Control Freaks! Is it just me or do there seem to be more and more about these days.
Three years ago I wrote an article called how to control a control freak…. without them even knowing’. This article turned out to be one of the most successful articles I had written and subsequently became the subject of numerous training courses and seminars. I wonder why! It’s a rhetorical question for which my answer is because we all bump heads or get upset by control freaks.
We come across these people in all walks of life, our partners, bosses, the mother-in-law, and even the ‘jobs-worth’ behind the counter who won’t compromise. We have a choice, we can lock horns with these people, complain about them and feel hard done by or victimised, or we can choose to change how we are behaving and dealing with these people in order to affect a change in the way they treat us. What we can’t do is change them.
I mean the term affectionately, especially as I’m sure several people who know me could be forgiven for describing me as a control freak. (Something that I publicly deny of course, but secretly have to admit is true)
In fact, it could be said that to be successful in whatever you choose to do, you need some traits of the control freak and you may even be one yourself, I certainly don’t use the term in a derogatory or critical way.
I have many friends whom I admire greatly for what they have achieved and who are lovely people, but control freaks none the less, so when it comes to getting what you need from them or in spite of them, what are the best ways to go about it without any confrontation?
Control freaks rarely intend to be difficult; they just have very firm beliefs in right and wrong. Everyone is unique and has different ways of dealing with things, some people are just incredibly direct and they don’t give much thought to how the other person is going to receive their words. Some people are in a position of authority and expect people they perceive as subordinates to follow their instruction and some just like to impart their wisdom without realising it comes across as controlling or interfering.
They are people who see the world from their perspective in black and white, right and wrong, there is no grey in the middle and there in only one way to get a job done which is the right way, their way. After all why would you do something the wrong way? This is how control freaks view the world and they just don’t understand or give any thought to the fact that other people may not have the same understanding of the world, the people in it or a different opinion that is valid.
However, unless you are so easy going that you are happy to be told what to do all the time and go along with everything everyone else wants at some point the control freaks in our lives will upset us or stress us out. Actually, even if you are the easy going type, it is still easy to get upset by a control freak’s direct no nonsense way of talking and take things to heart sometimes, even if it isn’t about you.
What I label a control freak is just a particular personality type, one that has excellent leadership skills and if when you look at the personality traits of a control freak and understand how they operate you can start to develop your own strategies for managing them.
Every personality type has two sides to their coin, a positive and a negative and, depending on whether that person is in a good place emotionally or dealing with stress, anxiety or depression, one side of the coin will be more dominant.
Personality Traits of a Control Freak
So, lets have a look at the positive traits first
– Control Freaks are great leaders and team builders
– They are very good at giving and taking instruction (As long as they respect the person giving them the instructions as superior to themselves)
– They have a hierarchical way of viewing the world, meaning they only consider other people to be above or below them and progress in life is only considered to be up or down.
– You find many of these personality types in the military, Government, at the top of Industry and commerce, top sports people or any competitive field.
– They love competition and play to win
– They’re very driven and goal orientated
– They are kings/queens of their castle – meaning everyone they consider to be in their team/ social circle/ Family will enjoy there loyalty and protection
– They are fiercely loyal and protective to their family and team members (even if they never tell that person)
– Their attention to detail is second to none
– They are very methodical and dedicated
– They are tenacious and high achievers
– They can remember fact and detail and will recall these at will in an argument, And they’re very good arguing!
– They have a very strong mind and strong personality
– They are great strategic thinkers
– They are ambitious and want to improve life for themselves and their families
Are you starting to think you might be a control freak yet?
Actually they are great people we would do well to embrace them in our lives and you do need them on your team, so it is in your interest to learn how to manage them effectively. But before we move on, we should also understand some of the more negative traits that you could find yourself dealing with. For warned is for armed as they say…
When a control freak is in a bad place emotionally, some of their positive traits become enhanced in a negative way and they can become over controlling.
– Their strong mind and strong personality borders on arrogance, completely closed to the opinion of others
– They become over controlling of other people and try to control things they can’t
– They have a tendency to micromanage
– They can be judgemental and critical of other people
– Their inability to control things which are beyond their control can manifest in frustration and anger
– They don’t suffer fools gladly or accept other people’s individuality
– They are not very sensitive to the emotional needs of other people and sometimes their directness can be interpreted as insensitive
– Their own agenda comes before everything and everybody else
– They have an inherent belief that their way is the only and correct way
– A control freak who lacks confidence or has low self esteem can have a tendency to make themselves feel better by putting other people down and be prone to bully other people
– They are manipulative and devious
– They play mind games
– The are rigid in mind and will not change it for anyone but themselves
– They not only have to win an argument but they need everyone else to agree that they’re right; they do not agree to differ.
– They will do whatever and say whatever it takes to get their own way.
You don’t always know whether you are dealing with the positive or negative person, and to be honest you don’t necessarily need to know, the number one thing to remember when dealing with control freaks is to NOT meet them head on, you need a stealth strategy.
Control freaks have to win and have to get their own way, so try to go up against a control freak and you will most definitely meet a brick wall of resistance.
So where do you start?
The path of least resistance, learn how to play their game.
Control freaks are strategists and game players, they will totally understand and accept this way of working, when you learn their way of doing things (because of course, they’re right and have no interest in learning anyone else’s way) you will find they not only start working with you instead is against you, you will be able to bend them to your will, get whatever it is you need and they will totally love and respect you for it.
From tomorrow we start looking at the top ten tried and tested techniques for managing controlling people.
Tonight is an excellent time to start playing the self hypnosis track that accompanies this course. Full instructions are given below, listen to them first and then start playing every night.