Enjoy being a control freak? Time to ask what you're getting out of it

control freak

Many singles like being a control freak. They enjoy the sense of security it gives them.

There's only one problem. Sometimes events happen that we can't control, like the death of a loved one, a romantic breakup, or the sudden loss of a job. What happens then? If your stability is based on your mastery of every aspect of your life, you're setting yourself up for a crash.

Let's get one thing straight. All of us prefer to be in control of our life. We want to make intelligent, informed decisions that will have predictable results. There's nothing wrong with that.

When control turns freaky

Dealing with surprises is an acquired skill. Being caught off-guard is stressful, especially if you have to make short-notice decisions to deal with the situation. The less time we have to think things through, the more potential for mistakes.

But some things don't matter. Really. Not having your favorite outfit clean and ready to wear to an important presentation or job interview is frustrating, but it's not worth making yourself sick over.

Being a control freak means you're rattled by minor inconveniences. You feel your self-confidence slipping if everything isn't just so.

"What, me worry?"

By now, you've either noticed uncomfortable similarities to your own personality, or you're like Alfred E. Neuman, that off-kilter mascot of Mad magazine, whose motto is, "What, me worry?"

A balance between the two is probably best. Obviously, we want our physician and airline pilot to be control freaks--or at least fussy about details. But for most people, being a control freak is a liability.

If being obsessive about being on top of everything sounds like you, here's a truth worth remembering:

Jack's truths for thriving.

God is God, and you're not.

Not particularly profound, but undeniably true.

Perfection is overrated

Typically, the higher your self-esteem, the less chance of you being a control freak. Yes, mistakes reflect on us. Yes, people judge us by our performance. But no, God doesn't grade you on performance, and just who are you trying to impress, and why?

I worked for a perfectionist once. She seemed to delight in being superior to her mistake-infested employees. But nobody liked her, even her snitches.

Being a control freak is a losing battle. Something unexpected always pops up. You'll commit a sin, even though you thought you were faultless. And trust me, you won't endear yourself to others by pointing out their shortcomings and being a know-it-all.

Please be realistic. Most people aren't evil and they aren't out to sabotage you if they make occasional mistakes. People won't love you any less if you foul up now and then. In fact, they'll probably love you more, because that proves you're human, just like the rest of us.

Stop beating yourself up if things aren't perfect. Stop trying to prove something and start trying to enjoy life.

When you see that an occasional error doesn't send your entire world crashing down, you'll be able to loosen up. Take it from the rest of us: It's a lot less stressful and a whole lot more fun.

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