Anxiety and the Control Freak
Well all of you know I’m not a counsellor and I don’t pretend to be something I am not. With that in mind, everything I write about comes from personal life experience, things that I have observed or lived with at various times in my life. I have a very good idea about what a control freak is, and that comes from experience. These are my observations.
Those who want to “tell you how it is” come from a place of deep seated insecurity within themselves. They say perception is reality – absolutely! If you are in a valley surrounded by hills, you have no idea that the ocean is on the other side of the hill until you climb it and see the view. While you are wallowing around in the valley, there is no sight of the ocean and you don’t even know it exists. My theory is that those who seek to control their outer world and everyone around them are actually fighting to control their own inner world. They convince themselves that if they can control everyone and everything, their own inner chatter and anxiety will go away. Nothing could be further from the truth, as this leads people to play the victim. Everyone is doing it to them but they are a totally innocent bystander in the chaos. Sure!!! These are the people who complain that they don’t like drama, but they are the ones causing it. They do this by never taking ownership of anything that happens in their lives. Such people choose to also tell everyone else how to live their life and why they are doing it wrong. I think we all are guilty of this at some times in our lives, but hopefully we recognize it and stop. However, there are a lot of people who thrive on complaining about everyone else while believing that they themselves are perfect. The seeking or pretense of perfection in themselves and others is an illusion, for we are beautiful in our imperfections. They will jump all over you if you make the slightest mistake, blowing it completely out of proportion, and they do the same to themselves. Generosity and forgiveness of self and others would go a long way here to healing that.
Sometimes they hold the world and themselves to such ridiculously high standards that no matter how hard anybody tries, it’s never enough and they keep raising the bar. With this mind set, they are breeding the very anxiety they are seeking to eliminate, and those around them are always on edge and waiting for the next attack. How do we solve this? Well, for me because I am an analytical thinker, like my father, I was taught to look in the mirror first. That’s the only thing you really have control over – yourself and how you choose to live your life. Dad believed that everyone was on their own path, and that it was useless to compare yourself to others, as the vibration is different for every person. He used to say “give advice, but don’t be offended if the person doesn’t take it”. Very true! I know from experience, that the way I live my life, doesn’t work for others, and vice versa. I am not a linear thinker, I don’t do step 1 to 10 and then expect a result. I live by gathering information, sorting it out and going by how it makes me feel, as I am an intuitive person, and also an empath, so feeling is easy for me – sometimes to a fault.
If you are a control freak, you need to take control of your own world and let everyone else be. If your inner world is chaos, then your outer world will be also. Some choose to be over achievers in life, thinking that obsessive anal behavior will make them feel better – the cleaner than clean house, the over exerciser, the fanatic workaholic – all of those things are distractions. They never return phone calls or texts because they are too busy trying to be all things to all people, which of course is an exercise in futility. They can also never finish something, as they can’t follow through and have endless unfinished projects. Something else always seems to pop up and take them on another path. It takes guts to see it and start turfing things out of your life so you can focus and actually become productive. A lot of people are “busy” but are they productive? Probably not. I was one of those “busy” people for many years until I realized what I was doing to myself, and took steps to calm the inner chaos so I could create peace in my life. Most of the things I used to worry about were really not important, because I had absolutely no control over them anyway, so it was a waste of time and energy.
I have managed to de-clutter my life, it took some doing, as it’s not easy to let go, but life is much more manageable now, and the inner chatter has now become a more peaceful hum, something I can turn off and on as I choose. It does not control me anymore, I see the facts and that governs my decisions. Many control freaks are telling themselves a story that has nothing to do with logical thought or reality. They base their decisions and actions totally on emotionally irrational thinking. The clinical term for it is Denial – it’s not just a river in Egypt. Such people are impossible to deal with and they always blame everyone else – they are the quintessential victim. I’ve lived as a victim – and now I see and own the part I had in it all. Once you do that, as much as we are afraid to face our own truth, it is so freeing when you decide to stop running away from yourself and the illusions you are creating in your life. A massive weight drops off you and at last you can be in the driver’s seat of your own life. Dr. Phil said that the other day that he believes the secret to success is that you “must play the starring role in your own life”. How many of us are just in the background in our own lives? Time to get out of the backstage corridors and out in front of the spot light. It’s not as scary as you think, and of course the rewards are enormous. Good luck til we meet next month.