The difference between guiding someone and wanting to control them
I suggest you take a few moments to reflect on this question before you continue reading...
When we GUIDE someone, we advise them about ways they could approach a certain situation, all the while keeping their interests at heart and believing our suggestions to be beneficial for them. Before guiding someone, it is very important to remember that our advice and suggestions will only be appreciated if we have been asked to give them.
It may happen at times that you have a great desire to help someone because you are convinced that what you have to say will be of great use to them. In a situation like that, take the time to share your desire with that person and ask if they would be willing to hear you. If they refuse or seem hesitant, don't insist. If you persist in offering lots of suggestions despite their response, it is because you want to CONTROL them. You want them to act according to your understanding of good and bad in this type of situation. It means you are not in touch with the other person's needs but rather with your own beliefs. You are trying to impose on them what you think would benefit you in that situation.
This type of control is very common in relationships and is even more so when we are dealing with those closest to us, our family members and friends. When we want to control, we are forgetting that true love is lived by accepting the uniqueness of each and every person. What is good for us is not necessarily good for those we hold dear in our lives.
There are two ways to know if you are guiding or controlling. If you have already advised someone and made your suggestions, did you take the time to ask them a few questions about their situation beforehand to find out what they really needed? This is the best way to learn what the other person's real needs are. If you did not do this, it's because you are controlling.
The second way is to ask yourself how you would feel if someone told you they disagreed with your guidance, or if they said nothing, or thanked you but paid no attention whatsoever to your advice.
If you feel that you would be disappointed or would experience anger, it's because your intention - whether you are conscious of it or not - was to control the other person. Unfortunately, most of us believe that we are showing our love when we repeatedly tell others what, when and how to act in certain circumstances, and that they are showing their love for us when they follow our advice. Be aware that this is ENTIRELY FALSE. Control, in all its forms is a sign of FEAR, especially the fear of NOT BEING LOVED. I would remind you that the more we act out of fear, the more the very thing we are afraid of will manifest itself. Then you will be trapped in a painful vicious circle.
The person who is truly guiding is aware that the other person is free to take their advice and act on it or not. A true guide knows that the other person will always be the only one who can assume the consequences of their decisions.
I will conclude with the following suggestion. Choose five people who are very close to you and ask them to read this article and then to tell you if they find that you guide or that you control in your dealings with them. You may not like their reply, but I can assure you that this act of humility - an action that your ego will not like at all - has the potential to transform your relationships for the better.