I’ve had the pleasure of knowing people who were in control of their lives. They can handle themselves in any situation and they know what they want to do in life. They’re comfortable in their own skin. I’ve also had the displeasure to know people who look to control everything in a situation. In almost every situation, they try to control the people and the circumstance they are in. They want to know what is happening, when it’s happening and how it’s happening at every single turn. This second group is comprised of the most miserable people I have ever met.
People who live their lives in a controlled way, for the most part, have great qualities:
- They are focused on goals.
- They know where they’re heading and have the next few steps planned.
- They are organized in their pursuits and life.
- They don’t look at life as a competition against other people. They, instead, take people along for the ride and even help them to reach their own goals through encouragement and help.
- They learn what they can and can’t do well.
- They seek the help of others when they know they can’t do it themselves.
- They admit when they’re wrong and seek to learn from their mistakes to better themselves as well as to make life better for others.
- They understand that some things are outside of their control.
Those who look to be in control in every situation:
- They may or may not have their own goals. Some look to be number one in whatever situation whether they’re the best person for the job or not.
- Very often, even when they know where they’re heading, they’re easily distracted and have trouble staying focused because they’re too worried about what other people are saying and doing.
- They can be either very organized, in some instances to make others feel inferior to them, or they can be so worried about making sure they are in the know of what is happening around them that they have little to no time or energy to be organized.
- Everything is about competition for them. They have to feel like they are superior to everyone and they share their “knowledge” about every subject, even if they have no knowledge of the subject at all.
- Most often they feel like there is nothing they can’t do, but if there is something, they will downplay it as stupid or meaningless in life to be able to do.
- They will have someone help to accomplish their tasks in menial ways or micromanage every little thing the other person does. Generally, there is little or no praise of what the other person did and they are very judgmental of how the work was completed.
- Seldom do these types of people admit that they’re wrong. Most often, if they are in the wrong, they will shift responsibility on to someone else or turn the focus on to what someone else has done wrong to get the focus off of them. There is little growth as a person. They generally stay the same type of person and often become even more miserable to be around.
- They hate to even think about anything being out of their control. If a situation arises that is moving against them, they will retaliate with threats and ultimatums. Very little is off limits when a controlling person is being called out on their behavior or their “victim” is rising up to say enough. The controlling person will say and do anything they think of to keep their control.
Those Who Feel Out of Control
There is also a third type of person. There are some who feel that nothing is in their control. They feel that life is against them from all sides and that nothing will work out for the good. If it does, they brace themselves for when something bad will eventually come. They may enjoy what is happening when it is positive, but they will most likely forget about it happening when things become rough again. I have been in this place more than I care to admit. When you’re in abusive relationships, it can be a way to never be disappointed. I was always expecting something bad to happen because it almost always did. Even when there were positive times in my marriage, such as, I would find out later that my husband had done other things I wasn’t aware of during those times, therefore destroying the memories and happiness. It is a very sad state to live in and there is little to no joy. There is always a cloud over your head just like Eeyore (even though we’re not nearly as cute as he is).
In life, these people step out their molds at any given time. The well put together person can come unraveled and lose perspective, become competitive or refuse to ask for help when they need it. The controlling person can acknowledge the positives in another and can even admit they were wrong on occasion. However, in my experience with people, the admission of wrong is short-lived and they usually convince themselves they weren’t really in the wrong after all. And the person who feels completely out of control can have moments of inspiration and hope. However, the points I’ve described are the way the different groups tend to gravitate toward. These lists are from my personal experiences. Unfortunately, I have known many of the last two types of people and had the pleasure of knowing a few of the first type of people.
The person who has perspective and is in control of how they choose to live their lives are the happiest of the three. There is accountability, hope and others are held in high esteem. The people who feel they have no control seem to have little joy in life and there isn’t hope for much. But those who always need to be in control seem to be the most miserable people. They can never just be. They have little to no downtime and their minds are always thinking about instances where things should have been different or wrongs had been done to them that needed to be addressed. That is simply not living. It is reacting and not enjoying, it is manipulating and not just being in the moment, and it is tearing people down and trying to make them your puppet and not living life with others.
The good news is that everyone can change. You can choose not to be helpless anymore or to be one of the most miserable people. You can, instead, make the changes to get the most out of life and have people wanting to go through it with you.
~ Joanna Lynn