Today’s AWAP* Wednesday question comes from a fellow ChronicBabe in need. She writes:

“What is the best way to handle loved ones who want to micromanage what we as ChronicBabes either do or don’t do? Even when I know it’s done with love and concern for my health, I still get pissed that they don’t act like I’m a grown up. Even with my limits I want to have some say as an adult what happens in my life.”

Great question, babe! I don’t think any of us has missed out on the lovely experience of having someone try to micromanage our life.

I’ve got a few practical tips you can start using today in this video:

*AWAP = As Well As Possible

Now it’s your turn:

How about you, have you handle micromanagers in your life? Have you turned those relationships into support resources instead of watchdogs? Fill me in—I want to know! Join the conversation in the comments below, and share your experience.

Want to watch more videos like this? Check out our AWAP Wednesday video playlist, which has more than six hours of guidance, advice, and bloopers.

Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email.

Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches!


(Rough) Transcript:

“What is the best way to handle loved ones who want to micromanage what we as ChronicBabes either do or don’t do? Even when I know it’s done with love and concern for my health, I still get pissed that they don’t act like I’m a grown up. Even with my limits I want to have some say as an adult what happens in my life.”

Great question, babe! I don’t think any of us has missed out on the lovely experience of having someone try to micromanage our life.

There are a few things missing from your question that would help me answer it in the best way, so for the sake of our wider audience, I’ll try to fill in the blanks. I’m going to assume two things: 1. that you’re an adult, not a young adult or teenager living at home. And 2. that you do live on your own, but that you have family and/or friends who live nearby who want to micromanage.

OK? OK.

It all comes from love

The first thing I try to do when someone tries to tell me what to do is to remind myself that they mean well, that their efforts come from love. If they’re all up in your business, that’s because they love you and want the best for you.

Remembering that it all comes from love helps me keep from strangling them. It’s a little perspective we all need.

Thanks, but I got this

Next, it’s a good idea to practice responses to their incursions into your life. You may want to say things like “Thanks for your advice but I’ve got a good plan to tackle this” or “I appreciate your input — I can tell you care —- and I want to reassure you I’ve got this down.

You might get resistance. Oh, who am I kidding? You most likely will get resistance! Push back. Be kind, but firm.

You might want to bone up on your boundaries skills by reading a book by Anne Katherine, called Where to Draw the Line, or the seminal How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable by Suzette Haden Elgin, Ph.D..

Show them your plan

If folks are really resistant to the idea that you’ve got this, show them your plan. Prove them that you’ve got this.

It might be that they’re over-protective. Or nosy. Or bossy.

If this is the case, then show them some of your plan. This might be a calendar showing how well you’re tracking various aspects of your health. Or it might be your phone tree in your smartphone. Or perhaps you show them an actual game plan that lists out your priorities and how you’re going to tackle them one-by-one.

Show them that you’ve got this, continually thank them, and remind them that you’re in charge but that you appreciate your support. (You never know when you might need to call on them again for help!)

Is your past haunting you?

It might be that in the past, you didn’t got this. And they just want to be sure you don’t fall through the cracks again. You need to take a moment and get real with yourself: Do they have some reason for being overly concerned? Did you falter at some time before, or have you been historically unreliable or unable to accomplish these goals by yourself? It’s OK — I’m not judging — I just want you to get real about this.

If there’s a legit reason why they are fearful, talk things through with them. Explain that you’re appreciative of their concern, but that truly, this time, you’re on your game. Let them know you’ll provide updates so they don’t need to ask.

And considering that this is YOUR life, you’re totally within rights to say something like this: “I love you, I appreciate you, and I need to do this part on my own. Knowing you support me makes me feel SOOOO solid, and that’s going to help me take the next steps by myself. Thank you.”

Be a broken record

And if they keep asking? Keep answering in the same way. Wear them down, not the other way around. Show them who’s boss.

And then seriously, girl, SHOW THEM WHO’S BOSS. Get out there and be a real ChronicBabe, and the results might just be enough to shut them up.