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)












Q &A

Next Month:

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 with self-control, and you can't do it, that can destroy your willpower to follow through. Relating this into an alcohol or drug addiction and eating disorder 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 on yourself.

That’s the topic for October: Controlling Behavior: Stop Being A Control Freak. Here's how to stop.

Awareness: As with every behavior, you have to notice when you’re doing it. A good test is to ask people if they find you controlling. Also, 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 your patterns because they repeat.

Observation: Ask yourself what being in 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're afraid that others will be judging us, as hard as we judge ourselves. People seldom 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 controlling them – If you’re too hard on yourself, it will affect your health. If you’re hard on others, you can be


Practice: Like everything else changing behavior takes time -- and you have to practice. Copy these tips and refer to them. Practice, practice, practice – the more you practice the more you change.

Accept: If someone loses weight by staying continuously on a diet 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 get back on that diet.


Be aware of your controlling behavior – with yourself and others

Don’t repeat your patterns of control.

Ask yourself what control does for you.

Others are most likely aren't judging you.

Perfectionism is a losing battle.

Relationships are built on trust --not control.

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. If you’re too hard on yourself, you’ll eventually sabotage yourself due to anxiety. Escaping from anxiety is one of the roots of addictive behavior 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 has been at Betty Ford Clinic for the past 10 months. We’re taking him, my other son and his friend and there will be drinking and partying on board. My other son and his friend both drink and they won’t stay away from the bars.

My alcoholic son has the problem and has got to be strong, but I want to help him. He was a heavy drinker and never knew when to stop.

This might be a stupid question, but will he ever be able to drink again? Thank you for your help


Although your son has been in rehab for 10 months, he is still very new to sobriety and he won't be in a safe environment.

No one can make an alcoholic drink, however, your son will be fighting all his demons 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 learned all the tools in rehab, but the 'ball is in his court'.

Right now, for you son, drinking is out of the question. However, many heavy drinkers can take an occasional drink eventually.

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.
You can also be helped to change your behavior with coaching

Try a free 30 minute session to see if it's for you.

Have a question? Just ask and post. Your questions comments and suggestions help others.

What’s New On The Site

Share your addiction story. Whether you have a secret or a confession of something that you've done, or said that you wish never happened, share it on the web -- The web is judgment free.

Say what's in your heart and when you do, others will relate and be helped as well. You can be anonymous and give comments or advice. Here's the link to

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Next Month

Stop those awful cravings and get to your goal.

Stay in touch.


If you or someone you know needs help changing behavior ex. compulsive eating, sex, computer addiction etc. Try a free 30 minute coaching session Here's how.

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