Yesterday, realisation hit that so much is beyond our control.
As a 21-year old female who literally obsesses over everything that’s both right and wrong with the world, you’d think I’d have realised the restriction of our control over things in life sooner. But I didn’t, not until yesterday.
In year 5 (or 4th grade, I found out) I became bossy and a tad controlling.
I even made myself an email address with the handle ‘bex_boots9’. That’s boots – as in bossy boots. I know, I’m cringing, too.
This is when my hunger for control started. I was 9 or 10 years old, and ready to feel the adrenaline of being on a power trip. But boy, back then I had no idea of how oblivious a person can be to their own characteristics.
Especially when they’re a control freak who, well, loves being in control.
We’re notoriously known as these obsessive-compulsive, passive-aggressive, highly-principled, sanctimonious people who have an insane fear of things spiraling out of control. Which makes sense really, because if you don’t care about what spirals out of your control then you can’t really be a control freak.
As a control freak, it’s a daily occurrence to be angry and mood-disordered with the tendency to be hypocritical, win and correct people. Does this sound like you? Because it sounds exactly like me, too.
Well, how I used to be.
The Place We Met
This book I’ve been reading recently (mostly yesterday), ‘The Place We Met’ by Isabelle Broom – has opened my eyes when it comes to my want to take command in most situations. It’s a romance novel, and completely fab and relevant if you’re into travel literature and contemporary fiction (I bought it on my Kindle for just 99p, too!)
But at one point in the book, this tall dark and handsome Italian character called Marco says, “Because everything is much more fun when you don’t know what’s gonna happen.” And this is so true.
Now that I’ve aged 11 years, learnt hell of a lot – and my email address has gone from ‘bex_boot9’ to ‘rowlandsre’, I’ve learnt that obsessing over having everything in order, from tomorrow’s lunch to a list of clothes to wear for each day whilst abroad is not just a little bit unhealthy, but kind of (absolutely) boring, too.
As most may agree, there’s no harm in being organised and dwelling on what’s going to happen in the future, after all that’s why so many people visit psychics, but we can’t control everything all of the time.
Control is a funny thing. It can be a negative aspect of life, too, that’s if you take too much of it and allow it to eclipse your personality – which is what I let it do…
I would unknowingly judge my boyfriend on his grammar, poking at certain things he said, failing to acknowledge that it’s his accent – which is completely different to mine – but I still did it, anyway!
I would tell my mum to change her outfit, or parts of it, because the items of clothing didn’t match, and I would let this frustrate me so much that you’d swear that it was me wearing the clothes.
If one single thing wasn’t the way I wanted it to be I’d just. Lose. My. Sh*t.
That’s the thing with wanting the upper hand in most situations, you only realise how you’ve acted once you’ve reacted, and the worst thing is, some people never even realise.
Now’s the time!
The Run Down
First, I did some digging. I Googled ‘control freak characteristics’ just for a bit of reassurance that I wasn’t letting PMS get the best of me – but then I realised I matched the ‘criteria’.
My first call to action was to substitute my obsessive/controlling behaviour for more dynamic behaviour. To do this, I first wondered whether there was anything positive I could take from my control freak experience…
Then it dawned on me. I remember reading that having the persona of a supposed ‘control freak’, apparently means that you’re a results orientated person. So wouldn’t this be a good thing to take away from something that’s perceived as so bad?
The good thing about being results orientated is that results can be seen from practically anything in life. From learning how to walk after losing a leg, using Google Analytics, going to the gym 5 times a week, being kind to people – the list is literally endless.
There was one thing I did want to see the results of, though – the results of no longer being a control freak.
Now, when I get worked up over something small, I take deep breaths, listening to some good music (especially Frank Ocean), read, go for a walk, and I try to limit my use of technology.
I try not to turn up somewhere two hours early rather than a few minutes before, and I’ve stopped judging others on what they do and always remember that everyone is different – which means that every individual does things their way.
More importantly, I think about acting before reacting and always think carefully about what I say and how it’s going to affect the feelings of others.
Now, there’s less stress over the tiny things in life that I can’t control, less obsessing over trying to always have control, and just more happiness in general.
If you come across an obsessive-compulsive, passive-aggressive, highly-principled, and sanctimonious person, tell them to read this blog post. I’d love to chat with anyone about how good it feels to not be a control freak.
All my love for control has gone, but who even loves it, anyway?
People who are a bit dark and f*cked up, I suppose. 😉