What would be easy at this point is to simply consider someone we have relationship issues with and decide what category they fit in. It's easy to decide they are too controlling and if they would just let you live your life all would be well. Or if they would just speak up and be honest about things then we could all deal with whatever is on the table. But the truth is we all have the capability of falling into one of these categories and living messy. We need to not worry about another, but simply figure out how we can improve.
It's not something we want to consider, I'm right there with you. I want to pretend all the issues are from someone else. But it takes two to tango and we are not perfect. So, let's look at these categories as if they might be us, but in a way which recognizes we are all trying to be the best we can be and have honest motives even if the carry through is flawed.
If we are...
If we are compliants then we need to stop acting out of fear of others. Yes, there will be days we upset people. Yes, there will be days we let people down. Yes, there will be days someone responds horribly to something we do. But that cannot control our actions and words. We need to be true to ourselves and God and behave in an honest and true manner. If you think you fall into this category your challenge is to not act based off how you think someone else will respond. I know, it's not easy. But I believe you can push through that fear to be who you were created to be. Allow God to lead your behavior instead of fear.
If we are avoidants then we need to stop ignoring what's going on inside of us. We need to stop pushing people away and allow them into our hearts and lives. We need to take stock and figure out where we really are, and where we are supposed to be, and reach out to others to help us. If you think you fall into this category your challenge is to not stay isolated. I know, it's not easy. But I believe you can push through the fear to live in community as God designed us to. Allow God to lead your behavior instead of fear.
If we are controllers then we need to recognize we don't know it all. We need to stop thinking we have all the answers and admit there are things in life we know nothing about. Yes, things will get messed up sometimes. We need to realize that what we know is not everything to be known. If you think you fall into this category your challenge is to trust others. I know, it's not easy. But I believe you can push through the fear to trust God knows the heart and will use all for good. Allow God to lead your behavior instead of fear.
If we are nonresponsives we are going to have to realize being connected to others is not a bad thing. We need to face the fact there are more people in this world than just ourselves. We have to learn to take a healthy amount of responsibility in regards to how we interact with others. If you think you fall into this category your challenge is going to be seeing from other's perspectives. I know, it's not easy. But I believe you can push through the fear to trust connections with others will only make your life richer. Allow God to lead your behavior instead of fear.
The final challenge
If you think about it, these four behaviors are extremes of each other. You can be compliant on one end, and nonresponsive on another. Or you can be avoidant on one end and controlling on the other. But the truth is we all fall somewhere in the middle of all of these. More like a graph than a ruler. And I believe who we are interacting with, and where they fall, pushes us one way or another just as we push them.
The challenge for all of us is to live a life of love, which has boundaries, and follows the direction God is placing within us. I know, it can be hard. But I believe we all can live more healthy, God honoring lives if we allow Him to lead our behavior instead of fear.