Control (Losing Strategy #2)


Jason A Polk:

Hey, everyone. Jason A. Polk here and welcome to #RelationshipAdvice, and you may be thinking, whoa, what’s up with your sweater? So it was a Broncos Monday, the Broncos won yesterday. I’m so excited, and in the past few years, we don’t have very many wins, so I’m sporting this proud and loud. Go Broncos. Dan, queue the montage.

Anyway, the past video we talked about the losing strategy needing to be right. And today we’re going to talk about another losing strategy, and that’s control. So here’s the deal, and I want to drive this point home. Fundamentally we can’t control anyone. The only person we can control is us. The way I can get my partner to do something for me is by asking, requesting or persuading them through attraction and not by manipulation. For example, “Hey babe, do you want to go to the monster truck rally on Sunday? I’ll make dinner three nights in a row.” That would be an offer you can’t refuse.

If you try to control your partner by telling them to behave in the way that you want, you’re going to get pushback, either in terms of an argument or passive-aggressive resentment. We can ask for what we want and let go of outcome, but we can’t tell our partner what to do. That is an unhealthy relationship because no one likes to be controlled. Here’s an example from my online course and my wife trying to control my spending in a subtle way.

Jason A Polk:

So, I’m buying the softball team appetizers and we’re going to talk about our upcoming season.

Jessica:

You’re buying the softball team appetizers? Okay. Didn’t you just buy them all uniforms?

Jason A Polk:

Yeah. So?

Jessica:

Okay. So, didn’t we just talk about your Frontier card and how you shouldn’t be having huge purchases like that? It’s not like we can fly anywhere anytime soon, so why are you using your Frontier card?

Jason A Polk:

So you see there, that was my wife subtly trying to wrangle me into changing my spending.

If she would have said, “No, you’re staying home and I don’t want you to talk to your friends,” I would’ve said, “Screw you, I’m doing it anyway,” and I would leave. Or, I would stay home and passively-aggressively resent her, either way it was not going to be a win for us.

If she would have said it in this way, “I feel worried about your spending in this situation and I would like for you not to use your credit card,” I would have been able to hear that and been more likely to come through for her.

Let me know if you’ve ever had this experience with your partner and how you plan to combat it next time. Also, if you’re interested in solving your relationship problems and want to have a thriving, vibrant relationship, feel free to check out my course. And that’s it. We’ll see you next time on #RelationshipAdvice. Thank you so much for watching.

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