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Acceptance, Expectations, and Control: Vital Links

There are vital links or connections between acceptance, expectations, and the need to control.   That’s why they are such an integral part of the discourse on this blog and in my book, Losing Control, Finding Serenity: How the Need to Control Hurts Us and How To Let It Go.

Here are some of the vital links:

*When we expect too much from others, we usually try to change or control them.   We are also not accepting of how they are.

*When we don’t accept people as they are, we frequently try to change them through controlling means.

*When we try to change or control others, we are not accepting of them.

The consequences of the above actions invariably include resentment, conflict and dissension, anxiety, and damaged relationships.

*When we do accept others as they are, we do not feel the need to try to change or control them.   Nor do we have unreasonable expectations of them. (See 5 Keys to Practicing “Acceptance”)

*When we moderate our expectations of others, it is much easier to accept them as they are, and feel much less need to try to change or control them.

The consequences of the above actions include stronger bonds and relationships, greater trust and intimacy, and much more serenity for you—and others.

What links have you experienced between acceptance, expectations, and control?   Please share them with me.

In the meantime, remember to

Let It Go–and Accept “What Is!”

and Let’s Help Make Acceptance Go Viral!


*If you enjoyed this post, please “like” it on your Facebook page and share it with your friends.

Please check out my new book, The Gifts of Acceptance: Embracing People and Things as They Are.



  • Heinz Studer
    Posted April 26, 2013 at 4:43 am

    …During my childhood, my father’s expectations were unreasonable and I could not cope. He argued everyday about something, and he could not accept anybody around him. I had no self confidence and a low self esteem. I never thought that I was good enough. Everything I did had to be perfect, in order for me to feel good about myself, but this way of thinking actually caused me to reject myself, which created feelings of “not being good enough.” Changing the “not good enough” image was much easier for me once I was able to break my belief in the image of perfection. Without the image of perfection I no longer have the comparison reinforcing the unworthy “self” image.
    Danny’s book and his regular “up-dates” are helping me to accept myself as I am, and so I am also better able to accept others the way they are. His “guides” help me to stop controlling and also to lower my expectations, they help me to build self confidence and overcome my low self esteem and to feel emotionally more at ease about myself. It is an ongoing process, one step at the time..

    • Post Author
      Daniel A. Miller
      Posted April 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      Heinz, you make an important point about the severe impact of family members expecting too much of, and not accepting, one another. Your father’s unwillingness or inability to accept you as you were as a child made it difficult for you to accept yourself, resulting in the harms you related.

      Thank you for the kind words about my book and writings. I am grateful that they have helped you in your enlightening journey of self-discovery.


  • Giselle Harmsen
    Posted September 30, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Well I was married for 13 years, got a divorce. We were apart for a year then got back together. Now for some strange reason I am insecure about this relationship. I try and control everything, with huge expectations on us getting married again to unable to accept the past year, where he had intimate relationships with women he works with. This is such a sore point I sometimes cant handle it.

  • Giselle Harmsen
    Posted October 3, 2016 at 7:32 am

    All around I am a control freak. I try control my lover I try control my kids and I try control everything around me. I am slowly learning that letting go of control is the key. I have been practicing for 3 days so far. I am finding it super hard to accept my x’s (now current ) 1 year lived without me and all the new friends he made and the relationships built at work. Some days are harder then others, but its almost as I cant breath. I will continue to read your blogs and become stronger by the day.

    • Post Author
      Daniel A. Miller
      Posted October 6, 2016 at 9:03 am

      Hello Giselle, thank you for your comments to several of my posts. I commend your efforts at trying to let go of control. It is very difficult when all you’ve ever known and practiced is control. We feel insecure without it. Here’s a few things that may make the task easier for you. First, acknowledge your commitment to change what hasn’t worked for you, and remember it is a journey that takes some time; be patient, if you can, and recognize your progress. Take heed about what you yourself say: your controlling actions only serve to drive your husband away. Second, try to address the fears that arise for you; they are what cause you to control more. These fears are usually illusory and based on negative speculations about the future. FEAR is: Future Events Already Ruined! I sense you are fearful about what your husband may do in the future and what he won’t do. Be more positive; if you speculate, do so in a positive way. Thirdly, be grateful for the good that has come to you. You and your husband are united again–enjoy that, even if you aren’t married.

      Please keep me posted! Danny

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