Are you a Control Freak?


Everyone I know answers this question with a NO adding a “I just know what I like and how I like it”. A kind of sneaky way to admit that actually you like everything under Your supervision and not even a fly would die without you noticing it (even if you have not actually given him the permission to pass away, poor thing).

Coaching a control freak is one of the most exciting clients to coach! I love seeing them denying, trading, manipulating and calculating in their head before they take an action that has been needed for years! Worse even, when life forces them into a situation where they have to respond to an action that shows them what they should have done loooooong time ago…and when they feel out of control, oh my…! Some of them really become alive! They become real, flesh and blood people with raw feelings and I am amazed to see the human being acting on his instinct that was right all the way! You know, that instinct the control freaks deny vehemently!

As a coach, I like seeing things from a deeper place and I want to understand why people become control freaks. These are some of the possible reasons I have come across by working with clients:

To prove something:  Some people feel weak and so they try to control others in order to feel strong, Some people feel that they are insignificant and so they try to control others to prove that they are worthy while some people feel insecure and so they try to control others to feel safe.

They lost control somewhere in their lives: As humans we learn that when we have a negative experience, we want to avoid it at all cost the next time it pops up. If we feel helpless when we lose control for the first time, we condition ourselves in a way so that it does not happen again, so often this results in becoming a control freak. Often people feel safe of believing that no one can control them and they show it by controlling others.

To feel superior: Feeling superior is an offshoot of control. When a person feels superior to others, it gives him/her a false sense of control, which he/she enjoys.

To resist control attempts: There are people who are notorious “control avoiders”, they cannot stand to be led by others and their way of expressing this is to become control freaks themselves. In their subconscious he/she believes that by controlling others nobody can control him/her! Stubbornness is one of the methods people use to control those who try to control them.

Fear of abandonment: Some people are too afraid to be abandoned and that’s why they keep others under their control so that they never leave them. The controlling abusive man who does so to his wife is usually a person who is too afraid to be left alone.

However we all try to control things, there is one big, fat truth: You and I are in control of only two things: how we prepare for what might happen and how we respond to what just happened. The moment things actually do happen belongs to God.

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