William Glasser states that when we have difficulty getting along with other people, such as our relationships between husbands and wives, we will almost always choose to employ external control psychology. It is coercing, controlling, and destroying psychology. This is used almost by everyone in the world, in spite of their culture, when they are having difficulty getting along with someone else.
This psychology severely harms every relationship and when used on a continuous basis, it will destroy a marriage. Research shows that if you have a ratio of 5 negative for every 6 interactions, your relationship is in severe trouble.
External psychology always translates into: I’m right and you’re wrong. It occurs because someone has decided that they know what is best for you. This can be done explicitly—with unsolicited advice or telling someone what he or she should or should not be doing. Or it can occur implicitly; with an attempt to pressure you into behaving the way I want you to behave. The range can be mild intimidation, scolding, shame, and humiliation to even murder. Since all humans resist being controlled the use of this psychology is the major cause for human misery.
Instead of freeing people “to be” this psychology controls people “to be”. If I use it on you, and succeed in controlling you, you will suffer. If you use it on me, and control me, I will suffer. We are no longer together because of the relationship but out of obligation, which leads to resentment. Resentment is sulfuric acid to love and the beginning of the end.
External control is the greatest obstacle to mental health. We all believe we are right when we use it, and we have no idea that we are choosing to destroy our relationships.
Besides the six deadly habits, which includes criticism and bringing up the past there are other forms both verbal and nonverbal external control that destroy relationships:
Asking questions, (a form of the worst kind of nagging)
Unsolicited adviceUnbridle emotional expression and you better listen
Being overly helpful
Monitoring someone’s behavior (all forms IPhone, computers, tracking, etc.)
Being intrusive and wanting to know everything without waiting for an invitation
ScoldingArguing over who is right Observing and Judging,