Deeply caring for others invites us to step over the relationship line and tell people what to do with their lives. Another motivation is not so benevolent. The actions others take can directly benefit or harm us. Of course, we care.

Controlling behavior means offering unsolicited help to friends and loved ones and being unhappy if they don’t embrace our suggestions. Being right doesn’t matter.

This article offers an approach to expressing your opinions while showing respect for the important people in your life. It will guarantee you the love you deserve for caring enough to want to influence them.

We all strive for good communication. Communication is important anywhere and it is most important at home, in dealing with our loved ones. In the area of controlling behavior, family matters are particular challenging. Here is an example situation in which all of us would be tempted to offer unsolicited advice.

You carefully raise and protect your child, always keeping him safe from making irreconcilable judgment errors. Now, at age 22, he tells you he is joining the Army. You die inside. You envision the battlefield, with the bombs going off, and your child lying on the ground along with other wounded soldiers.

Instead of immediately telling him “No, he can’t join the Army,” and to “get that thought right out of his mind,” consider taking another approach.

First, ask his permission to give your opinion. If he says, “No,” then no it is. Respect his answer and hope for the best.

By telling you of his decision, or about an issue that concerns him, he is partially asking for your thoughts on the subject, but maybe not completely. He may simply want you to listen. You have to make sure. If he says, “O.K., I guess so,” the message translates to, “No, I don’t want to hear what you have to say.”

If he gives you his approval, express your opinion in gentle terms. Something like, “I realize there are many factors to consider, and you probably have thought of them all through.” Then, ask if he has thought about ... (your side of it)..., then give your opinion or the contributing factors leading up to your opinion.

Make sure you add that you will support and love him no matter what he decides to do. Of course, you have to mean it. Given space, he will consider the issue and not just react to the opposition. He may even change his mind on his own.

Now, here is the difficult part, you have to honor his decision and detach yourself from the possible outcomes. Let go and accept whatever happens.

Do not connect with your feared results of his decision. Each of us has our own catastrophe demons and in most cases, our fears never come true. You may call this taking the “Support High Road,” and it really is. True communication and caring is the result of this approach. He will love you for it.

We all want the people we love to make logical and safe choices with their lives. However, the lives are theirs, and true caring sets them free to live it.

Basic Relationship goals are that we want our special people to like or love us. By supporting them, rather than controlling them, we earn their love and respect.

Author's Bio: 

Judith Evicci, personal growth and technical writer. Favorite writing genre is creative nonfiction.

In the business writing arena, she specializes in business website content, eBooks, on real estate topics, and web articles.

Highest education degree obtained is a BS in Law.

Most recent technical writing is a textbook for passing the California NMLS SAFE Act, Mortgage Loan Origination test. Book is now offered for sale on the web.

Contact Information: