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Are you a dominating, controlling partner?

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January 06, 2009

As part of a relationship series to ensure you're lucky in love this year, we bring you an excerpt from The Secret Laws of Attraction by Talane Miedaner. The author is the owner and founder of, a website that provides professional help to people seeking more success, wealth and overall happiness.

Presented below is a section from Chapter 6, How to Meet the Top Twenty-One Core Needs.

5. Control/Power

If your need is for power or control, you like to be in charge and very often end up in relationships where your partner prefers to take a backseat. He or she usually lets you call the shots or is very supportive of your goals and career.

Culturally, we expect women to be softer, more nurturing, and not so controlling or dominating. In truth, both men and women have this need, although women are more reluctant to admit it. You will need the authority commensurate with your responsibilities. Once you feel you have power and control over the areas or domains of your life that are most important to you, you will be willing to let go of the other areas.

Meeting the Need Through Others

  • Discuss your need for power or control with your friends and family. Rest assured, they already know about this need, but discussing it will make it easier on them because they will have the chance to grant you control of the domains that are most important to you. For example, one client is a real stickler for the laundry. She is extremely picky about ho it should be done and needs complete control over this domain. However, she is happy to let someone else be in charge of the menu planning and grocery shopping. Once you've determined which domains are yours to control, everyone will be much happier.

  • Offer to drive, even if it isn't your car. Many people prefer being driven, so this is a handy way to take charge and feel in control.

  • Ask your boss to give you the power and authority necessary to get the job done.

  • Ask your manager if you can write the agenda for the meetings and check the minutes afterward.

  • Ask if you can have the remote control.

    Meeting the Need Yourself

  • Decide which areas you must control and then delegate the things that really aren't important to you. If you get your need fully met in the areas that are most important to you, you will find it is easier to let someone else be in control in other areas. For example, you may want to have complete control over the cars, but don't care what happens in the kitchen. Stake out your territory and let everyone involved know.

  • Take the time up front to train people properly until they get it right.

  • Become the president of a club, group, or organisation so you can assert your need to manage others in an appropriate setting.

  • You will naturally be drawn to positions of power and authority. Invest in the training you need to get ahead in your career.

  • Start and run your own business if you find you can't achieve power working in a company. Or buy a business to run.

  • Choose a mate who is happy to let your career take priority over his or hers. You may prefer to marry someone who lets you take charge of the major decisions.

  • If you are a bodybuilder or athlete, ask your date or mate to support your activities.

    Meeting Your Partner's Need

  • Decide together which areas or domains will be under his or her jurisdiction. Write it down and post it on the fridge if needed.

  • Be willing to let go of areas that aren't important to you.

  • Stick firmly to your own boundaries. If it is your domain, don't let your controlling partner hone in! If your partner tries to tell you how to wash the car, you might gently respond with, "Since when was the car your domain?"

  • Let your partner take the lead, such as choosing the restaurant or show. You might ask him or her to order for you in restaurants.

  • Know that his or her career might be more important than yours and that your career may not be as important to him or her.

  • Support his or her career choices.

    Marjorie's Story

    Marjorie hated the thought of having a need to be in control. She definitely did not want to have this need. However, she couldn't even let her husband pull out of the driveway without telling him which way to turn. When she started working with me she complained that she had to do everything for her husband and two sons and she was exhausted. Their marriage was falling apart and she didn't have the energy anymore to maintain it. I asked her why she didn't delegate some of the chores to her eight- and ten-year-old boys -- they were certainly old enough to help with the laundry.

    "Well, I tried it once and they washed the colours with the whites and all the socks came out pink. Whenever I try to delegate anything, they don't d it right and it just makes more work for me in the end."

    The problem was that Marjorie wasn't willing to let go of control. It's no wonder she was exhausted having to manage all the details of her family's life. When she wondered why they couldn't seem to do anything right I pointed out that she had trained them all not to do anything, or even think for themselves, so that she could control everything. She was training them to be dependent on her. This is how needs can drive us in bizarre ways. Instead of trying not to be so controlling (denying our needs only makes them worse -- you have to fulfill a need to make it go away), I asked Marjorie to figure out where she would like to be in control. She said that she would like to be in control of the kitchen, including all meal planning and preparation, the decoration of the home, her own business, and the household budget. I then asked where she would like to relinquish control. Her list included the cars, the computers, the garage, lawn mowing, and household maintenance.

    Marjorie sat down with her husband and sons and made a list of all the domains in the household, and as a family they decided who would be the 'boss' and responsible for each area. Her older son opted for lawn maintenance and pruning, and her younger son took responsibility for the laundry. Her husband turned over the household finances to her so she could be in control of the overall budget and savings. They agreed to meet monthly to discuss major expenditures together.

    Marjorie now had a sense of being in control of things that were important to her, and everyone in the family had his or her own separate domains. At first there was some adjustment; Marjorie had to bite her tongue a few times when she was tempted to control someone else's domain. But they quickly reminded her that this was now their domain. As her need became satisfied, Marjorie noticed that it was easier for her to let go of areas she had tried to control before (such as telling her husband which way to turn out of the driveway). For the first time in years, she was starting to relax and have fun with her family. And her family was taking responsibility for their lives instead of letting Marjorie take care of everything. Now everyone is much happier.

    Excerpted from The Secret Laws of Attraction (Rs 225) by Talane Miedaner with the permission of publishers Tata McGraw-Hill.

    Want to purchase the book online? Click here.

    Also read:
    Ladies, make yourself irresistible to men!
    Passion: The solution to a boring sex life

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