Control Issues

Belle did a post recently where she talked a little about having control issues. One thing that resonated with me was when she said,
The logic goes: I only trust you not to mess up because I trust me to look out for myself. Unless I'm with my mother, I look both ways before I cross the street. I trust her not to mess up. At least when it comes to my safety. Unless I am with my father, I always carry a credit card or my debit card. I trust him not to mess up. At least when it comes to the finances.
I started up a reply that asserted that I agree with her on that, but still don't really think of myself as having control issues.

I didn't finish the comment, because I couldn't flush it out very well.

In fact, I still can't, but...

I have been doing some recent thinking on controlling things. See, I'm a big believer in focusing on what you CAN control, instead of what you can't.

Recently, I was planning a trip with two friends. My history with individual trip planning with both of these people was pretty non-existant, but I felt like they would be the type to back out on me at the last minute. I've experienced this a lot, actually, and I do my best to avoid the situation.

As I exepcted, things started to get a little spotty with details. I was venting about the situation to a third friend and she told me that she was surprised that I was even entertaining this talk. I explained to her why -- and the point of what I said was, I can control myself.

See, the worst case scenario was, both friends backed out and I was stuck holding a non-refundable plane ticket. Fine by me, I told my friend. I could take my rental car and drive home and spend a weekend with my mother. However the other trip they wanted to plan -- out to LA -- I wasn't in on, because if they backed out on that, I'd be stuck with a non-refundable $300 ticket to a place where I would know no one (well, no one I'd want to see).

I was willing to take that risk because I could control myself and I focused on the things within it that related to me. I didn't spend any time worried (though I did get irritated) about them and what they were or weren't doing.

In the past 2 days, I've had a similar piece of advice for three friends. Focus on what you can control.

One friend feels dissed by a guy she's interested in. She can't control who he likes or what he does about it, but she can control how she allows what he does to effect her.

A second friend recently had yet another fight with someone she cares about. This guy is a real jerk and obviously has no concern about her and how she feels. She can't control his jerk tendencies, but she can control how she allows those tendences to effect her.

The third friend really likes a girl who says she likes him back, but lately -- he's been getting the cold shoulder. He can't control what she does, but he can control how that effects him.

It's not easy, really. If somebody does something to hurt your feelings, it's expected that you will be upset. But how long are you upset? How much of the getting over it part do you leave up to the other person. Do you sit around waiting on them to apologize, or do you forgive them and move on? You can control yourself -- you can't control them. Leaving how you feel and what you do completely up to them gives them all the control and if they were jerkfaces enough to hurt you -- odds are they're too much of a jerkface to apologize (or otherwise try to right the wrong).

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