How To Stop Being A Control Freak

The desire for control is a form of perfectionism, and we can alleviate it learning to embrace uncertainty.

Are you incredibly efficient, super competent and always get things done and keep things moving? Does all this micro-managing cause you to feel stressed out? Have you family and friends told you to lighten up?

You maybe a control freak. Control freaks have these behaviors and can have some benefits, this truth is the control freaks often create the very thing they’re trying to avoid, which is stress.

Here are some idea’s to try if your a control freak.

Observe Yourself, in order to change a behavior you have to realize that you’re doing it. Becoming a more mindful witness to your own behavior is the first set to making any behavioral change.

You need to my a commitment to observe you behavior for a few days and write down anytime you find yourself micro-managing, over planning, being over critical, overprotective, or obsessively worrying or any behavior that feels like you can’t resist doing up. Observing yourself this way can be hard to do.

Figure Out What Emotion Is Driving Your Behavior

You might think that your stress is a result of how hard you’re working to keep everything under control, but it’s actually distressing emotions that are driving your behavior-and causing your stress. In order to change your behavior, you have to identify which emotion you’re struggling with. There are many emotions to choose from:

  • Love
  • Happiness
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Shame
  • Jealousy
  • Disgust

I will tell you mine was fear. The emotion that usually behind controlling behavior is fear. Feeling in control is a basic human need, and life inevitably shows us that we can’t control everything. It makes you feel fearful and uncomfortable. Then in order to feel less fearful and more in control, you try controlling everything around you- even things that have nothing to do with the part of you’re life that made you feel badly to start with.

Say you even found yourself reorganizing your closet when you were upset about a argument you had with a loved one. Or maybe you start exercise regimen after you lost your job. Sometimes just identifying the emotion can make it lose some of its power over you and then you can start to curb your behavior.

Identify the Distorted Thinking and Challenge it.

Emotions often cause us to think in inaccurate ways. For example, your husband does the grocery shopping and buys a few of the wrong brands and instead of acknowledging that he got more right than wrong, you think, that he totally failed at this task and clearly he can’t be trusted to shop. This is an example of a common distortion called discounting the positives.

The key in this step is to stop and pay attention to what your thinking when you realize you’re feeling distressed or when you notice that you’re about the engage in one of the controlling behavior you’ve identified. Stop and ask yourself what am I thinking right now? Does how I’m thinking about this make sense or is it distorted in some way?

Often realizing you’re using emotions, reasoning instead of logical reasoning can change your perspective, reduce the intensity of the emotion your feeling and help you resist the urge in engage in a controlling behavior.

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