In the last post I talked about how to tame your inner control freak. Doing this is one of the best ways to deal with the control freak in others. The late Debbie Ford calls this process Shadow Work: when you don’t like something about yourself, you will find that same trait to be much more irritating in others! Even if you’ve cuddled up to your control freak, here’s three ways to deal with your own tendencies to control.In the last post I talked about how to tame your inner control freak. Doing this is one of the best ways to deal with the control freak in others. The late Debbie Ford calls this process Shadow Work: when you don’t like something about yourself, you will find that same trait to be much more irritating in others! Even if you’ve cuddled up to your control freak, here’s three ways to deal with your own tendencies to control.
How do we Work with our Own Control Issues?
Step 1: Being aware of the Controller within and the strong desire to create an environment where you feel safe and worthy is the first step to dissolving habitual Control Freak thoughts and actions. Pay attention to your thoughts and when Control comes up, simply observe it and release it. Without this awareness and letting go, there is no hope of change.
Step 2: Once awareness sets in, make daily choices to stop insulating yourself with the need to be right and the need to have things always go your way. Become comfortable with feeling discomfort.
In The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer speaks to the tendency for people to constantly protect themselves. He notes that,
“This tendency exists because you truly have no control, and that is not comfortable to you. But if you really want to break through, you have to be willing to just watch the fear without protecting yourself from it… You are now standing face-to-face with the root of the psyche.” He goes on to explain that, “People feel their very existence is at stake, and they will fight and argue until they get control back. This is all because we have attempted to build solidity where there is none. Now we have to fight to keep it together… If you continue to cling to what you built, you will have to continually and perpetually defend yourself.”
Step 3: Commit to dissolving defensiveness. Defensiveness is a sure sign of Controller energy. Having to defend opinions and defend who we are is exhausting and depletes us of energy. To remove yourself from this, remain open to the fear, including the thoughts and emotions moving through you; avoid closing your heart and getting stuck in a prison of your own making; simply allow the fear to be felt as an ocean wave that arrives and then dissipates.
How do we build Connection with the Controller in Others?
Here are three things you can do to lessen the power struggle between you and others who exhibit Controller tendencies:
1. Observe defensiveness and the need to be right in other people and yourself. Ask yourself, “Is it more important to be right, or is it more important to create harmony and understanding?” If someone is adamant that they are right, can you learn to let them have their opinion unless it is damaging others? Can you learn to sit quiet in your wisdom until a better time presents itself to share your ideas instead of defending your ideas or need to be right?
2. Become a movie watcher. If life were a movie, and you watched the Controller in the movie play their role without your direct resistance, what would happen? Would your life fall apart? Would something catastrophic happen? Learn to be detached from personalities, and you will be far more influential, balanced and fulfilled.
3. Give the Controller in you and others what they really need. Tune into your inner Control Freak and ask, what is it that I need to feel safe and loved and good enough? Listen to the inner child and give her/him what is needed from your adult self. You will soon find that you are less irritated by the Controllers in your environment since you are filled up with what you need. You may even find yourself having deep conversations with the very Controllers who once annoyed you … conversations that reveal what they need to feel safe and loved (and it isn’t more micromanaging, pointing fingers or passive aggressive behaviour). As you understand human nature in yourself and others, your entire world and ability to influence your environment and the people in it will shift.
What parts of this process will you use to tame your own Control Freak? How will you use these steps to get along with the Controller in others?