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How to Stop Being a Control Freak

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If you are a control freak, your family and peers may become easily irritated with your behavior. There are varying levels of a controlling personality. Some actions are tolerable, whereas other traits can cause a strain in our relationships.

Unfortunately, the majority of controlling people do not recognize their faults, nor do they want to. If the problem is bad, others are more apt to express concerns. The controlling individual will either accept the criticism graciously or deny the claim. If several people have dropped hints or blatantly expressed disgust with your personality, it's time for a candid self-evaluation.

Controlling people are usually oblivious of their annoying characteristic. In some instances, genetics play a huge role in persons needing to always be in control. However, with a reality check and a little effort, it is possible to allow others to have the driver's seat.

Severe cases generally involve individuals who need to control every situation whether at work or with friends. They command attention from others and prefer the spotlight. It's either their way or no way. Behavior of this sort is dangerous. Yet, there are ways to overcome this undesirable habit.

Recognize the Problem. When someone addresses our personality flaws, the natural response is usually defensive. Although some people take delight in focusing on the bad traits in others, we should not ignore several complaints from multiple people. Nobody is perfect, and we all can make character improvements. Having a domineering or controlling personality is one such trait that needs curtailing. The only way to successfully soften your personality is to acknowledge other's complaints.

Some people are aware of their controlling nature, but gain pleasure in their reputation for overpowering the weak. People with naturally strong personalities rarely have to prove themselves. Thus, those who purposely adopt a controlling personality may have bigger underlying issues.

Does Controlling Others Make You Feel More Powerful? If your personality is very controlling, you likely have the ability to intimidate and overwhelm others. Sometimes achieving a higher position from an employer sends many on a power trip, in which they develop an authoritarian personality. Unfortunately, some people have to feel powerful. These persons may gravitate to individuals with passive or easygoing demeanors. This way, they are able to take control without the other person putting up a fight. Situations like this are common in relationships where a partner is controlling. Getting a sudden rush from telling others what to do, or wanting everything done to your liking are signs of a controlling nature.

Lower Your Expectations. Certain people are controlling because they feel that no one is capable of doing things right. Having unreasonable expectations for others makes it difficult to trust people. For example, Sue did not trust her friends when it came to driving. While riding in the car with someone, she constantly critiqued their driving skills in her mind. Often times, Sue's expectations were too high, which led to her developing a controlling nature with regards to driving. Because of this, Sue refused to be driven by anyone. When hanging out with her friends or co-workers, Sue had to drive. If unable to chauffeur the group, Sue declined invitations.

Realize that others are capable of handling simple task, and that there is more than one style for completing a job. If you can adopt this way of thinking, it will ease the pressure of needing to be in control

Ask for Reminders. You cannot change overnight, and no one is expecting you to. However, friends and family will expect some sort of effort. It may help if a trusted friend brings the controlling behavior to your attention. This way, you may easily identify situations in which you are prone to control. For example, when eating out or going to the movies, do you always have to pick the restaurant or show, or do you expect others to always agree with your point of view?
Published: 2006-03-29
Author: Valencia Higuera

About the author or the publisher
Valencia Higuera is a freelance writer from Chesapeake, Va. The Old Dominion University graduate has a degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing and journalism. Writing credits include non-fiction articles for print and online publications.

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