How to stop being a control freak - it's ruining my life!

Psychology-related discussions or questions that don't fit neatly into any other forum.

Postby dickyjj » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:15 pm

Hi guys, I'm new here.

Well I want to know how to stop being such a control freak.
I seem to feel that the world revolves around me (obviously I know this is wrong). I feel that I call the shots in everything.

For example, I always have to be composed in everything I do.
The problem comes when, for example, I get distracted by stuff for a few seconds. There will always be distractions, which is annoying! :evil:

Anyway, in those few seconds I get distracted, I feel I am no longer in control and I take ages to recover.

HELP!
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Postby Annie7788 » Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:51 pm

As a slight codependent personality and former control freak, I think it takes a long time to shift your perceptions and learn to let go. I think it has to be a gradual process where for example you consciously decide to not interfere with a situation when tempted to take over. You then watch what happens without your interference and let others take over. It's not easy if you have to watch others struggle to cope, but it's the only way to learn to not try to carry the burden for everything yourself.

At the end of the day it's not that a control freak thinks that the world revolves around them, it's the opposite in that they don't pay enough attention to their own needs and pay too much attention to what is happening outside them. By your own needs I don't mean external needs such as a job being done, but internal esteem needs to be good to yourself and relax inside in order to be content and psychologically at peace. Control freaks often completely ignore these inner needs.


By the way even if you try you will have lapses into control freakdom every so often, particularly when you get anxious that nothing is getting done. That can't be helped and you should just go with the flow and keep going back to letting go whenever you can. They often apply the AA steps to codependency and I find the "give up your problems to a higher power" step very helpful with control freak behaviour.

It's all about learning to trust others. Not easy if you have been let down in the past and left to pick up the pieces, but a lesson to learn if you want to be happy about life
Last edited by Annie7788 on Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby dickyjj » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:35 am

thanks Annie, a nice reply there 8)
my problem is once something happens out of my control, i sort of panic and it takes me so long to become "normalised" again.

e.g. i have a neck that tends to click whenever i move it slightly. usually i can control it, but if i talk to someone it happens involuntarily. when this happens, i feel horrible because it happened "out of my control" so it takes me ages to recover. any advice for this particular issue?
thanks again!
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Postby Annie7788 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:24 am

Hi dicky. I'm not sure of the answer to that as it sounds more an issue of self conciousness rather than control freakdom. Perhaps it is something only you are aware of. Have you asked friends whether they notice it? These things are always more apparent to us than to others.
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Postby dickyjj » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:16 am

Yeah friends say they don't notice it - it's more of a personal thing.

And good point - it may indeed be due to self-consciousness.
I just wish I knew how to treat it...
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Postby Annie7788 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 11:24 am

I reckon you just need to learn to ignore it if friends say they don't notice.

Although you have to be very careful letting them near the head and neck area (as there have been reports of strokes in one in a million..), have you ever been to a chiropracter to have it looked at? Some can work wonders.
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Postby Hydrogen » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:00 pm

I remember I had a roommate who was a clean freak. A clean house is very settling, but this was way overboard, like washing the kitchen floor almost every day. This much perfection is a lot of work, so there was a tendency for my roommate to control the house and assign tasks to meet their level of need. This was way more work then I wanted, or needed, so it led to problems. The way I cured it was to say, if you want it that way, I am all for it, but you do it. I would also go in the other direction and sort of add work just by being more sloppy. I might spill something on the kitchen floor and half clean it up. At first the person kept up, constantly complaining, until one day I wore them out. Washing the kitchen floor became a once a week thing which was an easier burden to share. After that my roommate was much happier, with more time.

The need to control and organize the environment was a projection of the disorder in their mind caused by the obsession. This internal disorder was settled externally by controlling the order within the environment. Once that external control was beyond their control it was released, and an inner order appeared. I would suggest an environment that will frustrate you, until you hit your saturation point, then you will give it up and relax. It is sort of the opposite of rock bottom, more of a rock top where you get squished against the upper ceiling of your obsession.
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Postby dickyjj » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:19 pm

Annie7788 wrote:I reckon you just need to learn to ignore it if friends say they don't notice.

Although you have to be very careful letting them near the head and neck area (as there have been reports of strokes in one in a million..), have you ever been to a chiropracter to have it looked at? Some can work wonders.


They can't seem to help my problem unfortunately
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Postby dickyjj » Fri Jun 06, 2008 2:21 pm

Hydrogen wrote:I remember I had a roommate who was a clean freak. A clean house is very settling, but this was way overboard, like washing the kitchen floor almost every day. This much perfection is a lot of work, so there was a tendency for my roommate to control the house and assign tasks to meet their level of need. This was way more work then I wanted, or needed, so it led to problems. The way I cured it was to say, if you want it that way, I am all for it, but you do it. I would also go in the other direction and sort of add work just by being more sloppy. I might spill something on the kitchen floor and half clean it up. At first the person kept up, constantly complaining, until one day I wore them out. Washing the kitchen floor became a once a week thing which was an easier burden to share. After that my roommate was much happier, with more time.

The need to control and organize the environment was a projection of the disorder in their mind caused by the obsession. This internal disorder was settled externally by controlling the order within the environment. Once that external control was beyond their control it was released, and an inner order appeared. I would suggest an environment that will frustrate you, until you hit your saturation point, then you will give it up and relax. It is sort of the opposite of rock bottom, more of a rock top where you get squished against the upper ceiling of your obsession.


Interesting idea... thanks.

So you mean whenever I am triggered into "control" mode, just remember back to this environment that will frustrate me?
Cool, any ideas for what sort of environment?
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Postby Annie7788 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:01 pm

dicky I'm not sure how old you are, but I used to be very self conscious at times during my late teens early twenties. I think a lot of it was down to the lack of a bond between my judgemental conscious side and my emotional and sensitive subconscious. It was only by making peace between these two parts of my personality so that they were on each other's sides that I learned not to care.

I did this with conscious effort of the conscious side feeling compassion and giving love to the subconscious side. It took a few months and included a lot of concentration on relaxing and visualising complete stillness inside. I guess when you feel the way you do, it's because you are looking at yourself in the way that you imagine these people you meet see you. You are harshly judging yourself and the judgement you heap is much harsher than any version of reality.

I mean we all meet people every day. All these people form an opinion of us. We also form opinions of them. The important thing is to give a higher balance to the opinion we form of them and not worry overtly about the opinion they form of us. The important thing is to be at peace with the opinion you have of yourself and then you cannot be wounded by anyone else's views.
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Postby dickyjj » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:40 pm

Annie7788 wrote:dicky I'm not sure how old you are, but I used to be very self conscious at times during my late teens early twenties. I think a lot of it was down to the lack of a bond between my judgemental conscious side and my emotional and sensitive subconscious. It was only by making peace between these two parts of my personality so that they were on each other's sides that I learned not to care.

I did this with conscious effort of the conscious side feeling compassion and giving love to the subconscious side. It took a few months and included a lot of concentration on relaxing and visualising complete stillness inside. I guess when you feel the way you do, it's because you are looking at yourself in the way that you imagine these people you meet see you. You are harshly judging yourself and the judgement you heap is much harsher than any version of reality.

I mean we all meet people every day. All these people form an opinion of us. We also form opinions of them. The important thing is to give a higher balance to the opinion we form of them and not worry overtly about the opinion they form of us. The important thing is to be at peace with the opinion you have of yourself and then you cannot be wounded by anyone else's views.


Strange, I'm 19.. maybe it's normal for this age group then?
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Postby Annie7788 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:15 pm

Yes it's very normal for your age group. I reckon 18 to 22 is a very difficult age. As you get older, you will get to a point in your life when you realise these things don't matter and you will hopefully start pleasing yourself rather than worrying about others.
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Postby dickyjj » Sat Jun 07, 2008 3:51 pm

thanks :)
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Postby sgreen007 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:25 pm

Hi dickyjj...

It sounds like your "being such a control freak" is out of control.

Other people's words and actions are out of your control, how do you deal
with that?

Your heart beating is out of your control, your endocrine system, digestive
system, liver function, kidney function are all out of your control.

How do you manage that?

I would suggest brainwashing, in the sense that it your thoughts/mind that
is lying to you, without them you will be fine.

"I am out of control" is just a thought. Without that thought everything
would be fine.
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