School Talk 20 - Control
(*Audience participation is in parentheses--notations in brackets have been added for clarification )
Our talk today will be on control which is essentially a continuation of the talk we had on Friday of relationships. In relationship somebody usually determines that they should be in control. Doesn’t matter where it is, what particular kind of relationship, whether it’s business or work or at home or parent-child or boy-girl or what-have-you, somebody—usually everybody--decides they should be in control--and naturally that results in a considerable amount of conflict to say the very least.
Many people feel that it’s either necessary to control or be controlled. Other people don’t even know that they’re interested in control, but they fall into the habit of it. Most effort to control is totally unconscious. So when somebody finds fault with another, they’re generally attempting to control them. Maybe force them into a mold of what I would like to have, but we’ve found that all living things resist being molded.
You take a little puppy dog whose very friendly and wags his tail and all that; but you put him in a mold and try to force him into a different shape than he is, and he will become very vicious and start biting. A cat scratches even quicker; and human beings resist in many different ways—most often by attempting to do a little controlling on their own part. So generally the control is unknown; but maybe we can stop to look for a little bit, as to "What am I trying to do?" Whenever there is contention between two or more people, which frequently is the case, or maybe there is contention with just one of us--the one of us that is interested in control.
We can ask “What are we trying to accomplish?” in this situation. Very frequently we could answer the question very quickly. “I’m trying to control.” Now of course, the not “I’s” will try to answer for you first “We’re trying to do what’s for their best advantage.” “We’re trying to get them to straighten up and fly right so they’ll get along better in the world.”
We can hear a lot of different things that the not “I’s” come up with to answer; but let’s keep asking the question until finally I sees—“What am I going to get out of it.”
As long as we feel we are doing something considerable for someone else, especially if it is to change their behavior, then we’re really not working for them--no matter how many times the not I’s say it is working for you, or for that other person. You’re really trying to get something for yourself, so the better way to ask is “What am I trying to get out of this.”
Now you know if you’re going to try and straighten somebody else out, they’re going to get something out of it; but you know I don’t think very many of us are super interested in straightening the other one out if everything’s going to suit me. Would that be about right, John? As long as it’s going to suit me, I’m not interested in straightening them out.
But the minute it’s not, then I become super interested in getting these other people straightened up to fly right; of course, we maintain that the only way to get somebody straightened out is to put them in a box and bury them and then their usually straightened out pretty well.
We offer guns for sale and poison and whatever else a person wants to have. I don’t recommend you use it, but we have it for sale in case anybody wants it if they want to straighten them out that way. But, even then, that wouldn’t relieve the thing. That, of course, is the ultimate in control--is it not? If you felt a murderous thought in your ideas, would that not be the ultimate in control. I think that’s the ultimate control is that we would do ‘em in--snuff ‘em out--now we’re totally in control of them, but that’s not usually necessary.
So if we begin to observe that all control creates contention and conflict between individuals, and it certainly wouldn’t be to my advantage to control someone. So we’ll say that I put a handcuff on Mark; so now I have to put it on me so I can keep up with him—whose in bondage? I’m just as much in bondage as he is. If he’s going to the bathroom, I have to truck along with him; and if I go, he has to go.
So, if we ever stop to look at control, it’d be the last thing in the world we wanted to do anyway, because it puts us in a total bondage to someone else; and we wouldn’t want that anyway. Neither would I want the responsibility of being in charge of another person--just wouldn’t want that. It’s one thing to love them, care for them, be with them, what-have-you; but it’s another thing to try and control them.
And, of course, I don’t think there’s much love involved when there’s a lot of control involved. Probably that’s the last thing that’s there anyway. No doubt we call it that because I’ve found in many human emotions the not “I” activity is referred to as love, but I don’t think it meets the qualifications of it. It is trying to straighten someone around.
If you love somebody, you like them just like they are, they don’t have to have 20 hours of counseling from me in order to straighten up and fly right. I like them just like they are and that’s enough; but if I’m going to control them, then they have to be straightened around and we spend all of our time discussing their faults and their shortcomings and how we can get it straightened out. Every date would turn into a psychiatric session.
Many times I’ve noticed that dinners at home turn into psychiatric sessions for many people? There is a "continual run" of one takes the role of therapist five minutes and then the other one grabs it and runs with it; and of course, that’s a wonderful way to have indigestion, ulcers and all that goes with it. But anyway, that keeps the doctors busy and they do have to have a source of income. So everybody seems to be wanting to contribute very much to the doctor's well-being, and who am I to say that you should not do it—we’re only going to talk about what does go on when we look at control.
In many other ways, we could see the control is saying, "I would like you if you were different." But if they were different, I would still have to be changing them and straightening them out because nobody is going to fit any static ideal because human beings are dynamic--they’re changing every moment--they’re doing something different. Even though they get in some patterns sometimes, the pattern is a little bit different anyway, and so there would never be a non-disturbed moment. [with a static ideal]
So if you find yourself in a situation, wherein you’re in conflict with somebody, or you’re in somewhat of a contention with each other, the question is “Who am I trying to control?”--and why? "Why would I want to control them in the first place?" and usually we can get it down to facts where we can see it. "Why do you want to control them?" They wouldn’t be any fun. You know you might as well go get you a robot and program it to do everything you want it to do. Now wouldn’t you get tired of playing with that [robot] in a little while—you programmed it to sweep the floor. Well, that’s interesting to sit and watch it, but in a few days who wants to—turn the thing loose and watch it go. Maybe you could have it programmed to make the bed, so what, it’s a cute little programmed thing to watch for a while, but who would want it. It has no joy to it, it is a piece of clanking machinery and we wouldn’t be very interested in it.
I don’t know whether any of you have seen this little robot that rides American Airlines and gets off the airplane on it’s own and then goes back? Well, they have one, and it talks to people when it gets off the airplane and rolls on little rollers and it’s got blinking eyes and flirts with the girls, etc. Now, of course, there’s somebody out there somewhere helping it out, you know, but nevertheless it’s cute the first time you see it, but the second time--so what! I’ve seen it about four or five times and I almost feel like kicking it over. It runs out and stands in the drive and gets everybody all gawking around. It amuses kids a little bit, but it’s a toy.
Would you want a toy as a companion or as a friend or as a working person to work with you in anything? Would you want a toy or would you rather have a real living being that can express a viewpoint at least now and then--even though it be conditioned. At least a conditioned person is doing something different rather than the constant "doing nothing" or that which a machine would be doing.
So when one cares to look at it, one sees one would not want to control a person, for many reasons.
1. It puts you in bondage
2. You don’t want to be responsible for them, you can’t be
3. They would be no fun if they were controlled and you’d never see the real person function; besides that,
4. Nobody is going to hold still for what they consider to be control.
Have any of you ever felt you were attempted to be controlled by somebody, and how did you feel about having that?
Did you like it and feel it was wonderful that somebody wanted to control you or were you hunting for distance between you and that person—fast as possible.
(I did it!)
You did it—3,000 or more miles--right quick, huh? Didn’t take long and sometimes 3,000 miles is not enough, but nevertheless any attempt to control is felt as an imposition upon you; and something you are apt to, if you are not extremely aware, want to defend yourself from. Why would you even want to get involved with control in the first place?
If you feel somebody is controlling you, you can certainly be aware in a very few minutes that you don’t have to be controlled.
There was a person come by here the other day who sat down and attempted to do a little controlling on me. He tried all sorts of stunts to see if I would be defensive. I'm sure you know how you can accuse a person of this or accuse them of that. You can make an issue to the person that they don’t have this or they are not up to par on that. I agreed with him that I wasn’t near up to par. I’m a "perfect slob" and quite proud of it and I only pride myself on being the "highest grade slob" around and so that ended the point.
Now he couldn’t make me go on the defensive; and he got very frustrated with it. I told him in due time that I thought this "program" had gone on long enough—from now on it’s $150 an hour, and you can have as much time as you want. Without paying for it, he gets nothing—take off man—move it!
And so you see you don’t have to be controlled! You don’t have to get angry. You don’t have to defend yourself.
Now one of the big responses to attempt to control is going on the defensive, and you know what I mean by being on the defensive? I gotta protect my "viewpoint of me." I’ve got to protect me from any statement you might have made about me and etc.
If you know that you are a reasonable person, does it make any difference if anybody calls you unreasonable? I don’t have to defend myself against such statements. I already know I’m not unreasonable—especially to me. So I can go right on my way, I don’t have to defend on that, do you? There is no reason to defend that.
Do you have to defend yourself if somebody said you were fat? Do you have to go into a tizzy and think you are perfectly not or anything? What difference does it make?
You know what somebody else says about me cannot say anything at all about me. They can only tell me how they feel when I’m the subject of their conversation—their feeling may be totally erroneous.
You know what you would "say" about me has nothing to do with "saying anything about me", you can only say how you feel when I’m the subject of your conversation and it doesn’t mean a thing.
So what? You’re entitled to your feelings—you can have all of them you want. I don’t necessarily choose to have them, but you can have them, ok? Why be upset because somebody says something that could be construed to be uncomplimentary—so what? I don’t know if it’s complimentary or uncomplimentary--it’s according to where you are--the time, place and circumstance would be as to whether it was even a compliment or not.
So let’s all take a reasonable bit of time to consider about our unconscious attempts to control others and about our unconscious defenses against what we feel that somebody else is attempting to control us—what difference does it make. I can change the subject and talk about something interesting or funny or something nice. I can tell a joke or something. I can tell the story about the guy that hollered fire when they said shoot at him.
You know, it doesn’t make any difference to get something going that would work and we don’t have to go into these tedious things which results in long weeks, months and sometimes years of contention. How many of you have known people that have been living in the same house, raised a family, and have contended at each other for the last 20 years. You know that’s a miserable sort of existence—and think of all the fun you missed by sitting around grinching--and grinching hasn’t changed a thing except you’ve looked old, decrepit and probably have ulcers. And if you keep it up long enough, maybe you could have a beautiful cancer, who knows; and then you could really get a lot of attention.
But who needs to control anybody, who needs to defend themselves—who needs to make all these productions out of totally unconscious things where the not “I’s” are coming along saying, "Well, you’ve got to make them do this."
Now let’s say that you had a child that was 15 years old or thereabouts. You’re not going to make that child do anything. When they’re real little you can make them cry—after that you can’t do much else about it, that’s all you can do when they’re real little, is make them cry; but when they’re bigger, you can’t even do that—they just consider you’re a old "meanie."
So how would you go about controlling, let’s say Julie. How would you go about doing it? Might as well forget it and go on about your business and tell her what a cute kid she is and go on—she’s going to do it anyway. So why spend all this effort attempting to control. It’s a wasted time, and not only that; it’s very frustrating to all concerned. She sees you as a nag, and you see her as a mean little brat. But in no way are you getting anywhere.
When you look at it—what need do we have to have control. Human beings are quite capable of fumbling through on their own—I don’t think most of us have devised out a "real map" or "way" or "purpose in living"; but you know we’ve all mumbled through this far—why fumble with it. We can get along. And all the people we know are getting along, aren’t they? You know people 70 or 80 years old don’t you John—they’re still getting along—maybe their just muddling through; but they are all right. You don’t have to straighten them out—you’re not responsible for them.
We have about all we can do to recall what it is that we’re doing. Now it’s very easy to say, “Well, I forgot.” That’s an easy one. I forgot in the moment. But we also come back with our little thing of saying, “Look if you make anything of first value, you don’t forget it.”
John you smoke a cigarette every once in a while, don’t you? How often do you walk off and forget them?
(Not very often.)
So if you don’t forget a simple little thing like a cigarette, surely you wouldn’t forget something as worthwhile as something that has so much to do with your health, well-being and happiness and probably income as well, is that right? You wouldn’t forget it, would you? Because it means as much as a pack of cigarettes. Use lipstick once in a while?
(Chap stick, won’t go anywhere without it.)
Ok. You won’t go without chap stick because--who knows what kissin’ game you’re going to get in and need it. So you use lipstick once in a while, don’t you Velena? Do you go off without it, or do you remember to take it along?
And you know I’ve noticed something else. Very few people forget to put their clothes on when they go out of the house. Have you ever noticed that a simple thing like dressing, people just don’t forget it? Well, you know I can see how you would easily forget it--if it didn’t have any value to you. You don’t forget what you value, do you? I haven’t noticed you out in your underwear, but who knows, we might see it.
So we don’t forget things that we put of first value or even put reasonable amount of value on. Maybe John doesn’t even put first value on his cigarettes, but he puts enough value on them not to forget them anyway. Right? So surely we could have enough value in that which has the most to do with our well being. We could have enough value on it that we wouldn’t have any forgetting, ok? I think I’ve talked long enough. Now let’s have conversation from everybody here.
(What if you’re doing what is to your advantage like being nice to someone?)
Well, that’s good; you’re not trying to control them. You’re trying to be reasonable, to handle the situation to the best of your ability, isn’t that right? When I’m trying to "sell" somebody something, I’m pretty nice to them, right?
[When we are in the midst of "selling" an item or an idea to someone, we present it's advantages; but when we're consciously "selling" something, we at least know "in that particular event" that we can't control or make somebody "buy" it. Dr. Bob is applying that "process" to getting what we want from others rather than giving others a "hard way to to" to get them and circumstances like the not "i's" from within us say "things ought to be."]
(What about when someone that you care about a lot wants you to be different as far as weight goes?)
I don’t know, I’d ask them what they wanted. If you want a girl that weights less, go get her, don’t bother me.
(Leave it with them?)
If they want one that’s skinny, tell them go hunt up a skinny one. There ought to be a lot of them around. I’ve seen a lot of them down the street. What has that got to do with the price of butter.
(What is it that some people just accept you and others want to control you?)
Well, you’ll have to ask the people that want to control. Usually the people that are wanting to control are unaware that that’s what they’re doing. They just got a not “i” that’s kicking them around. If anybody was awake, they wouldn’t want to control anybody, so hit them on the toe with a hammer and that will kinda help wake them up and then they can remember what it was. You know that does help a little bit.
[I'm sure Dr. Bob didn't mean hit them on the toe with a hammer literally. Since we are presenting these ideas on the internet and can no longer ask Dr. Bob what he meant; I feel a need to add a little here. He always said that one of his purposes was to remain harmless and he would never physically harm another. When I "recognize" that someone is trying to control me, I've begun working on a process to deal with that behavior from another. First, I ignore it. If that doesn't work, I change the subject and try to distract them. If that doesn't work, I will use a gentle, "No." And if they persist, I develop an inner feeling of determination and give them a firm "NO!" If all that fails--I leave!]
So when somebody tries to control you, I do get their attention or say something. You know, of course, if you said, "You’re trying to control me", they would immediately deny it and probably would mean it--with all sincerity--because very few people know exactly what their working at.
(Does this cover children too?)
Oh yes, children too. I wouldn’t try to control children, but I try to interest ["sell"] them a little bit. You know if you see what the kid is doing, the kids trying to control you. That’s number one out; you can let them know that you know what their doing and that you are not buying that--you’re not going to control me. I may be your slave, but you’re not going to control me. I’m a slave willingly for you--feed you, clothe you, house you, send you to school and all the rest of it--but you’re not going to make my life miserable. I let the kid know that I am on to his games. In other words, they don’t know--the words, to put it--that they’re trying to control you. They wouldn’t use the term, but that’s exactly what they’re trying to do.
(Why are they taking control anyway?)
Well nature seemed to have done that the first day you were born. You got hurt a little bit in the birth process, and you decided that the whole purpose of living was to regain the non-disturbed state. Then you found out you could cry. Then you found out you could kick your little feet and it would get attention and somebody would try to please you. So you know parents help teach it to you; and you in turn teach it to yours and they in turn will teach it to theirs, and they in turn will teach it to theirs.
Somewhere I read in a book that the sins of the father--which means the way the father missed the boat by taking a wrong direction--is visited upon the children until the 50th generation. I think it goes even further, but that guy was conservative. He thought it’d finally wear out, but it doesn’t. It just keeps on going. So I could probably tell you what you’re great, great great grandfather was doing because all I got to do is "kinda" see how you respond. I would then know about where it originated. So it’s a good time for it to stop now.
(Females use some very interesting tactics.)
Well, they may be interesting to females, but they are old hat to anybody that looks at them. But go to it, let the secrets out.
(You know we are pretty intent on using female ways to get our way.)
. . . . . . . . .to control some guy that doesn’t know any better.
(So what would be the difference, you know, females want their way, and they seem very pleasing to a lot of guys. Females get their way and they enjoy it.)
Who does, the man?
He’ll like it for a few months, but you’d better remember that it is short-lived while he’s under your spell. But after a while the spell wears off and it doesn’t work so good.
(But there is a difference between control)
Sell all you got--that’s all right. Sell it, I’m in favor of that--learn all the techniques of selling you can get--give all the free samples and everything you want to honey, but be sure that you’re not trying to control the guy.
(Well, I want to make the decisions.)
Well, selling is not controlling, controlling is done with no finesse, with bitch, bitch, bitch.
(I know that one.)
Ok. You know that one, you’ve tried it. Now you can use the other one—go around and sell all you can.
It seems to me we’ve probably been here long enough. We will have a conversation here next Monday at 4:30 pm.