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We all like to feel in control of our own lives, yet we allow others to directly influence us. We do things to please other people, we do things because other people have asked us to. Yet at other times we stand firm and say "No."

Our Yes and No responses are based on our Ego, Values and sense of self.

Control is pretty much part of our every day life. Be that we are in a position of gaining control or relinquishing control, throughout the day we seek to push and pull within our interactions with others.

In some circumstances, a certain amount of control IS required. This is why we have a police force and a government. This is why we abide to various rules and regulations. For when dealing with groups, we need to implement some kind of control to benefit the safety and security of the group as a whole.
As difficulties arise when an individual breaks the 'rules' or 'regulations' by which the rest of us adhere to.

Control Situations

Not all control situations are negative. For example; when we decide to take control of our lives, or when we decide to take control of a chaotic situation where no one else is being 'chair person'.

  • Telling someone what you do and don't find acceptable.
  • Standing your ground
  • Standing up for your beliefs or values

However others can be seen from a manipulative, non accepting point of view.

  • When you persistently argue your case to try to convince others to your way of thinking
  • Thinking and acting on behalf of someone else without prior consent.
  • Deciding what is right and wrong for someone who is capable of deciding for themselves.
  • Blackmail or Manipulation

When we try to control someone else's actions, what you are saying is that you don't believe they can do things for themselves, that they can not think for themselves, that they are incapable.

What you are doing is taking away their free will, trying to turn them into you, by having them do what YOU would do.

A power struggle collapses when you withdraw your energy from it.
Power struggles become uninteresting to you when you
change your intention from winning to learning about yourself.

~ Gary Zukav & Linda Francis - "from The Heart of the Soul" ~

If you feel controlled.

At times we all feel tied to situations, people, places. We feel obliged to do things in a certain way.

Yet, you have opinions, beliefs, values and dreams. Of which no one else has exactly the same as you. So what is right for ONE individual is not automatically RIGHT for you.

No one has exactly the same opinions, beliefs or values as you, as no one else has been exactly where you have been every step of your life. And even if they have been, their reactions and thoughts are separate from yours.

Therefore, if you feel you are being controlled. YOU have the choice to either allow it, or stand up for your self and your beliefs.

If you feel you are controlling.

Occasionally, we think we know best. Offer it as advice, not demands. Explanation of how you are feeling and what you are thinking is ONLY control if you demand things to occur in a certain way.

Give your advice once. Never ever take it personally if your advice isn't instantly acted upon. Remember, when people do not take your advice, it is because they are not ready.

You could try to address WHY you feel the need to control the situation.

  • Trying to protect others from making mistakes? Well, quite often, as adults we need to make our own mistakes.
  • Fear based manipulation, trying to avoid something YOU don't want for yourself.

Control Freaks

Being a 'Control freak' is an obsessive need to have everything done your way. The degrees of this kind of behaviour can vary, but in it's most aggressive form, may require professional assistance.

A control freak is someone who needs to call the shots, wants to be the driving force behind every project. They are insistent over every detail. Some do this, simply to feel better about themselves, the rest feel better when everyone else feels worse...It's as though they are fighting to be top of the ladder.

On a psychological level, these kinds of people are actually very afraid of being vulnerable, they are often insecure on an inner level, and they protect themselves by keeping every aspect of their life within their control. They are afraid of losing this control.
This is what drives them to be even more controlling. To the point where they often criticise the people around them, including people they love.

A control freak can not easily recognise their fears. Pointing out to them that they are a control freak or that they have fears will undoubtedly hit a hardened defence, as they are trying to be perfect.
Imperfection is something they simply do not want to see in themselves.

By wanting to be in control, they are actually projecting 'I can't trust you' and ' You are incapable', not because YOU are these things; but because THEY fear being incapable and because they do not trust themselves.

When a control freak IS in control, they feel calm and in balance. When they start losing that control, they experience anxiety, fear and feel victimised.
As more of that control is taken away, they become angry, agitated and often threatening. This then leads to feelings of depression.

Rather than stopping once they have gained control, they need to seek more control. It's as though the 'threat' never goes away. Even though the threat may not even be 'real' to anyone else, the fear of losing control of a situation they 'have under control' makes them feel insecure. So then they strive to maintain it.
Then if down in the depths of depression, they will try to manipulate and find a way back on the bottom rung of a ladder to climb back up.

Dealing with a control freak

Keep calm. Don't take anything they say personally.

Speak slowly and clearly, don't raise your voice or activate your temper.

Try to remain centred whilst you speak to them. The more agitated THEY get, the more calm you must try to be.

Be patient. Listen to what they have to say. Let them have their say FIRST, don't but in. But then ensure you have asked if they have finished and ask them not to interrupt you whilst you talk.

Don't take things personally, it's not you who is afraid.

Be aware. Understand that they have learnt to intimidate and manipulate, it is a finely tuned art.

If you are entangled in a destructive attachment, the best response may be to walk away. As whatever you do will not have a lasting effect on their behaviour. People have to want to change for themselves, not because people tell them so! (But you can't tell a control freak that!)
A control freak will get even more angry if you walk away and will not want to end the argument/debate/discussion until a resolution THEY are happy with has been found. So be prepared.


Those who demand, often give the least.

Controlling Conversations

In any conversation, the push and pull of energy flows more from one person than other. During the course of a conversation; this push and pull can change direction.
The balance of listening, or speaking, the feeling of not being heard, the need to stress something, to be clear about something all effect the flow and control of a conversation.

If something doesn't matter, you take a 'passive' stance, if something does matter, you take an 'aggressive' stance. People who take on aggressive stances constantly have a real need to feel in control. People who take on passive stances constantly have little need to 'be' in control.

Ideally though, a balance should be met.

Control Dramas

The 4 main 'control dramas' , as explained in the Celestine Prophecy are as follows, our primary personality will be mostly in one of these styles, bordering occasionally on a second.

The first two are 'aggressive' stances, the second two are 'passive' stances.

Intimidator - threatening, strict, enjoys giving orders, inflexible, angry, self-centred, intimidating, likes things to be done 'right'

Interrogator - Always asking questions; critical, undermining, needling, infallible logic, sarcastic, feels like they monitoring you. can be sceptical, sarcastic, self-righteous, perfectionist

Poor me - Always seeing the negative, looking for problems rather than solutions, always talking about being busy or tired, make you feel almost guilty for not solving their problems. Pull attention by sighing, trembling, crying, Victim stance.

Aloof - tended to be distant, busy, away from home, not too interested in your life, unresponsive, secretive, quiet,

How do you counteract any of these in yourself, and or when facing them in other people?

The key, I believe is to be acting in integrity;

Balance, is asking the right questions with no need to influence the answers, and indeed no need to receive a specific answer. Balance is being flexible and being open to new ideas, not being afraid of change. Balance is honesty, trust and truth. Balance is accepting responsibility for yourself, and allowing others to accept their own responsibility, and not about YOU taking on every one else's responsibilities to the detriment of yourself.

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