One of the funniest things we do as humans is try to control things, especially controlling how we are perceived by others. We follow an idea of how something should be and we try to force the idea within ourselves and others. A perfect example of this is clothing.
Observe how jeans have changed in the last thirty years. It starts with an artist who designs a shape, a color, or a logo. Then there is judgment of anything other than that. The people who want to control others to feel better about themselves are the most critical and in order to perceive themselves as higher in a pecking order of value, they judge others who don't wear the trend. Then followers who are defined by how their clothes are judged, follow the opinion of the most critical, again, to avoid judgment and to feel more valuable. As the fear of judgment and fear of being less valuable in the eyes of others continues as a ripple affect, the overall dress code changes. From bell bottoms to straight leg, to skinny jeans, back to bell bottoms, and again skinny jeans, and etc.
Recognize this cycle with music, make-up, careers, cars, religious rules, the house you live in and where it's located, the wrist-watch you wear, the purse you carry, how you do your hair, etc. Notice how you control your children, so that they are also perceived as more valuable to others, so that you are perceived more valuable to others. Do you force your daughter to wear her hair in a way she doesn't like, just so that you don't feel like a "bad" mother? Do you make your children wear certain clothes so that they are perceived as better? Have you changed their personality to match what you think makes a better person, in your opinion?
The most critical controls of values are religion, politics, money, and looks. We perceive our value by the what the most addicted, judgmental, and opinionated people vocalize. It's the extremists that teach fear, who judge, who reject and abandon, who hate, and who have the smallest sense of worth that is defined by hierarchy, control, and the manipulation of others.
If that critical person was your parents, your spouse, and is now you, you probably have an addiction and you're probably miserable with life. You constantly judge others, fear others, hate others, and can't figure out why life is so awful. Do you really believe that by following rules that you are a better person and that people will like you better? If someone likes you better because you follow their rules, judgment, and change yourself to avoid their criticism, aren't you now a slave to their opinion? Does that opinion define you as a person?
Are you dictating someone to change who they are to make you feel better about yourself, to meet your insecure demands? Did your parents do this to you and are you continuing to do this to your children and other people? Is your addiction what you control because you don't want to hurt another person like other people hurt you? Did they abuse you because they made it your job to make them feel better about themselves, similar to how you use your addition of choice to make you feel better?
The problem is the false definitions of value that others enforce with their piercing judgment and criticism. Their criticism comes from their own insecurity, and the more insecure someone is the more judgmental they get. By judging you and trying to change your rules of value to theirs, you're less likely to judge in return and much easier to control. Eventually, we are all the same (like robots) and we're all safe from judgment! But if we are all the same, how would we know who is more valuable or higher in the pecking order of value?
Judgment requires there be a reference point of value so we'd have to continually change what defines a person better than another. That's why people who need to be highest on the pecking order change what is acceptable, or make the rules more strict. This is how we get extremests, fundamentalists, and people who are dangerous to others and justify abuse-- even to children.
So people get meaner, things get more expensive, rules get stricter, people get more critical, and you never feel at peace with what exists because someone out there is always looking down at you like a puny little spec of nothing. But that large need to look down on others is only a reflection of how small they feel inside. And in reality, you needing them to tell you what to do, and their need to control who and what you are is all in the same: fear of no value and resulting rejection.
But without fear of outside opinion of value, we are still the same. Without judgment one persons value isn't more or less than another persons. And the truth is, we all have undescribable and unique value, and not one person has more value than another. But when we seek our value from the opinion of others, we are trying to define that uniqueness and attempting to create a control of it, and that is where everything gets out of balance. As soon as you give someone the power to define your value, you are now a slave to their opinion and if they use that power to feel better about themselves, the pendulum swing begins. This is an "every action has an equal or opposite reaction" situation.
If your self-worth is developed from what is real and without outward definition, then no-one has the control or power to take away or give to your value with their opinion. With that you can love others unconditionally, the same as you love yourself unconditionally. The pendulum balances in the middle and what exists just exists and you accept what is and nothing becomes nothing and you become something. That something exists without control.