My way or the highway


Control is an illusion. It’s a last resource we always turn to when we feel helpless and incapable of making sense of the chaos around us. There are many physical and psychological issues that spur out of that need for control – nowadays, we see them more than ever, because our existence has become more chaotic.

As most things in life, control has positive and negative aspects. On the bright side, control may manifest itself as great organizational skills, which are a blessing when you run a business or a household. A person with a penchant for control will also be a terrific trip or vacation planner: it’s the one you can rely on because they never forget any essential items, and they prepare for every contingency. If you are a baker or a cook, you know that a controlling person will have an easier time in the kitchen than most – keeping times and measuring ingredients comes naturally to them.

Too much control always does more damage than it does good. The moment we start trying to control everything, including those around us, unpleasant things (such as stress, misunderstandings and interpersonal conflicts) start to happen. Too much control has the same effect as overwatering a plant: it whithers everything in its path, draining motivation and quenching good intentions.

It’s very tempting to try to control everything and everyone, especially if the situation is something that really matters to us. We just have to remember that it’s never a great idea to try to manage everything, no matter how important the task is. You will end up alienating yourself and it becomes a lose-lose situation. If you have terrific organizational skills and are a natural born leader, those are beautiful and incredibly useful characteristics to have – just remember to use them wisely, and keep your controlling self on check. With what? Empathy is the key word here. Everybody will appreciate this – most of all, you. Trust me!

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