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Control Disguised as a Request

Requests are about engaging in heart connection and collaboration in attempt to make life better for all involved.  When you are making requests from a constricted heart and a place of trying to avoid something, there's a good chance you are actually attempting to gain control to meet your needs rather than collaborating with another.

Behind the strategy to control other's behavior or the environment, you will often find lots fear and hurt.  Behind the fear and hurt you will often find self-criticism.  Jackals just below the conscious level may be saying you failed and you're not good enough.

Another way you can monitor whether your control strategy is operating or not is how much you are focused on what others should be doing or not doing and just how wrong and bad they are.

When hurt, fear, and self-criticism reach a certain level, some part of you decides it is too much for you to experience and you start directing your attention outward.  You begin to criticize others and may attempt to control others and your environment.  Thoughts like, "If only she wouldn't communicate like that, we wouldn't have this problem."  "If only he would ..., things would go smoothly."   You create a sort of hell for yourself believing that if only others would change you would be happy.  In this hell, you believe your thoughts that others aren't considering you on purpose, that others are selfish, flaky, etc.

When making a true request you are centered in your heart, there may be hurt or sadness there and you are willing to feel it.  You take the time to reflect through journaling or meditation or asking someone to listen empathically.  You identify and detach from your jackals.  From this reflection, you gain clarity about what needs are really alive and what you know or guess meets those needs.  This self-connection and reflection informs your requests. 

Couples often ask when it is okay to make a request and how often one should or shouldn't make a request of his or her partner.  It's not about when or how often.  It's about where the request is coming from.  When a request comes from your connection to yourself and honoring of your needs, it's always time to make a request.

Unfortunately, all too often, couples aren't able or willing to do the work of creating the connection until each can hear each other's feelings and needs without a defended heart.  When requests are made without this connection, they can be hijacked on the speaker's side by a strategy to control or a perception on the listener's side that he or she is never enough.

If you are your partner are going back and forth about particular strategies or requests, check with your heart and see if you can find a way to let go of jackals.  Feel your hurt and longing, and ask for healing by creating a space for a dialogue that has only empathy going back and forth, with no talk of solutions or action requests.

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