In the world today, many people try to control others. Control is trying to dominate or command others. Control issues are everywhere: in marriages, at the workplace, in relationships. They are even apparent in politics and religion. Control is rampant in our society. We cannot change what we do not acknowledge.
How do you know if you are too controlling? Often times we think we are being helpful and imparting wisdom that the other person might not have. We also may think we are correct in our thinking and the other person is wrong.
Often times a person is wanting to control their own behavior. It can be in the food they are eating or behaviors they are trying to change. If the control affects you alone, you are not being controlling. If you are wanting everyone around you to do what you are doing, you have moved into control. Controlling others is where the “freak’ comes out.
Answer these questions.
- Do you set the agenda and then expect others to do what you want?
All of us have worked for a tyrant at some point in our lives. Tyrants, like control freaks want their way, and they are very clear about what their way is. If you are setting the agenda and have no room for what people want, you are being very controlling.
- Do you negate others’ input as wrong?
If you find yourself saying, “No things need to be done “this” way,” which is “your way,” you have a control issue. There are many ways to solve things, and one way is not necessarily the only or even the best way. You are stuck thinking that you know best if this is how you handle conflict.
- Are you able to negotiate and hear what are others are saying?
If you are unable to negotiate and come up with solutions that work for all involved, you have a control issue. The issue is not the “other people”, the issue is you and your inability to compromise. When you are unable to hear other ideas or suggestions, you are not growing and learning.
The more out of control a person can feel, the more controlling they can become. I have seen scores of young women complain about their spouse not helping enough with the children or with the housework. Their approach is screaming, yelling, getting mad and trying to control the spouse into doing what they want. Men are often solution-orientated. They want to know what the problem is so a solution can be reached. A better approach is to communicate that you are feeling out of control because certain things have to be done before you can all climb into the car. Asking your spouse what can you help with, getting the children to the bathroom, packing snacks, or taking the dog out can make a huge difference. Asking instead of dictating gives the other person a choice.
We certainly all like our way; but when we expect others to fulfill our wishes, we are setting ourselves up for failure. No one is going to agree with you 100% of the time, and no one is going to give in to your demands 100%. The definition of a control freak is a person whose behavior indicates a powerful need to control people or circumstances in everyday matters.
You can move out of control by following these steps.
- Being Open – Valuing others’ ideas and input, then discussing things openly and honestly without attack, can bring solutions to light.
- Listening – Understanding someone else and their perception is imperative in coming up with solutions that work for all involved.
- Realization – When you realize there is no one else to blame but yourself for the way you see things, you are able to change yourself.
When you take a good look at what is happening in the world today, control is a central issue. Some people want to control guns, others want everyone to carry a gun. Some people want everyone to believe their religious teachings and make every other teaching wrong. Some people are wanting to control other countries and other nationalities. Some people are making everyone who does not think like them wrong. These tactics have been used before in the genocide of the Native American people and the Holocaust. We the people must find new ways to bring about a happier and healthier world for all. We must acknowledge that we have control issues and work to give up the “Freak”, so solutions can be generated for all.
Yes, the world may look like it is out of control, and we then feel out of control. When we then try to control more of our lives, we make more chaos. Control is not the answer: listening, understanding and loving others is the answer. If we are really wanting change in our lives we must give up on the things we can’t control. You can only change yourself, and when you do, everything changes.
Jeanne Henderson is a Reality Upgrader at www.GotoSource.org. Contact Jeanne to dismantle blocks and limited beliefs in order to move into freedom and unlimited potential. To reach Jeanne, click www.gotosource.org/get-help/. To sign up for weekly updates, visit our website.