You can’t…

I notice it easily in others. 

Nonproductive attempts to control outcomes, invoke responses that’s desired, or ultimatums.

I readily feel that twang of conviction when someone else succumbs to manipulation traps.  

But it’s easier to point a finger away. 

Unfruitful words such as:

“You’ve got to stop acting like this, it’s going to put me in the hospital.”

“Tell me you love me.”

“If you don’t do this, then I’m going to______”(you fill in the blank). 

What is truly being said is, 

“If you change, I will be okay.”

“Tell me what I need to hear. Then I can be at peace.”

“Do what I want, then I will be happy.”

Can you see how this  gives the other person all the power? 

It shoulders onto another the weight of our well-being.

The first key to breaking this cycle is noticing. But then action must follow.


By changing responses and interactions.

First, pause.

Take inventory within and GIFT yourself with the power to make yourself alright. 

Ask, How can I interact in this relationship while keeping me okay?


“You can act however you want. I just can’t be a part of it—it’s not healthy for me.”  Then your action follows by not being a part of that particular dynamic. The person that you think is going to “put you in the hospital” has a choice to either change or stay the same. Regardless, you take charge of your own well-being. Someone’s behavior should never make YOU sick.

“Regardless of how you feel, I want you to know I love you.”  Loving words are nice when you can get them, but your tranquility can’t be based on whether or not they are reciprocated. It’s empowering to give loving words and not need them in return. You can want them, but receiving an “I love you” in return can’t hinge on your own security.

I value our relationship too much to give ultimatums. You do what you’ve got to do. I’m going to leave now, not because I’m trying to get you to do what I want, but because it’s good for me.” Get what you desire from you, not from someone else.

Can you feel the empowerment of living anew?

You can’t change…others. But you can certainly change you.

And that my friend, is freeing.