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We all grow up listening to and obeying our parents or elders at home.
This is pretty much the same with everyone around the world. We are guided and nurtured by them, sometimes with a lot of care and love. We can call it a prerequisite for growing up in the world.
We listen to what our elders have to say because we weren’t born professional; their nurturing and guidance helps us to distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad, and what we can pursue or what we should not.
Once we are old enough to make our own decisions, we don’t ask for permission to pursue something, we seek advise. That is how adulting works.
But a whole lot of us put too much weight on what our family members, best friends, or our life partner have to say on how we lead our life—unknowingly, we give them our power and essence.
There is a difference between, “I’m concerned about you. We should do something about it,” and “I want you to lead a life that mimics my lifestyle. I don’t care if it doesn’t help you evolve, or even if it destroys your mental health and peace of mind.”
The first one is care and the latter is control.
All of us have hit a point in our lives where our daily routine is centered around someone else. We tend to put their needs before our own. We want them to be happy and satisfied. Maybe, we were taught to do so. Have we ever given a thought to whether our actions are reciprocated?
No. We are too invested in them and not us.
We should learn to have control over ourselves, and we surely shouldn’t glorify being told how and when to do something.
When we don’t put our needs first—no one will ever put them first for us.
We can see this between couples, when one partner controls the other in whatever they do. We usually don’t label certain actions as “control” because we are totally blinded by our affection and love.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to better understand your current relationships. If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might be suffering a subtle form of abuse and control:
>> On a regular basis, do you think about what your partner/family member would say about your dress or appearance when choosing an outfit? (For example: I want to wear that sleeveless top, but he wouldn’t like me wearing it.)
>> Do you think twice while trying a new kind of makeup? (I want to wear this red lipstick, but I hope I don’t look like a whore.)
>> Does the other person have a say about how much food goes into your mouth? (I want to have a dessert after my meal, or I want to have one extra roti for dinner because I’m starving, but I’m afraid they will bring up how I’m overweight.)
>> Do you find yourself sleeping less hours than what your body is asking you for? (I wish I had couple more hours of sleep, then I would be more active during my day and I wouldn’t feel exhausted.)
>> Do you have at least two to three hours of “me time” a day, time that revolves all around you? (The only me time I get is when everyone’s asleep, and I don’t have to attend to any of their needs.)
I’m positive that most women have been in most of these situations, but we would rather not discuss our needs or mental health and risk having an argument that will only exhaust us.
If a person respects and loves you enough, they will understand. If we don’t have a say in minute things like a dress we want to wear or the kind of meal we want to have, then we are not receiving the respect we deserve. Certainly, they don’t love us enough to care about who we really are.
If we want to rectify these issues, we have to fight for what is right and what we need. Silence and acceptance will get us nowhere, and even begin to kill our authentic self slowly on the inside.
Ladies! Only one person should have power over you and that person should be you.
Fight for yourself, even if it means they will have the wrong impression, because at the end of the day you will at least have peace of mind.