Stop Being A Control Freak
“The closest to being in control we will ever be is in that moment that we realize we're not.”(Brian Kessler)
Do you have controlling behavior? You’re a control freak -- controlling others and hard on yourself? Joshua Ackerman and his colleagues at Yale University believe that we’re wired to treat other people’s actions as if they are our own. So that being said, if we notice or were told that another person accomplished something by self-control, it can destroy your willpower to accomplish your goals. Relating this into an
or other compulsive behaviors – when you see or know someone who lost weight or stopped drinking ‘cold turkey’ and you can’t do the same thing, you’re likely to give up.
That’s the topic for October: Controlling Behavior: Stop Being A Control Freak. Here are tips to stop.
Awareness: As with every other behavior, you have to notice when you’re doing it. A good test is to ask people if you’re controlling. Notice when you’re demanding too much of yourself.
Patterns: There are certain times or certain people which will put you in control mode. Notice those patterns because they repeat.
Observation: Ask yourself what control does for you. Are you setting the standard for yourself so you can look down on others? Do you need to keep a tight reign on yourself because otherwise you’ll be ‘out of control’? (this is particularly true for all addictions)
Self-importance When we think that the world revolves around us we, feel entitled to control it. We also hold judgments about ourselves and set really high standards because we fear that others will be judging us as hard as we judge ourselves. People seldom think give us much thought.
Perfection: Being attentive to details is OK, but when you’re driving yourself and everyone around you crazy because of your perfectionism, it’s out of line. You are not perfect and neither is anyone else. Aiming for perfectionism is a losing battle.
Trust: If you have to control a person, you don’t trust them. A secure person can ‘live and let live’.
Attitude: Change your attitude. Understanding others as well as yourself is more important than control. – If you’re too hard on yourself, it will affect your health. If you’re hard on others, this can result in an
Practice: Like everything else changing behavior takes time -- and you have to practice. Copy these tips on the post it so you can refer to them. Practice, practice, practice – the more you practice the more you change.
Accept: If someone stops drinking ‘cold turkey’ and you’ve had difficulty, don’t give up. It may be good for them but not you. Accept yourself the way you are and accept others for whom they are.
Be aware of your controlling behavior – with yourself and others
Don’t repeat your patterns of control
Ask yourself what your controlling behavior does for you
Don’t think others are judging you. Most likely you’re the one judging.
Perfectionism is a losing battle
Live and let live. Relationships are built on trust
Understand and appreciate yourself
Catch yourself controlling and practice the new behavior
Accept yourself and others
If you must be ‘in control’ of everyone, they will start lying or manipulating to get out of your control. When you’re too hard on yourself, you’ll eventually sabotage yourself due to anxiety. Escaping from anxiety is one of the roots of
When you feel you can handle what life throws at you, you are truly in control.
Q & A
We’ re going on a cruise with my son who’s been at Betty Ford Clinic for the past 6 months. We’re taking him, my daughter and her friend and obviously there will be drinking and partying on board. My daughter and her friend both drink and they won’t avoid the bars.
My son has the problem and has got to be strong, but I want to help him somehow. He was a heavy drinker and never knew when to stop. This might be a stupid question, but will he never be able to drink again? Thank you for your help
Although your son has been in rehab for 6 months, he is still very new to sobriety. No one can make an alcoholic drink, however, your son will be fighting all his triggers to drink and party on this cruise.
Your son has to handle his addiction with the tools that he learned at Betty Ford and only he can do this, however, you can find out if there are AA meetings on the cruise and if there are, suggest that he attend.
If he has a sponsor, he can call or e-mail him and call his counselor at the center if he's struggling with cravings to drink. He has the tools but the 'ball is in his court'.
Right now, for you son, drinking is out of the question. However, many heavy drinkers can eventually take an occasional drink.
I hope this information is helpful.
Just because you came from a dysfunctional family doesn't mean you have to pay for it for the rest of your life.
There are so many urban legends floating around -- "a fat child becomes a fat adult", "I come from a family of alcoholics, of course I get drunk". Great excuses, but if you're not happy with you're behavior, your not doomed. When you
change your outlook
you learn new behaviors, which change your life.
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