How To Stop Being A Control Freak: 6 Simple Tips [Effective]
What is a control freak? How does the underlying psychology work and what are working tips to stop controlling and to unlearn the compulsion to control? Read more…
Control freak meaning
A control freak is someone who is determined to make things happen in exactly the way he / she wants. The control freak has the desire to let other people do what he / she wants.
The term ‘control freak’ was first used in the 1970s, an era when an emphasis was placed on the principle of ‘doing it yourself’ and letting others do the same.
More keywords are: wanting to keep control and solve everything yourself.
Control freak psychology: wanting to keep control …
A control freak always wants to be in control of everything. It is important for this person to always want to solve everything themselves.
If we look at more psychological background terms, we come to a number of related issues:
- An obsessive need to control others is also associated with antisocial personality disorder. People with antisocial personality disorder tend to have a bloated sense of self-esteem. Due to their lack of affection, as well as their insensitive and unemotional qualities, they can easily have a tendency to manipulate others to fulfill their own wishes.
- People with a theatrical personality disorder should also be the center of attention.
- People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder have an inflated self-interest, hypersensitivity to criticism, and a sense of justice that forces them to convince others to comply with their requests. To maintain their self-esteem and protect their vulnerable selves, narcissists must control the behavior of others – especially that of their children, who are seen as an extension of themselves.
- Control freaks are often perfectionists who defend themselves against their own inner vulnerability, believing that if they are not in full control, they risk re-exposing themselves to the fears of childhood. Such persons manipulate and pressure others to avoid having to change themselves and use the power over others to escape an inner void.
Control freak tips to stop controlling
How can you unlearn this compulsion to control? Let’s go to the tips …
Tip 1 – Anxiety is a cause of control compulsion, so investigate that for yourself
Examine your fear. That is one of the underlying causes of compulsion to control: you are afraid that something bad will happen if you let go.
- What are you afraid of?
- Where does that fear come from? When had it happened before?
- Was it one instance where something bad had happened, or had it happened before?
Here you will find all the steps to investigate and resolve your fear.
Tip 2 – Break the pattern of control compulsion by finally feeling
Before a change, feel the fear, powerlessness and pain – the underlying reason for the compulsion to control.
When a control freak’s pattern is broken, the controller is initially left with a terrible sense of helplessness, but feeling the pain and fear brings him back to himself.
His coping mechanism of compulsion to control is now no longer necessary to flee from feeling fear and pain. Those emotions are now being faced.
Tip 3 – Deal with your thoughts soberly
We quickly become the control freak when we let all kinds of disaster scenarios play out in our minds. So it is important to calm our worst thoughts.
- Observe yourself and your thoughts.
- View your thoughts in a sober way. Challenge them. It would be okay if you let go of everything.
- Don’t believe your thoughts, so do the opposite of what your thoughts are telling you . Your thoughts lie, but your heart / intuition is right.
Fear makes us think in the wrong way, including thinking about catastrophic events (“If this relationship fails, I’ll never recover”) or taking on unnecessary guilt (“I screwed up, so I have to to solve”).
To challenge your need for control, replace useless negative thinking with more realistic, down-to-earth self-talk.
Neutralizing negative thoughts helps to relieve the stress of everyday situations.
Tip 4 – Use these important tips on how to deal with perfectionism
In this article about perfectionism you will learn, among other things:
- That you solve the subconscious cause of perfectionism and compulsion to control, for example by looking at your feelings of fear and guilt.
- That you have to banish many unnecessary ‘musts’ from your life. In life we impose far too many things on ourselves that are not necessary at all.
- That making mistakes is allowed – and even necessary.
Tip 5 – Don’t be afraid of vulnerability anymore, but embrace it
Not daring to be vulnerable is one of the causes of compulsion to control. It’s important to let things go wrong or go unsolved.
Let go of the need for security. Fulfill him in any other way than by acting the control freak.
Here you can read all the tips about vulnerability.
Tip 6 – Learn to let go and trust
For more confidence, choose less control. This is a ‘spiritual’ way of living because you use all kinds of forces with confidence that have nothing to do with your own mind.
If you want to check and / or do everything yourself , then you are only using your own mind and your own effort. These are very limited tools – and in fact, it is only one tool.
On the other hand, if you let go more and trust that all other people and events in the world (‘the universe’) will also contribute to success, then you make use of many more forces than just your own ego.
Here you can read everything about surrender and letting go.
On your luck!
My youngest sister is a control freak. Since cancer was diagnosed with her, this has become even clearer. Appointments do not arrive 5 minutes earlier, she does not need anyone’s help etc .. Now that she is finished, she is arranging her own cremation and tells without any emotion how to do it. Very difficult for the family how to deal with this, how to respond.
She has always been a heavy drinker, even during her illness. It was never possible to talk to her about her drinking. What I wonder now what the relationship is between her control behavior and addiction behavior.
Recovery.org wrote a nice article about this a few years ago:
And this gentleman has made another reflection on that: