Why are some people such “control freaks”?
For example, children (particularly small children) often become afraid when living in a family where parents frequently argue and fight. They begin to believe that the world is not a safe place and this over time can lead to anxiety.
Children adapt to these difficult environments usually in one of 2 ways, they develop OCD symptoms or control issues (or a combination of both).
This is an attempt to make their environment “safe” by trying to control the uncontrollable.
Parents who frequently argue with each other are not the only cause, parents who are abusive (in any way) to a child, particularly unpleasant teachers or even other children; can create the conditions where the coping strategies of OCD and or control issues develop.
Whilst these coping strategies provide some degree of much-needed relief in childhood, they invariably become default responses which can cause major problems in adulthood, particularly in our relationships with others.
“One often meets one’s destiny on the road they take to avoid it”
“Control Freaks” can be very successful in their careers and business. Being super organised is not always a bad thing, but when it comes to applying the same techniques with friends and loved ones it often results in problems. The other person can feel stifled and controlled, most people resent someone trying to micro-manage their every move. For one thing, it is insulting, as it implies someone else cannot manage by themselves.
The task is to make the controlling behaviours a conscious choice, so that the element of control can be used where appropriate e.g. perhaps in a business situation but not as a default used inappropriately e.g. perhaps when interacting with friends.
Control is an illusion!
The first thing to understand is that control is an illusion
Think about it for a moment … what in your life do you actually control? Your TV Remote? Firstly you have to get it off of your partner and secondly, you have to hope the batteries don’t fail.
There are things in life we can influence (to a degree), there are things we can manage, but there is NOTHING we can control!
A quote from the children’s movie Kung Fu Panda explains beautifully
Oogway: My friend, the panda will never fulfil his destiny, nor you yours until you let go of the illusion of control.
[points at a peach tree]
Look at this tree, Shifu. I cannot make it blossom when it suits me, nor make it bear fruit before its time.
Shifu: (responding like most of us) But there are things we can control! (kicks the tree, making several peaches fall around them) I can control where the fruit will fall! (Catches a peach, cuts it in half, takes the pit and slams it into the ground) And I can control where to plant the seed! That is no illusion, Master!
Oogway: Ah, yes. But no matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
The point is that ultimately, we are all in the lap of the gods…
The moment you understand and FULLY accept this fact, will be the first time in your life that you feel the sense of peace and safety you always sought by trying to “control” things.
The paradox is that you can only achieve this by completely letting go of the illusion…
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