometimes all it takes is just a small trigger to break our state. Try making a farting noise with your mouth the next time you get too much in your own head. The fact that you probably don’t want to do it is even more reason why you should, so you can get over yourself and out of your head.

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4. We really should just dance.

Dancing is good for the soul. The next time your mind starts to run wild, just stop, and dance. Just like number three, it’s about breaking your state of mind.

You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
love like you’ll never be hurt,
sing like there’s nobody listening,
and live like it’s heaven on earth. – William W. Purkey

5. We need to allow ourselves to make mistakes.

We are only humans, and we will always make mistakes. By allowing ourselves to make mistakes and by knowing it’s inevitable, we’ll make it a lot easier on ourselves to do so. There is no failure, only succeeding and learning.

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6. What we focus on is what we get.

We are in control of what we focus on. When we all of a sudden see countless Volkswagons on the road, it’s not because there are so many, it’s because we just purchased one. When we focus on the good stuff, that’s what we’ll see. Perception is projection.

7. We should all just laugh, out loud.

It’s almost impossible to be in a bad mood when laughing. Fake it until you make it. Just turn that frown upside down and make it a happy face. Laughter and play is so important to our emotional well-being. Dr Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute of Play compares play to oxygen and says,

It’s all around us, yet goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it is missing.

8. We need to take deep breaths.

We often forget how grounding and calming our breath can be. When you feel flustered or upset, stop and take three long breaths, inhaling through your mouth and exhaling through the nose. On the last breath, let out a loud sigh to really seal the deal. Remember number four, and sigh like no one is listening.

To learn more about breathing and mindfulness, download this amazing free app that some awesome Australians created – Smiling Mind

9. We can tell someone we love them.

The Beatles said it best – Love is all you need. When we stop making it about us and tell someone we love them, it helps calm us down and get back in touch with what matters most. This crazy thing we call love. The faster we get over ourselves, the faster we can spread love with the world around us.

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10. We should remember that the way we perceive the world is not actually what is.

Our map is not the territory. How we perceive the world is not actually what is. Reminding ourselves that everyone has their own perception of reality gets us thinking more about where we’re coming from, as well as others.

Featured photo credit: Smile even if you don’t want to/Nan Palmero via flickr.com

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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