This is the sort of question that people will instinctively answer yes to, without really taking a moment to consider the real implication of what the question is asking, and why it is particularly important to any notion of personal development or self growth. At some level people think of other people as being different or separate from themselves.

This quite often applies when there is no direct link, or no direct connection or where the individual has no particular interest in the other person involved. The issue behind the question, is whether you as a person are willing or able to give another individual the freedom to be themselves, when it may have the potential to conflict with your own freedom to be or express yourself as you wish.

The scenarios that this can apply to are numerous, but tend to relate to areas of life where the individual has a static or fixed environment, such as at work or at home. Whilst these environments are changeable, for the most part people will see them as a bigger picture issue, and will merely deal or try and deal with the day-to-day realities of what such an environment produces.

Most people would like to get their own way about most things in life. Whilst that is quite a broad statement, it is probably true. This invariably brings people into conflict with other people who may also want their own way. There are many ways to resolve such conflicts, sadly however the majority tend to be resolved either through physical force or some type of emotional manipulation.

This type of conflict is perhaps best seen through the experience of Alcoholics Anonymous and the broader recovery movement from alcoholism and other addictions. An alcoholic is often described as an example of self will run riot, generally meaning that they need to get their own way in life to the extent that they are willing to use an excessive amount of willpower or drive in order to try and procure their own preferred aims and ends.

Many people who go into rehab are often quite shocked at the suggestion that there lives may be an example of self will run riot. Normally they are in such denial of their alcoholism that this idea that they have trampled over other people in some way is anathema to them.

The recovery process from alcoholism is to a large extent a structured attempt to help the individual realise how driven they are to feel safe and secure by way of being in the control of the environment around them. This invariably leads to conflict and domination over other people, and the recovery process is in large part about trying to reverse this trend.

The process of learning to be a separate human being oneself, and of the freedom that comes with that is a core pre-condition of being able to let other people be separate human beings and live their own lives accordingly. Only then can said individuals have the freedom to relate to each other and hopefully resolve conflicts in a healthy and emotionally expressive manner.

Author's Bio: 

Peter Main is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes extensively about all areas of self growth and self development. He has a particular focus on self help issues for people who are in recovery from or who have been affected by alcoholism and other addictions. Some people begin their journey of recovery and healing in a rehab, others in a twelve step fellowship such as Alcoholics Anonymous, some in rehabs in other states to where they live, where it is especially important to check the rehab is properly accredited, others in a religious or spiritual setting. He has worked in this field for just under thirty years and has extensive experience in many areas of different therapeutic approaches, including counselling, inner child work, meditation, spirituality, adult children work etc.