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14 Things to Remember if You Love A Spontaneous Spirit

14 Things to Remember if You Love A Spontaneous Spirit

Exhilarating, isn’t it?

The energy of a spontaneous person can be wondrous. You wonder why they don’t collapse from fatigue. At the same time, you want to collapse from exhaustion just watching them. They can be dynamos.

Then, why are you so frustrated? Could it be their lack of organizational discipline? Could it be their ability to turn the most somber of places into a playground?

Your loved one is definitely a paradox. Be confused no longer.

Here are 14 things to remember about why the charms of a spontaneous spirit outweigh his or her idiosyncrasies.

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1. They are optimists.

They don’t take criticism to heart. They look at disappointments as learning experiences and plan on improving going forward.

2. They make their own fun

This does not entail prior planning. They know life may have other plans. Scottish poet Robert Burns once wrote, The best laid [plans] of mice and men often go awry. Spontaneous people know this better than anyone. For this reason, the ability to be flexible, to “roll with the punches,” is one of their many strengths.

3. They have a need for spontaneity.

They feed that need like a fix. The definition of spontaneity is the quality coming from natural feelings without constraint. The sooner you stop trying to constrain them, the easier you will make them feel understood and get along with them.

4. They are observant.

As a result, they are able to find fun in unusual situations. Their curiosity is an asset to them.

5. They enjoy spur-of-the-moment activities.

They don’t need expensive concert or theater tickets purchased ahead of time to have fun. They make their own fun. Besides, what if something else came up in the interim?

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6. They are flexible.

They know how to roll with the punches. Rigid people could take a lesson from them. According to writer Henry Miller, “All growth is a spontaneous unpremeditated act.”

7. They are not boring.

According to football coach Lou Holtz, “If you are bored with life, if you don’t get up with a burning desire to do things, then you don’t have enough goals.” Spontaneous people have a zeal that propels them. Articles are even written about how to be spontaneous and less boring. These qualities are viewed as polar opposites.

8. They don’t over analyze.

For this reason, they don’t get on people’s nerves for being too serious.

9. They are leaders.

People look to them for guidance. On a rainy day, on a scorching day, on any day with nothing to do, it is the person with spontaneity that group members look to. They know which friend will be able to show them ideas for a good time.

10. They are popular.

People want to be in their company. They might have an entourage full of groupies. Who wouldn’t want to be in the company of a flexible person who has good ideas when they want to have fun?

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11. They have high self-esteem.

They like themselves despite the naysayers and critics. They know they are not boring and rigid and can’t understand why anyone would find those qualities appealing.

12. They are creative.

They can find an opportunity for fun even in the most mundane. Could an empty box serve as a pretend stage and an empty paper-towel roll a pretend microphone? Absolutely. Oscar Wilde said, “Spontaneity is a meticulously prepared art.” Your spontaneous loved one is an artist, according to Wilde.

13. They are tomorrow’s stand-up comics.

If you need proof, just look in improvisation classes. You will find them there. Legendary comic genius Robin Williams became famous turning the mundane into the extraordinary. Comedian Steve Martin made a name for himself as a “wild and crazy guy”.

14. They are romantic.

Who wouldn’t want to be swept off their feet by someone who made them a last-minute late-night supper or surprised them for lunch or with flowers?

Are you ready to accept your loved one?

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Spontaneous people face disapproval they don’t understand. They have a reputation for not thinking things through and wanting a good time above meeting their responsibilities. As soon as people realize they’re spontaneous, this is how they get pegged.

It is important to realize that your loved one is not going through a phase; spontaneity is an attitude, a personality characteristic as much a part of them as their eye color.

Spontaneous spirits need understanding and acceptance, not criticism.

Spontaneous people are flexible. Can you be flexible? Are you ready to learn from their example and be open to the idea of accepting them for the endearing people they are?

Related post: 20 Things to Remember if You Love a Highly Creative Person

 

Featured photo credit: Ryan McGuire via gratisography.com

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Janice Wald

Teacher, Author, Blogger, Freelance Writer

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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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