If you’re anything like me, you can justify the heck out of being in control. You have your stuff together, you can always rely on yourself and everything you start gets finished. I’ve always been a go-getter and extremely focused on my studies and career. It’s how I finished my Master’s Degree by age 24.
There are healthy forms of self-control like being disciplined, orderly and responsible. But as they say, everything needs to be in moderation.
Unhealthy levels of control can look like this:
- Having an attitude with people who have NO self-control.
- Being unable to delegate simple tasks at work or home because “I can do it better than anyone else.”
- Being closed-minded about almost EVERYTHING!
- Less likely to listen to advice, suggestions or feedback.
- This leads to withdrawing from others. Why vent to others when they’re not going to have an answer or fix this for me?
- Unable to find ways to relax or unwind. Some people refer to this as being wound “too tight.”
When you get sucked into this pattern, your thinking and your heart will become too rigid. Expectations rise to unrealistic levels. Imagine what this can do if you’re dating, in a marriage or living with roommates. What expectations have you placed on loved ones who don’t deserve your level of control? What can this do to your kids?
A person with rigid control patterns will end up isolating themselves, whether they like it or not. It’s like living behind castle walls. Everyone will stay away from your insufferable behavior and you won’t reach out anyways. It’s a lose-lose situation.
How do you loosen the grip?
Slowly delegate a few tasks. Start saying no to a few tasks or activities. Maybe your control issue is mixed with a boundary problem. Are you saying yes to additional tasks because you feel “I’m the only one who can do it?” Get over yourself and leave it to someone else.
- Use a journal to document all the things that you feel are “controlling” you. Consider it the opposite of a “to-do” list. Make a DON’T DO list. Call it the HELL NO list! My daily planner has a section on the monthly calendar page for items that I shouldn’t do.
Please monitor your rigidity. I have been there. It’s not a place that allows for self-care or peace of mind.
You may be at risk of distancing yourself from the people who care about you the most.
If you want to begin journaling about control, please sign up for next month’s newsletter. I’ll be featuring journal ideas just for my subscribers!
Here are a few books you can purchase on Amazon to help you learn more about this topic! (affiliate links included)
This post contains affiliate links.
Whether you’re beginning a business, new relationship, new job, rebuilding a family relationship or recovering from burnout, you are probably hearing that you need to “set boundaries.”
What the hell are boundaries? (Besides my favorite topic and middle name)
Boundaries are the rules and limits you set for yourself. It’s like an imaginary fence around your life. You determine who comes in and out and what is allowed within your fence. According to Brene Brown in Rising Strong, boundaries means being clear on what behaviors are okay and what’s not okay.
Why are boundaries so important?
Plain and simple: It protects yourself.
- Protects you from being taken advantage of.
- Protects you from being disrespected.
- Protects you from people trying to manipulate you.
- Protects your children from outsiders who want to manipulate their parents.
- Protects you from having to explain yourself multiple times.
What does setting boundaries look like?
- I cannot work on Sunday because of family obligations.
- I need to take a break from certain housework. My back pains are getting worse by doing ____________.
- You cannot come to my house under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- I will not accept any business calls after 8PM. I will return messages starting at 7AM.
- I cannot take on any additional committees or responsibilities at this time. I need to focus on the work already on my plate.
- Do not ask me for money again.
- Don’t call me any vulgar names like bi—, cu—or ho. Ever.
- Do not text my phone continuously if I don’t respond. Do not call me multiple times because I did not answer my phone.
- I don’t allow men that I date to come to my house until at least 6 months of dating.
The problem with boundaries is staying consistent with them. When you say no, say it firmly.
I will never forget this phrase that I learned while working in addiction treatment.
If you are known for always saying “yes” to others, it will be difficult staying consistent with boundaries. People who are used to hearing you say “yes” will be resistant to your new boundaries.
- Imagine all the tasks you could do for yourself if you said NO. If you set a boundary with business will you have more time to unwind, spend with family or take that trip? Say no more…..
- Imagine all the drama you avoid because family and friends don’t ask you to save them or loan them money. Imagine how much time you save because you’re not repeatedly explaining yourself to partners or potential mates.
If you need to learn more, check out the books below.
I could write 10 pages on the importance of boundaries but I wanted to start with a simple explanation.
Boundaries are as crucial as breathing. Seriously. Don’t get taken advantage of because you are simply afraid of standing up for yourself. We’ll continue this conversation, I swear!