Take thus quiz and see how you rate:
- Do you feel uncomfortable about acknowledging that someone else's
opinion or way of doing something may be better than your own?
- Being so wise, do you believe you know what is best for other
people, your friends and family?
- Do you like to share your wisdom often - offering advice whether
it's asked for or not?
- Do you worry that something is going to go wrong unless you keep
an eye on it and have some control over events?
- Do you feel threatened by other people's opposing opinions or
- Do you have an obsession about checking and re-checking the work
you do, and the work others do?
- Do you have to do everything yourself, because nobody else can do
it as well as you... only you know how to do it properly?
- What partners do you choose? Do you feel stressed or out of
control in your relationships where give and take is required?
- Have you lost previous partners because you want everything your
- Is Bossy your middle name?
Mostly Yeses: You're probably a really nice person, and if everyone else understood that your need to control stemmed from your
insecurities and fears, they'd cut you a little slack, yes? The
problem is, with understanding or not, other people are going to
become alienated unless you learn to "control" yourself! Stop trying
to take over... practice being more flexible in your attitudes.
Mostly No's: What a confident soul you are! You know that despite what is going on around you, you realize that sometimes things will go
wrong, this is life, and you are comfortable with trusting others to
do their bit and comfortable with yourself knowing you have what it
takes to deal with whatever comes your way.
So what is a control freak?
A control freak is somebody whose own insecurities and fears cause
problems for those who have to work or live with them. Nobody likes
to be stifled and told what to do by an "I know better" person.
Do you tell your partner who his or her friends should be? Are you
comfortable about letting them go places on their own, and be with
their friends - without you - or does this make you worry or feel
Do you criticize your partner frequently? Always finding
faults? Do you get upset if your partner disagrees with you, having a
totally different opinion on something important to you?
If you do, you are trying to control the relationship and your
partner and this is unhealthy. This behavior will lose you many
wonderful relationships unless you learn to deal with your
insecurities, loosen up, and let go of the reins!
Are you the Boss from Hell?
So you're the boss... do you insist everything be done your way,
because after all, you're the boss, you're supposed to know best?
Are you short-tempered and lose your temper easily when mistakes are
made? Do you suffer high levels of anxiety about the performance of
your department, and feel the need to keep looking over everyone's
shoulder to make sure they are doing it right (and probably doing it
If so, you are the Boss from Hell. Sorry, there is no nice way of
putting it. You may be a very nice person, with many wonderful
qualities, but again, it is your own lack of confidence, your own
insecurities that cause you to be this way.
Seek help. Learn how to
empower your employees, trust in them to know what to do, allow for
mistakes - these are part of life - and like the controlling partner,
learn to loosen the reins a little before you find nobody will work
Chances are your employees cannot work under the conditions
you impose upon them - loosen up and watch your department bloom!
And what if you're the victim?
And what if you are the partner of a control freak, or an employee of
a control freak? How do you handle that?
Well first, keep in mind it
is not personal! They do NOT have it in for you. They may even have
the highest admiration for you.
But deep inside, they are a well of
insecurity and fear, and when their anxiety levels rise, the only way
they know how to deal with this is to take control to ensure
everything remains smooth sailing... this is their thinking.
If your control freak is a partner, you can offer two choices.
reassure them that they are loved, that you are loyal, but you cannot
live with their jealousy, or their insistence that you do things their
way, and they can either loosen up, or find the front door You do
not have to jump through hoops for anyone, and control freaks are very
difficult to live with.
They use all ploys to get their own way, they
are manipulative, and if it is starting to affect your own self-esteem
and happiness, then clearly this is a relationship you can do without.
If your Control Freak does not seek help and life continues to be one
of control over you, then it is a relationship going nowhere and
headed for disaster.
If your control freak is your boss, you need to step carefully. Be
aware of his motives when he gets into "control freak" mode. Don't
get angry or defensive with him/her.
Find the right moment to make
your boss feel "safe" by reassuring him/her that you do take your job
seriously and want to do the best. Express that sometimes you would
like to discuss alternate ways of doing things, not to usurp his
authority, but because you sincerely believe there may be some merit
in an idea you have that really will help him and his department, and
of course, you'd like to run it past him first.
Try to get reports
etc. to your boss on time - don't give him/her a reason for standing
over your shoulder... remember, when your boss does this, it is
because they are worrying about it! Keep your Boss informed of the
status of tasks and keep reassuring him/her. The less he worries or
feels anxious, the less reason he/she will have to want to control you
or the situation
Don't despair - get help!
For many control freaks, their need to pretend that everything is
"right" with their world and their way of doing things, and their need
to give everyone the wisdom of their ways and opinions is a way of
validating themselves... this stems from their insecurity.
If you are a control freak, don't despair, help is available. Seek
it. By acknowledging that other people's ways of doing things, of
being, of living, etc. is okay; you are not making yourself "less"
in any way.
You are still okay. You will always be okay. You don't
need to try to organize and control everything and everyone around
you. Why don't you relax a little, try it and see.
If anything, you
will find your live improves - let the proof that controlling others
and every situation is not necessary for your success and happiness be
the validation you need that everything is fine and so are you!
Copyright, Terri Levine
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Terri Levine, MCC, PCC, MS, CCC-SLP is the the President of
Comprehensive Coaching U – The Professional's Coach Training Program, a
a popular Master Certified personal and business Coach, a sought after public speaker, and author of bestsellers Stop Managing, Start Coaching, Work Yourself Happy, Coaching for an Extraordinary Life and Create Your Ideal Body. She can be contacted via the web site http://www.ComprehensiveCoachingU.com or by telephone: 215-699-4949.
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