Why do we Feel the need to Control?

July 31, 2020
Why do we Feel the need to Control?
Why do we Feel the need to Control?

Is wanting control normal?

It’s completely normal and healthy to want to control your life; control is an important part of how we are able to archive our goals and fulfill our dreams.

However the need for excessive control can have devastating effects, for those needing control, and those surrounding them. They are often labelled as “control freaks”, tend to be obsessive over almost all aspects of their lives.

People, who target others, aim to dominate in a self-serving and unhealthy ways. Those who expect, demand, or coerce someone else to satisfy their personal needs, tend to exhibit high levels of destructive controlling behaviors.

Am I controlling?

Let’s take a quick look at some of the more common signs we may have a control problem.

  • Refusing to delegate – unlikely to trust that someone else can do the job as good as you can.
  • On your schedule – erupts over the slightest changes on your schedule, objects out of place.
  • Perfectionism – unattainable or rigid perfection
  • Micromanage – need to know what everyone is doing, to oversee all decisions
  • Judgmental – hyper critical of others to mask one’s own feelings of being judged
  • Strangle the purse – the need to make others justify or restrict spending
  • Perfection for Success – Unhappy no matter what you achieve
  • Can’t let it go – everything is perceived as a personal attack
  • Bargaining – with-holding affections, or acceptance, if stipulations are not met

Control issues may be related to:

  • Trauma or abusive experiences
  • Trust problems
  • Anxiety
  • Low or damaged self-esteem
  • Beliefs and values
  • Fear of failure
  • Emotional sensitivity

Tips for managing control

  • Be mindful – acknowledge the emotions you are feeling at that specific moment
  • Try to minimize they need for an unhealthy amount of control
  • Think about the things you are in control of
  • Release control – once you have perspective on the things you have control of
  • Take time to Reflect – try to understand what the root issue might be
  • Redirect – try so see a positive side of things.. eg you are cut off while driving, instead of getting angry say to yourself…”well they must be in a real hurry” or the one I often use….”they must be in a hurry to see God”
  • Be kind – The more you practice the less control you will eventually need. Give yourself a break, it’s a process. Forgive yourself when things do always go to plan

Contributing Writer at Nurturely
Phyllis is passionate about the field of mental health and well-being and a self development enthusiast.
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