Some people lack the ability or are not very skilled at dealing with their fears, emptiness, or frustration. They have the irresistible urge to control everyone else’s world.
Because that way they create a more positive and stronger image of themselves. But little by little, this need will turn into excessive demands and the development of a rigid and stifling relationship. This kind of relationship completely ignores the emotional integrity of the other person.
When we really think about this, it’s frightening how the human brain is able to use the most advanced tools when it’s in need. Of course, not everyone does it the same way.
But the need to control everything and everyone around us is nothing but a defense mechanism. We use this tactic to confront something we see as a “threat”.
Low self-confidence, a huge sense of insecurity, a negative self-image and the inability to process feelings such as anger, sadness or frustration often form a deadly cocktail. At that point, your psychological insecurity starts looking for an easy and quick solution.
When a person is confronted with his lack of ability to control and deal with all these things, he focuses his energy on others. “I will control you and everyone else so that you fit into my black and white world.”
You’ve probably seen how these people behave in certain relationships and even at work.
An example. Suppose an incompetent boss tries to take control of all employees. He or she wants the employees to play a part in his or her company policy. The boss abuses his or her authority. But this will create a dysfunctional dynamic in the company, which is also unproductive.
The need to control everything and a lack of emotional autonomy
The need to control everything manifests itself in an infinite number of different contexts, moments and situations. We notice it in the insecure mother or father who want to control their child. They don’t want the child to leave the “bubble” of the house. No, on the contrary, they stay with their child at all times.
It is also common in friendships. Then you see that one person shows coercive, manipulative or abusive behavior. They are friends who want everything from us: time, emotional support, and of course obedience.
We may know someone with these characteristics in our small social circle. Scratch the surface and you will see what lies beneath this blanket of demands, threats and obsessions. What hides there is a lack of emotional autonomy.
This shortage makes them not only “forcers” but also “takers”. People who are insecure, or have low self-esteem and cannot process their feelings, try to “feed themselves” through one or more “givers”.
But that’s not all. There is another interesting aspect that we should mention. In 2009, psychiatrists Friese and Hoffman conducted a study on this subject.
They found that people who have little self-control tend to look for “all or nothing” relationships.
What do we mean by this? Their impulsiveness, their urge to be “fed”, accepts no excuses. They will be even less able to see or empathize with other people’s needs.
When a controlling person wants something, he doesn’t ask. He demands it. Those individuals also seek instant gratification, unconditional attention, and “givers”. These people are willing to expand their egocentric universe and they are ready.
We haven’t used the word “you” often in this article. But sometimes you have to start thinking in the first person. Because we need to determine whether we might be the ones who need it to control people.
Maybe we do this unconsciously. This behavior can also happen overnight without us fully realizing it.
Sometimes it can be caused by financial problems, or when someone is abandoned by someone who means a lot to us. It can even be the result of losing a loved one. There are meaningful moments in life when the emptiness becomes tangible and suffocating.
It is those moments when we become filled with fear and are no longer able to tolerate uncertainty. Our brains begin to expect bad things. It seems like everything is slipping out of our hands.
Then, almost without noticing, we begin to demand things from others that may not be their responsibility. We fall into emotional abuse without even realizing it.
What can we do in this case? Here are some things to think about…
- Try to see that putting pressure on other people will not improve your current situation. When we dominate the people we love, we deny their freedom – and besides, it’s not productive. But what can be helpful is learning how to control ourselves. That’s because the real problem isn’t always outside of us, but within ourselves.
- Also, learn to understand that we cannot control the future or what may happen. But the present is within our reach. It’s about what’s happening right now. That is our sole responsibility.
- To live is to admit that there are more uncertainties than certainties. It is realizing that we are not in control of everything. We must be able to deal with the unexpected. To do this, there is nothing that works better than investing in our willpower. And understand and process our own feelings…
In summary, we can say that few things are as necessary for our personal growth as developing good self-control. After all, it’s important that we have the right amount of emotional autonomy and control over our feelings.
Anyone who does this will actually make progress with greater peace and integrity. They will do this with respect for themselves and everyone else.