Do you know people like that? Controlling types who must have things just the way they like them or a tantrum starts. I’m not talking about young children who naturally tantrum because they are learning the rules of socialization. I’m talking about adults who should have learned to compromise. People who tantrum (yes, it’s a verb here) when they cannot have things the way they want are in need of three things: a turn of focus towards others in serious need, physical expressions of caring (hugs, kisses, and smiles), and training in the art of listening.
You might say that this is easy for me to say, but how do you get the controlpeople (yes, it’s one word) to do these things?
- You can forward this article to them (but they might start tantrumming).
- You can release them from your life if they are not family members.
- If they are family members who do not really need your company, you can limit your time with them.
- You can breathe in this rhythm when he or she starts to tantrum: breathe in to a count of 5, breathe out to a count of 4—until the person requires a response. The breathing and counting should help you lessen the tantrum’s effect on your body and will help you tune out the unpleasant words. When you respond, consider your own needs and say what they are. If the person start’s to tantrum again, try to sing a favorite song in your head until a response is required. Again, say what your needs are; however, before you do, think about how this person is in need of physical expressions of caring and try to feel compassion. Try to respond in a way that is less harmful to yourself; in other words, if the tantrum hurts you, say things that will not induce another tantrum, but without completely giving in. Not easy, but effective.
Controlpeople cannot be controlled, but their effects can be limited when we know our options.