Are You a Control Freak?

Control Freak

We can primarily categorize people into three categories, those who want to control, those who submit and those who withdraw and prefer to be alone. Both dominance and submission are part of our survival instinct. We tend to dominate and control those who are weak and submit to those who are stronger and more powerful. We readily submit to authority figures because we do not want to invite trouble. We also by instinct tend to agree with those whom we perceive as powerful even when they are wrong and disagree with who are weak even if they are right. It is therefore difficult to convey your message without the weight of the authority or influence. The main reasons why people want to control others are, low self-esteem, fear and anxiety, distrust, need for approval and attention, upbringing, parental influences and cultural factors which promote authority and dominance as desirable traits. In the following essay, the author suggests how you may avoid being a control freak. Jayaram V


by Althea DeBrule

One of the most frightening things a person can experience in life is to be out of control. It is part of our nature to take charge, direct and have power over things, situations and people. It is perfectly normal to want to be in control of your life. But when that control extends to imposing your will upon and dominating everyone else around you as well, then you are out of control!

Some of us have a higher need to control than others. Unfortunately, when this need becomes excessive, we turn into control freaks…you know…those people who insist on having their way and being in charge of every situation.

Control freaks insist on running the show and calling all the shots. They are skilled at manipulation and intimidation, and work extremely hard to keep everything around them in check.

What about you? Are you a control freak? Consider these five descriptors:

Wise in your own eyes. You believe that your wisdom and advice is far better than that of everyone else you meet, and you are always prepared to dispense it freely.

Only your input is valid. You enjoy expressing your opinion in conversations and meetings, but hate it when other people follow suit. You discourage the input and feedback of others, and feel threatened by it.

An obsession with everything you do. You constantly evaluate, analyze, review and re-check everything you do to the point of paralysis.

Perfectionism. If you want things done right, then do it yourself, is your motto. You are convinced no one else can do things properly when left alone and according to your extremely high standards.

Stressed-out. You don’t eat or sleep very well because of anxiety and worry that things may go wrong. Instead of using your imagination to come up with creative solutions to problems, you spend more time daydreaming about the worst that could happen.

How did you do? If you identify with every one of these descriptors, then it is most likely obvious to everyone (and now also to you) that you are a control freak. If you only matched with a few then, there is hope for you yet!

Overcome Control Freak Tendencies

Engage in personal discovery. Identify what is at the heart of your need to always be in control of everything. Spend some time reflecting on the circumstances that have contributed to your high control need; then develop several actions you can take to overcome these control freak tendencies, and make sure you implement them.

Learn the art of flexibility and self-control. You don’t have to know or do everything! Practice give-and-take. If you give others a chance to contribute and share their opinions, then you will receive (take) untold benefits resulting from the diversity of thought, ideas and creativity.

Balance your priorities. It is impossible for two or more things to have number one priority status. Face the fact that your boss and co-workers each have their own set of priorities. Stop imposing your list on them. Instead, collaborate and develop a mutually agreeable list that can be tackled in the shortest time possible with high standards of excellence.

There are times when each one of us is a little controlling. We want to do an excellent job or complete a project on time and under budget. However, if you are not careful, a tendency to over-control things will stifle, neutralize and keep you from succeeding.

To avoid this catastrophe...today, take a personal inventory of your control tendencies and ask someone you trust to help you re-program your behavior for success.

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