Most people love having some control in certain aspects of their lives. It is normal to want to be able to call the shots, within reasonable bounds. The problem begins when a particular person feels that they need to call the shots in their lives and in other people’s’ lives. Some of them have subtle ways of expressing this control, while others could not be bothered to make it less obvious. If you have a control freak in your life, you probably already know it. Control freaks are often hard to miss thanks to their ability to involve themselves in just about anything and everything. At the workplace, control freaks have a very hard time delegating to others, even when it is necessary. They want to run each and every show because they know the reward is theirs to reap.
Another sign of a control freak is the inability to admit when they are wrong. Humans are prone to error, and it requires a certain level of grace to accept that you are on the wrong. This is a kind of grace that most control freaks lack. A reason why people who love to be in control find it hard to admit error is that they view it as an admission to being weak, which contradicts their idealized self-image that they are better than everybody else. If you ever find yourself engaged in an argument with a control freak do not expect to win. In any battle involving a control freak, they always win. If they do not win, the winner becomes the newest enemy that must be defeated come what may.
Control freaks also like to nitpick everybody and anybody, judging them according to the superior standards they have set for themselves. A control freak will have an opinion about anything under the sun, even when this opinion is uncalled for or even unsolicited. Their critique is harsh and often leaves others feeling worse. This is a way of gaining control for them; if you make someone feels inadequate and small, you have a better chance of getting them to comply with your demands, whatever these may be.
Control freaks often have personality disorders that cause them to behave as they do. A personality disorder is defined as a pattern of behavior that deviates from what is considered normal behavior. For this sort of behavior to be classified as a personality disorder it has to show up consistently, to the extent where it becomes deep-set in the individual’s life and daily choices. Everyone has their bad days from time to time when they make questionable decisions; an individual with a personality disorder has a bad day every day.
There are three personality disorders that are likely to result in a person becoming obsessed with having control over others. These include antisocial personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder.
Individuals with antisocial personality disorders often have an exaggerated sense of self-worth and very little empathy, if at all, for others. As such, they are often predisposed to controlling others without feeling any sort of mercy or sympathy. Sufferers of histrionic personality disorder, on the other hand, love attention. They will go to any lengths to gain attention from others. They must be in full control of the show even if it means lying about everything in their life to get this kind of attention. Getting attention is the means to and the outcome of the control they have over others. In short, attention is a song they can dance to forever.
Narcissists love control because they believe they are better than anyone else and that they are entitled to this control. There is simply no getting your way with a narcissist. If you are involved with a narcissist, be it at work or in a personal relationship, the only answer you will ever be allowed to utter is yes. Narcissists thrive on control because it feeds their unending desire to be the biggest deal in every room that they are in.
The only way to avoid getting entangled with a control maniac is to know all the signs before hand, so that you can accurately judge who you are dealing with. And when you are inevitably caught up with one in your life; the only option is to clearly define boundaries which they should not cross. Whenever a control maniac start their peevishness you brazenly put them to order and when they become insufferable boot them out of your life.
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