Control Freaks Are Freaky

Control Freaks Are FreakyDo you know anyone who is a control freak? That’s really not the question I wanted to ask, but it is a good place to start, nonetheless.

One of the reasons we don’t like control freaks is that those whom we know are usually trying to control us. That makes controlling-type people about as irritating as woolen underwear. We don’t like it when they try to control us, but that is not what makes them freaky.

There is a difference between perfectionists and control freaks. Perfectionists focus on controlling those things that they directly touch. Control freaks are different in that they have an overwhelming compulsion to control everything within their sphere of influence except the one thing that they have the ability to control: themselves. That is freaky. It’s freaky because it doesn’t work. And it never will.

One of the things that makes a control freak freaky is that they, themselves, are always out of control. It borders on insanity to keep spending time trying to control things you cannot and to ignore what you can. I’m not sure what side of the border it is one, but it seems to be on the other side.

Have you ever noticed the unusual amount of anxiety that control freaks have, all because they want things to be done their way? No wonder the sale of anti-anxiety medications exceeds $76 billion annually. Control freaks generate an overwhelming amount of self-anxiety because, no matter how hard they try or no matter how much effort and energy they invest, almost everything in their sphere of influence is out of their control.

Control freaks want to be the boss of everyone. That becomes a major problem when an actual boss is a control freak. Control freaks don’t lead or manage, because they can’t. Their entire understanding of leadership and management is skewed by their vain imagining that they must be in control. Effective leaders and managers understand that they must control their own time and efforts while providing vision and direction and delegating authority to others to accomplish the common objective.

The problem is that sometimes control freaks become bosses, often by establishing their own businesses. Working for a control freak is not impossible, but it is certainly unbearable. Working alongside one is almost as bad. Dictators – and many “skilled politicians – are typically control freaks, because they feel the need to have control over those who may oppose or unseat them.

Here is the point (and the question I really wanted ask up front). Are you a control freak? A peaceful life is characterized, not by controlling others, but by controlling ourselves. Essentially our lives are controlled by external circumstances. Our responsibility is to control how we respond to those circumstances and to other people who live and move within our sphere.

There is nothing freaky about self-control. It promotes peace within ourselves and between people and organizations.

Self-control is admirable and is respected by both those who exercise it and those who do not. It is the revelation of the beauty of a disciplined life. When a person neglects the discipline of self-control, they focus on controlling others. That is freaky. And that is why those people are called control freaks.

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