Couples’ counselors in Orlando have noted that partners can feel stressed or anxious when communicating with their partner due to worrying about coming off as controlling. Societal impressions of being a controlling partner are where one partner is telling the other partner what to do and how to do it with an “ultimatum” of some form or another thrown into the mix as well. When this happens, the communication breakdown occurs, and this is where a partner may feel defensive or the need to push back due to having their freedom is impeded. However, couple’s counselors in Orlando have a focus on communication and how to effectively communicate appropriately to discuss feelings and emotions.
The first step in how to avoid being controlling in a relationship is, to be honest about how something is making them feel and what their needs are. This helps you to self-reflect and avoid controlling or projecting the direction of the conversation. Rather, it becomes self-advocating for the needs the partner has and turning towards the relationship to rely on the allyship of having a partner to meet those needs and fulfill them.
Couple’s counselors would agree that most partners are fearful of being controlling and allowing this fear institutes the partner to project the direction of the conversation which can run parallel to coming off as controlling. To avoid this, utilizing a gentle start-up and the phrase “I feel…because…I need…” can be a great bridge to how a partner speaks about their emotions and needs in a situation without coming off as controlling. If this is a fear that a partner has as well when trying to communicate their emotional needs, even speaking about this fear can be a great way to allow the other partner to understand more where they are coming from and how they can help support them in not being a controlling partner but a loving one.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.