Controlling Relationships
Who Controls the Focus of Your Attention?

Dr. King

by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.

As long as you have blood running through your veins, you own the right to make executive decisions about where you place your attention. Did you know that? If you are or have been in an abusive/controlling relationship, you might be saying, “Really?”

When in an abusive relationship, we become accustomed to others telling us where to focus our attention, how to fix our problems and how to...exist. It’s the nature of the beast.

And we are conditioned to believe that we need that direction. But...“Is it true? Does it support your highest good?

You and the Focus of Your Attention

No one knows better than you where and how to focus your attention. And when you are denied the space for exercising that right, beware.

Think about it. How can anyone know better than you the full gestalt of your own existence. They cannot, just as you cannot know the full gestalt of theirs.

Controlling the Focus of Your Attention

In abusive relationships, what happens is that one person assumes the authority with respect to how attention is spent. That is, how they spend theirs and also how you invest yours.

In some cases, both of you buy the notion that the controlling person with this “authority” knows best. Or, it might be that they believe this to be so, and you are conditioned to go along.

In other words, if you don’t go along...the punishment that comes your way serves to teach (condition) you this lesson. It could be as subtle as staged abandonment, or as blatant as some emotional verbal pot shot flung at you to keep you in line.

Self-Control and Personal Responsibility

You, and only you, can teach yourself this very important lesson about your executive authority with respect to your attention. And the sooner you learn it, the more in sync you become with what’s truly right for you whether in or out of a controlling relationship.

For more information about controlling relationships, visit and claim your Free Instant Access to Survivor Success eInsights. Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps people nationwide recognize, end and heal from domestic abuse. © Jeanne King, Ph.D. — Domestic Violence Prevention and Intervention

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Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.