So I have this super annoying thing that I do, which is try to control everyone and everything around me. It’s so bad, that sometimes I don’t even realize that I am doing it. I seem to think that I need to control everything and that it will make me happy, but the truth is, it does everything but that. Almost everyday I try to take control over situations and other people, and it is exhausting. I also get feelings of anxiety and stress when I try to control everything. So, why do I do this to myself?
I have recently been trying to understand this problem, and I have done a lot of thinking about the reasons why I do this. I thought back to one instance where my sister was spontaneously moving out to LA, with maybe $400 in her pocket. (shoutout to my sister, Andrea, for giving me a panic attack over this situation. You helped make this blog post haha!) Due to the fact that I was extremely nervous and scared that she was making a huge mistake, I did everything in my power to get her to stay. I’d get into exactly what I did, but as I said, I did everything in my power and there isn’t enough time in the day for me to write it all haha. Let’s just say I went above and beyond to try and sabotage her plans to move to LA and ended up causing myself a great deal of stress, anxiety, and unnecessary fights between my sister and I.
I did not realize exactly what I was doing until she actually left. My sister was going to LA no matter what I did to stop her, so what was I getting out of all of this? Absolutely nothing positive. The thing is, I had the best intentions, even though it didn’t seem like it. Watching my only/baby sister move out to LA with barely any money scared me to death. I didn’t want anything bad to happen to her. But wait a second – who said something bad would happen? No one. This was me overthinking. Bottom line is, nothing positive came out of me trying to control my sisters life. I learned, in this instance, that I needed to just let her go and let her be. I could not control this situation.
So, the million dollar, ironic, question… How do we control our control problem?! It is definitely not as easy as it sounds. I have thought this through and I take myself back to the situation with my sister. What could I have done to stop being such a control freak?
Stop and think.
Ask yourself – ‘Where is this coming from?’ ‘Why am I trying to take control over this?’
There is a reason why you are feeling like you need to start to control the situation. What is that reason? Think. My reason was because I wanted my sister to be safe, and I was letting my fears take control over her life. Once you know where it is stemming from, it will be easier to tackle it.
Seems like an easy one, right? Well, for me, when I begin to try and control something, my anxiety and stress levels are through the roof. When this happens, I tend to forget to breathe. If you’re like me and can relate to this, take deep breaths to calm yourself down. Deep breathing can help you relax, calm your nerves, and bring those levels of stress and anxiety down. Just take some long, deep breathes while you’re thinking. It will help you think more clearly, and you will feel better.
Let it be.
Alright, you made it to the hard part. Time to realize what controlling the situation is really doing to you. For instance, I drove myself to the point of insanity trying to change something that I couldn’t. Don’t do that! It’s time to just let it be. It is easier said than done, but just let people do their own thing. We can not change people or what they want to do. We are only in control of ourselves.
I take control of a lot of people and situations in my life. This example about my sister is one of MANY, believe me. But the thing is, I really do have the best intentions when I try to take control. However, what am I really get out of it? What is it doing to others? What is controlling every situation causing for the situation itself? Next time, think about these questions, and when you face a situation that you think you need to take control of, stop and think, breathe, and let it be.
Sincerely, Olivia 🙂
Olivia has her bachelor’s degree in Human Development & Family Studies, with a minor in Psychology, and she is currently working towards a master’s degree in Social Work. Her dream job is to work with service members and their families to help them navigate through military life and daily challenges. Olivia is a proud dog mom, a die-hard Fleetwood Mac fan, loves margaritas, and is an avid reader, who loves a great murder mystery.