3 Causes for a Need to Control
We all have people in our lives that seem to have an intense (or even mild) need to control their lives—and ours. Sometimes this person is someone else…and sometimes this person is us. It can be difficult to learn to either relinquish control ourselves or learn to healthily and effectively interact with those who want to control our lives, especially if we need to interact with them on a regular basis. The first step in doing this is by understanding what the underlying causes are for this need to control. They are actually very simple and straight forward.
3 Reasons People Feel a Need to Control
Fear of the unknown.
When you are in control of a project, for example, you know yourself and how it will get done so it is “easier to do it myself” mentality kicks in. This type of thinking leads you down a road of anger and resentment and even overwhelm and in some cases actually losing control; the very thing that you are trying to avoid. The antidote to fear is TRUST and Letting go of the outcome.
Feelings of unworthiness or that you are not enough or don’t measure up.
Low self esteem about yourself personally such as being on the perfectionist wheel and beating yourself up for not doing or ‘being‘ enough, can be a cause of needing to control situations and especially trying to control what others think of you. This is a maddening cycle that is never-ending since we cannot control what others think of us. The antidote to low self esteem is changing your thinking about yourself and practicing loving kindness and compassion.
Lack of trust—in self and others.
Lack of trust in others is a huge part of this and lack of trust in self is whatcontributes to number two, above. You might get a sense of accomplishment and a boost, temporarily, from being in control of the problem, project or situation but again you might tend to take on too much, and therefore not be able to get the job done or done well. By trying to do it all alone, you fail and actually feel worse about yourself. We need the help of others for many reasons and they actually like it when you trust them and are more likely to in turn, trust you. The worse that can happen is they let you down, and you know what? The world will not stop spinning on it’s axis and you will live!
Once you have identified these underlying feelings you can start to examine them. Ask yourself what are you really afraid of? Some people actually fear success so they will self sabotage. Some people suffer from an underlying anxiety and being in control helps to soothe that anxiety. In fact, many control issues come from and underlying anxiety. Check out my anxiety blogs here.
In order to give up control, the person who is doing the controlling must first resolve whatever it is from the above list, whether it’s one, two or all three, that is at the core of them feeling they must control every detail of their own lives or the lives of others. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, enjoys being controlled by another person, including you. Something important to consider, especially if you discover you are the offending party in this particular scenario or if you are unnecessarily putting up with someone else’s controlling behavior just to keep the peace in the relationship.
Learning to let go of control is a freeing experience! Call me to find out how!
This article was adapted from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-robbins/let-go-of-control_b_710620.html