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The Power of Control (2)

Another method used to control others is emotional manipulation. Whining, sympathy seeking, tears of helplessness, supposed sickness, outburst of anger/rage, pouting, silence and threats of a physical, emotional, financial or spiritual nature are all methods of emotional manipulation. Silence, which is a form of rejection, is an especially powerful tool in the hands of a controller.  Tears of helplessness are also powerful because they are intended to make the victim feel guilty and to feel pity for the controller.


Abusive spiritual control is another destructive type of control. It has nothing to do with true spirituality. Spiritual abusers, “puffed up” with pride, are driven by their lust for power and prestige. They attempt to control others emotionally and spiritually by being “super-spiritual,” by controlling prayers, by misusing both Scripture and their spiritual gifts, thus “lording it over” others.  This kind of abusive control can be especially damaging because it attacks the very essence of our being.


How do you break the power of control?

You cannot live a happy, normal life if you are being controlled by someone else. You need to be set free (John 8:32).

    •The first step is to recognize that you are being controlled. When you are around a controller you will feel

      intimidated, ill at ease, inadequate. You will feel obligated to agree with the controller even if their opinions

      differ from yours.

    •The next step is to recognize how you are being controlled.  Is it through tears, silence, threats, anger, whining or    

     perhaps spiritual abuse?  Take the necessary steps to correct your own thought patterns and actions in order to

     stop the controller from dominating your life. For example, if you are controlled by silence, learn not to respond

     to it.

    •Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty when the controller doesn’t speak to you. Go ahead and enjoy life. Let them be

     miserable if that is what they choose. Sooner or later the controller will realize that their silence is not bringing

     about their desired result.

    •The last step is to confront the controller. Confrontation does not always have to be a battle. Say to your

     controller, “You have controlled me in these ways: [name them . . . ].  I love you and desire a meaningful

     relationship with you, but these behaviors will not work anymore. If you continue to attempt to control me, we

     can no longer have a relationship.”

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