Lack of emotional autonomy

We might have someone with these characteristics in our close social circles. Scratch the surface and see under this covering of demands, threats, and obsessions. What’s hiding there is a lack of emotional autonomy.

Because of this deficiency, they don’t just turn into “controllers,” but also into “takers.” That is, sometimes people who are insecure, have low self-esteem, and can’t process their emotions try to “feed themselves” through one or more “givers.” 

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We might be doing unconsciously. The trigger comes from financial problems, being abandoned by our significant other, or even the loss of a loved one. They’re significant moments when the emptiness becomes tangible and suffocating. 

Moments where fear grips us and we can’t tolerate uncertainty anymore. Our brains start to anticipate bad things. Everything seems like it’s slipping out of our hands.

Then, almost without noticing we start to demand things from people that might be beyond their responsibilities. We fall into emotional abuse without even realizing it.

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There was a study in 2009 by the psychiatrists Friese and Hoffman on the topic. They discovered that people with little ability to self-regulate end up looking for “everything or nothing” relationships.

That is, their impulsiveness, their hunger to be “fed,” doesn’t accept excuses. And they’ll be even less capable of seeing or empathizing with other people’s needs. 

When a controlling person wants something, they don’t ask, they demand.

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The need to control everything and everyone around us is nothing more than a defense mechanism. We use it to confront something that at we see as a threat.

Having low self-esteem, huge insecurity, a negative self-image, an inability to process emotions like anger, sadness, or frustration: these often form a lethal cocktail where psychological uncertainty desperately looks for a quick fix.

Faced with their inability to control and deal with all these things, the person focuses their energy on others. “I’ll control you and everyone else so you’ll fit into to my black-and-white world.”

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  • Understand that controlling other people won’t improve your current situation. Dominating the people we love is denying their freedom.
  • Understand that we can’t control the future or what may happen. 
  • Living is admitting there are more uncertainties than there are certainties. It’s understanding that not everything can be under our control, and we need to be able to handle the unexpected.

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