How to stop being possessive

What is possessiveness?

We all own a lot of things and we being the possessors inhabit a sense of security towards what we occupy. We have a set of standards of maintaining what is ours, which no one can comply with as much as we can. That’s possessiveness, sort of. But, before we speak of how to stop being possessive, “should we even be?” is another question that lingers in my mind.


Is possessiveness necessary?

Like, wonder the consequences of not being possessive. I don’t think you’ll be able to take very good care of things in that case. What if two people buy the same watch on the same day, don’t you expect variation in the condition after a few months? And on what basis would that variation be? The style of usage. 

Now there sure are a lot of things which we own solely, but there are also things which we don’t possess entirely. And the problem arises when our possessiveness portrays complete ownership of something which we don’t own wholly. 

Is possessiveness condemnable?

Hence as I don’t condemn possessiveness as I said formerly, what we’re talking about is rather being over possessive. Especially in situations where you’re not the sole proprietor of something. It’s like you find it hard to share that thing with those who also have a rightful share in it. It also perpetrates a subtle unnoticed sense of jealousy too, which isn’t very commendable. 


Or even sometimes if you aren’t very fond of sharing what’s rightfully yours, like your car or even your perfume. Which, despite being your very personal asset, you have every right to withhold it from being used, which again could be out of the fear of it not being maintained according to your standards, you could be labeled as being possessive.

Importance of being possessive.

Again, it could be right to be possessive at times, like I can’t risk my car being rashly driven. I, being very concerned and meticulous about its neatness and maintenance and can’t take a risk. Because the other person isn’t as concerned, normally. 

But being helpful is appreciated. Now don’t think that I’m flipping around both sides of a coin and confusing you. Look, there’s no rule of thumb for this, it depends on who, what, when, and why. 


I came across a study that predicts that greater interdependence between relationship partners—or closeness—creates the potential for jealousy.

Being possessive in a relationship.

Being possessive in a relationship

The word “possessive” is often used in a relationship context hence I feel it’s worth emphasizing. 

What category of ownership would you put the person you’re possessive about? That would be the first question I want you to answer.

Do you even own him or her at all? I mean being possessive can’t apply if you don’t possess something, or perhaps “someone”, sticking to the context. I mean you can’t own a human being unless you belong somewhere before the 17th century. And slavery isn’t our topic. 

Though we have a few rights and obligations of different relations. And we’re quite particular about those rights which we own, that’s how relationships work. Being loyal to our obligations, fulfilling all the rights, maintaining healthy relationships we are contributing to a strong society. 

What causes possessiveness?

But when the expectations surpass the rights, then you have issues. And that’s when you need to learn how to stop being possessive. Because if you’re at the stage where you’re blowing things out of proportion, you’re damaging the relationship.

Being overly possessive could be because of innate personality traits, the determinants of personality, or even due to an individual’s insecurities. And it can also be due to a person’s previous experiences which might enforce the behavior. 

Know how to control your possessiveness.

How to stop being possessive

If you’re stuck in such behavior, being emotionally helpless sometimes then let me help you out. Let’s get to how to stop being possessive.

1. Past isn’t as important as the present.

Nobody remains the same person as they once were. Time modifies us, as experience is one of the determinants of personality. You become what you are by what you go through. It at least is one of the factors.

Hence it won’t be very rationalized to judge a person based on their past, not always. Things change with time, and so do people. 

Experience teaches people to be honest and to deceive, to be strong or weak, to trust or not to trust. 

Whether it’s yours or the person you are in relation with, let go of the past. Past can often haunt you for no reason. What matters is the present, that’s where you are living. 

2. Don’t assume things.

We all have a pattern of imagination based on our prior experiences and knowledge. It could even be from the books we read and the movies we watch, it could be based on utter fiction. 

We assume things based on our priorities that aren’t the same for everyone. We all are different, we have different personality type tests in psychology and meta programs in NLP.

The best thing to do is to be transparent. You can’t expect the other person to trust unless you show trust. 

3. Jealousy can easily mislead you

jealousy in relationship

Emotions when exceeding the limit of appropriateness dominate rationality. And when you’re deprived of logic your decisions won’t be very credible. 

Especially when you’re preoccupied with negative emotions like jealousy, hatred, and resentment you are inclined towards proving your point. And that point could be belittling someone you don’t appreciate much. 

No matter what your emotional inclination is towards, just try to make sure that your decisions are logical and you’re not into any fallacy. 

4. Stop being a control freak

Like we discussed earlier we don’t own people. We can claim to have some rights, but everyone does too. Nobody likes to be controlled. There’s a difference between guidance with consent though, but that’s not what we’re discussing now.

Check your focus, don’t lead a partner-focused life, this will make you a control freak. Every individual has a life, a social circle, and priorities that need to be redirected. 

Know your partner’s friend circle, this will help you better understand your partner. 

5. Never judge the book by its cover. 

Get to three roots of the problem. Know the cause and intention. 

The blunder most of us often make is to assume the intention behind the actions. And the problem lies in speculating what doesn’t exist and emphasizing it being a truer narrative. 

I mean why can’t we just trust the narrative of the doer? Won’t that make things a lot simpler? Of course, there are exceptions, what I’m talking about is prevailing conditions.

Most just overthink or have an inner critic who keeps crying out loud. They must learn not to be anxious. 

6. Don’t be after changing the person.

Every individual has different traits, which is very obvious to all of us. Despite this, some of us try to modify a person unrealistically. 

And if you’re after something unachievable then you know that disappointment is inevitable. So is the case in the relationship ending up in disappointment. Because you had erroneous expectations.

You certainly can influence a person though, which is not to be confused here. And you must try to guide the person concerned if required. What’s the point in being of no positive inspiration for those around you? 

7. Trust is the key.

No matter what, every relationship is about trust. There is no relationship without it. And trust, as I said, is mutual. 

There’s no point in discussing any of this when this aspect doesn’t exist.

8. No spying

photography of person peeking
Photo by Noelle Otto on

Needless to say, why would anyone need to spy? Isn’t it a sheer lack of trust? 

Now the trust has to be built, by portraying your trust, even if you don’t have it momentarily. You’ll eventually build one as you get trusted because you trusted. That’s how it goes, it’s a cycle that repeats itself. 

Hence trust self sustains itself. But you need to put in your contribution. 

9. Enhance your self-esteem

Have a level of self-respect and self-esteem. No relationship or possessiveness is worth damaging your self-esteem. 

Like you shouldn’t fight the war you can’t win, you shouldn’t struggle for something which can’t be achieved. It’s best to give up sometimes.

You should quit when you have to, your world won’t halt if you do so. Life goes on.

10. Be mindful of your feelings and reactions.

You can make a lot better decisions if you know what’s going on in your mind. You need to be in your conscience and be aware of your emotions, feelings, and everything that could affect your actions and devotions.

11. What matters the most?

In the end, what matters the most isn’t proving anyone right or wrong. It’s about being happy. So keep your focus on what you want exactly. On bigger things, because focusing on small things is unproductive.

Something we call well-formed outcomes, you can always take the help of a life coach for the same.