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8 Reasons Why Asking Yourself ‘Why’ Is Important To Life

8 Reasons Why Asking Yourself ‘Why’ Is Important To Life

As a child you are encouraged to ask questions, to be curious about life, and to find out what you love and do that. However, as you grow into an adult your curiosity diminishes, you stop asking questions, stop challenging, and become more concerned with fitting in than questioning certain things in life. As you grow and develop, your fears, doubts and worries grow too, the questions stop, and your childhood individuality and uniqueness disappears.

Life is a journey—an experience like no other—and with that change and growth will happen, but only if you embrace it. Asking yourself ‘why’ is part of that journey, as it helps you to understand yourself, those around you, and society’s expectations. It’s time to step forward, challenge and question. Here are a few reasons why asking why is so important to your life.

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1. It is essential to your happiness

Have you asked yourself recently if you are doing the things you love in your life? Have you stopped for a moment and checked that where you are is where you want to be? If not, then you are probably going through the same routine every day. You’ve been doing stuff on automatic pilot, not even stopping to wonder whether it even makes you happy. It’s so important to check in with yourself regularly, to check if you are on the same page with your loved ones and ensure you are going in the right direction. It might be a good time to make some changes, take a new direction, or talk to someone who matters to you just to see if they are happy too. What’s most important is that you are following your own bliss. So ask yourself regularly, “Am I happy with this?” and then see where it takes you.

2. It is important for your growth

Growth is important, it’s that part of you that is ever-changing, it’s mindful of your actions and it teaches you about yourself, your motivations and purpose in life. When you question things, asking why regularly, it can move you in a new direction and get you thinking about your core values and beliefs. It can make you reassess what you’ve been taught since childhood, get you to think for yourself and help you work out what is important to you. Asking questions of others can also spark interesting conversations and help others to grow too. It’s perfect for opening new doors to opportunities and provides a new and conscious existence to your life, making it even more beautiful than before.

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3. It’s required for a healthy mind

If you’re not asking yourself why on a regular basis, then you’re merely existing instead of living. Imagine if you habitually drank a lot of alcohol or overate and you asked yourself why you did those things, what do you think the answer would be? Sometimes, the question why is avoided at all costs because you already know the answer. Perhaps you have some damaging habits because of your past, or some kind of fear or pain that you hold deep within. When you ask why, you are looking at your life, your habits and learning about yourself. To question yourself will provide you with a better outlook because you will know why you do these things and it’s down to you to carry on or change. Your mind is essential for your well-being, so learn to ask why more and challenge yourself daily; your mental health will thank you later on in life.

4. It inspires others to ask why

Fear stops a lot of people from asking why, mainly because they don’t want to know the answer, are too afraid of the answer, or feel guilty if they know the answer and they don’t do anything about it. If you ask why more and openly challenge things, it will inspire others to do the same. If they see that you are growing and progressing through life because of your curiosity and fearlessness, they will want to have the same kind of life. Remember, you are a teacher, as I am a teacher to you, so be the inspiration for others to get what they want out of life too.

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5. It encourages good, honest relationships

Communication is important to any relationship, especially personal ones; however, fear can stop you asking vital questions, which can hinder rather than develop relationships. Asking why of your partner will open up conversation and steer you to the truth of any problem or situation that occurs. It’s good to be honest, and asking why will bring up any doubts or worries. It is then up to you to decide what can be done once the information has been shared. If you want an honest relationship, learn to ask questions rather than jumping to conclusions.

6. It will keep you young

Asking questions, especially why, will keep the mind active as you grow older. Being aware of what’s going on around you, around the world and so on, will keep you in tune with younger members of society, which can keep you feeling just as young as them. It shows that you are interested and interesting to be around, plus as you grow older you tend to think you know it all, so to keep that childlike quality ask why more and you’ll learn something new every day.

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7. It will make other people happy

When you show genuine interest in another human being you make them feel important and worth something. Asking why will encourage good intellectual conversation and will lift the other person. Knowing that someone else is interested in what you have to say is a wonderful feeling; it breeds enthusiasm and motivation. Plus if you are the one asking why, you’ll get to find out a lot more about someone else and feel good about it in the process.

8. It could make a difference to the world

If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got. When something changes, in this instance by asking the question why, it can make all the difference to someone else and in turn a difference in the world. When you ask why, you are asking because it matters and the answer will shape what you do next. Asking why about important topics such as famine, war, poverty, animal cruelty, human suffering and environmental issues will highlight them more, bringing awareness and change.

The question why so important because life can change in an instant. Are you willing to step up, be courageous and ask why?

Featured photo credit: Flickr/ Paul McRae (Delta Niner) via flickr.com

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Paula Lawes

Paula loves people and connecting. She writes about communication and relationships tips on Lifehack.

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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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