What is the best way to deal with controlling relatives who always want everything their way?
I wish they would go away.
But I usually have to talk myself into not getting mad.
They are big babies.
Do I like to be around them? No.
Usually they make a fool out of themselves.i
They always get their way because its better than fighting
A firm but gentle stance. Make sure they know you heard them by repeating what they said, but then stick to your guns.
"I understand you feel that a 150 people at the wedding is unavoidable, but Bob and I want a smaller, more intimate gathering. We're only having 80 people. I'd love a list of your top 10."
Set your boundaries firmly and then hold them accountable for their behavior. If, for instance, you invite them to dinner then plainly state when dinner will be served. Be careful to serve dinner at the stated time whether they have arrived or not. Hopefully they will arrive soon lest they get a cold dinner. They will soon learn that you mean what you say. I suggest that you do not seek to spend considerable time with controlling relatives but when you must see them then hold firmly to your boundaries and let them realize the consequences of their own behavior. Good luck!
I cannot stand to be around controlling people so my answer would be to avoid them. It may not be the healthiest thing to do, but for me I can't take the stress of being angry and keeping my mouth shut to get along....so I avoid avoid avoid.
There can be many of them and sometimes it is difficult even to avoid them.
Best option is to be firm and avoid confrontation. Remind yourself that it is only for a short time and it will soon pass away.
The best way to win an argument is not to start it. You can have a control on your behavior, not others. That's my opinion.
Tough situation--each situation is different--but in the end it has to come down to boundaries. We allow who we let in our lives, and in cases like family, we can control our own responses. Setting firm boundaries is not easy--it may be messy--and it sometimes takes time--but eventually it should work. Often times people set some boundaries but then retract or don't follow through. Not only do external boundaries need to be communicated to others but you have to be willing to set internal boundaries within yourself (i.e. I will not allow myself to get worked up and argue with X about Y anymore so if X does Z then I will do A, B, and C). I've had to prep myself emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually before going into situations in which I knew controlling people would try to manipulate. Honestly, its not just people we are dealing with when it comes to control and manipulation--people are often times allowing spirits of control and manipulation to manifest through them so when it feels like a person is acting in an evil way--sometimes they truly are!
We have to be willing to operate in our wholistic nature so that means taking control over our own body, actions, thoughts, words, heart, will, emotions, and spirit and we must be in agreement with own self to set a boundary before we can do it well with another.
Plus, if other family members are involved, there must be agreement in how to respond. If you set the boundary and your husband allows those for whom the boundaries are set to violate those boundaries that's where it also can become difficult.
If I had to pick four key words to summarize: 1. Vision/Purpose (know what you want and why you want it 2. Plan (know what you need to do, action steps, choose ahead of time how you will respond, etc.) 3. Agreement (Your whole self and others involved in setting boundaries must be in agreement with vision, purpose, and plan) 4. Follow-through (be consistent--let time complete the purpose of the boundaries)
I would say it depends upon the situation, and how many people are involved. In the example of a wedding given in someone else's answer, I'd be even more firm: "I hear what you're saying, however, this is OUR wedding, not an opportunity for other family members to repay social obligations--you had your wedding already (if, in fact, they have)--now it's our turn and we're doing it the way WE want. Go live your own ilfe (and, if they are not married yet)--do it YOUR way on YOUR wedding day! Subject closed."
(I have often found that people such as this don't often understand polite subtleties or hints--you have to be quite firm and sometimes lacking in some "tact." They only "get it" if their feelings are hurt. Oh well--sorry. There are others' feelings to consider as well--a point they like to forget. Being controlling is about being selfish.)
As for the perpetually late dinner guests...that is both rude and annoying. I agree with the person who said serve dinner on time, regardless...but, if you really don't want the awkwardness that can then ensue, you could try the dodge of telling them that dinner is served at xxx hour earlier than is the case, adjusted for however long a time they are usually late...so when they think they're making their "stylishly late" arrival...they're actually on time.
In most situations, though, as I said, these kinds of folks don't often comprehend polite requests, and you may just have to resort to some version of "Butt out!"
by kirstenblog6 years ago
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