You know a great way to simplify your life? Quit hovering.

My husband and I were in Pictured Rocks in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on a boat. It was a little chilly, but beautiful scenery. We were enjoying the quiet and the nature.

Until behind me a high, nasally voice asked her husband, “Are you cold?” He said, “No.” She continued to ask, “Are you sure?” Over and over.

She fiddled with whether they should change places numerous times and if he was using the right lens to take the pictures. She asked him if he was cold, hungry, comfortable, if he wanted to go downstairs or if he needed anything. Every time he said no, she asked, “Are you sure?” Multiple times.

This was an adult man in his 50’s, not a 5-year old.

I was exhausted just listening to it all. I can’t imagine how it would feel to have my spouse constantly checking in with me and then not believing me. I can’t imagine how it would feel to be constantly in someone else’s space and head to make sure they are o.k.

Sometimes in the name of love, we over-step. We hover. We helicopter. Not only can it be annoying, but we are taking some of their power away. An adult male can fix a peanut butter and jelly while you are out of town without you filling the fridge. A teenager can turn in their homework or face the consequences. However, they won’t grow in responsibility if you call the teachers and make excuses or spend all evening nagging.

The hovering tends to be about us. We have to make sure everything is good or we think we are a bad spouse, parent or host. Or worry other people will think that. Other people are other people. You are your own person. You can only control yourself. If you are trying to control other people’s experiences and emotions – that is called manipulation.

Go ahead and ask once, if you think someone is uncomfortable. But, don’t ask again and again.

Where have you been hovering? Where have you been trying to control other’s experiences and emotions? Where do you need to let someone regain their own power?