Day 140: We cannot control other people

Duh.  Isn’t that obvious?  We can’t control what other people do — to themselves, to us, to the rest of the world.

However, we can be clear about how their actions affect us.

We can also let them know how we feel about it. And we can control what we do , in response to their actions.

This applies on a personal level.

Let’s say that an adult, whom I love, has a toothache. This person has had toothaches before and — for lots of reasons — has not gone to the dentist.

While I think it’s a great idea for that person to go to the dentist, it’s not my tooth. It’s not my pain.

The best I can do is this:  tell the person that it bothers me to see them in pain. Let them know I’m eager to talk about what might be getting in the way of them seeing the dentist.  Find out and offer information that might be helpful.

And then step back.

As they say, you can lead a horse to the dentist, but you can’t make it sit in the chair.

(Depending upon where you live, that previous sentence might make NO sense. If that applies to you, the original saying is “You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.” See here for more about that English language proverb.) (I am not, at this writing, aware of any real proverbs involving dentists.)

That concludes today’s post, ladies and gentlemen.  Thank you, so much, for bringing yourself here.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Day 140: We cannot control other people

  1. “You can lead a horse to the dentist, but you can’t make it sit in the chair” – made me smile. Maybe because the chair is too small for the horse 🙂 kidding aside, that proverb is really appropriate. I have mine too – You can let your dog sit, but you can’t stop him from turning around first 😀

  2. Pingback: Day 1066: Other people | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  3. Pingback: Day 1137: Control | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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