Control Freak–Are You One?


If this is a page out of True Confessions, then I confess: I can be a control freak. Being one has merits at times: I tend to complete the tasks that are important to me. I organize my life. Life generally works out well But the down side is I can run off everyone I love in the process.

Shelley Prevost of Inc.com offers eight ways to tell if you are a control freak:

 

  • You believe that if someone would change one or two things about themselves, you’d be happier. So you try to “help them” change this behavior by pointing it out, usually over and over.

  • You micromanage others to make them fit your (often unrealistic) expectations. You don’t believe in imperfection and you don’t think anyone else should either.

  • You judge others’ behavior as right or wrong and passive-aggressively withhold attention until they fall in line with your expectations. Sitting in silent judgment is a master form of control.

  • You offer “constructive criticism” as a veiled attempt to advance your own agenda.

  • You change who you are or what you believe so that someone will accept you. Instead of just being yourself, you attempt to incept others by managing their impression of you.

  • You present worst-case scenarios in an attempt to influence someone away from certain behaviors and toward others. This is also called fear mongering.

  • You have a hard time with ambiguity and being OK with not knowing something.

  • You intervene on behalf of people by trying to explain or dismiss their behaviors to others

I am not suggesting you change yourself. A leopard can’t change its spots. Rather, I urge you to be aware of yourself so you can temper your behavior when your behavior is riding roughshod over others whom you love. Or work with. Or need to play nice with. Like editors or literary agents or reviewers. Knowing when to rein yourself in is a highly desirable trait.

IMHO, many successful people are control freaks. It is part of a set of characteristics that enable one to rise about average performance. So use the attributes in ways that help you achieve your goals while making the world a better place for someone other than yourself. Thinking that way may help you balance things out–or keep peace in the home, office or social setting.

 

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7 responses »

  1. I really am a control freak, whether I admit it or not. But I was raised by a very hard working mother, so it’s the only way I know. I do try to see that I can’t control everything, and I have to have patience in that respect. My young son is teaching me that, as toddlers usually have their own way of doing things – even if it makes me want to pull my hair out. 😉

  2. Great post Fay! I saw myself in that list once upon a time…but have moved into the world of lovingly detaching and embracing the thrill of the unknown! Maybe its age, maybe its no longer having small children or maybe its finally figuring out happiness or maybe the combination of all 3!

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