Is it possible to have too much control over your life and emotions? YES! Many people may not believe this could be true but it is. There is an element of self-protection based on distrust or fear ( or both) that deters people from accepting, embracing, or being open to positive relationships, opportunities, and/or life experiences that better quality of life.
What Does Too Much Control Look Like?
Characteristics in people’s control include boundaries, thoughts and actions, goals, what you give your energy to, how you speak to yourself, and how you handle challenges.If you have too much control over yourself, boundaries are rigid and few people are allowed into your circle. There is a chance that these relationships do not feel authentic because you are not allowing yourself to connect. You may not make goals in order to prevent failure or negative emotions from occurring. There may be little opportunity to learn or expand because you may not receive the opinions or advice of others trying to help you. There is little opportunity for growth when it comes to challenges because by over controlling does not allow for much growth. As far as energy goes, you are likely exhausted! It is so tiring to try to remain in control all the time.
How Do You Know if You Over Control?
Needing to trust others in challenging situations may lead to frustration, negative thoughts, anger, and/or fear. You would tend to isolate emotionally, not allow yourself to be vulnerable with most people, become angry often when others try to communicate about your emotions , and you would tend to avoid emotional connections, even if you want them to happen. You would have trouble receiving and following advice from professionals and supports, and would have trouble believing others can give you sound advice. You may also believe that others are trying to harm you with their advice and you cannot trust almost anyone.
Dominating conversations, or doing the majority of the talking rather than listening when you are seeking help or advice, picking apart what is said and/or automatically having negative thoughts about what you’re hearing would likely occur. You wouldn’t be able to communicate how you feel easily when in conflict, and would have suffered losses due to the need to control situations or others to prevent discomfort or pain.
Also, the areas in the picture in this blog that are out of your control would cause great distress, and may consume you- the past, the future, actions and opinions of others, what others think of you and the outcome of your efforts. You may try to control all of those areas and get angry and hurt when it does not turn out how you hoped. You may also control yourself even more drastically to compensate.
How to Create Change
Control is hard to let go of. Control can be a form of armour. It is a way to protect yourself from harm, but problems occur because controlling at that level prevents a lot of good, not just bad. As a therapist, I have seen this over and over again. People do not do the work needed to heal because they will not allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to heal. What a high cost of remaining in control! There is so much healing, freedom, and joy when you allow yourself to be released from the pressure of being in total control. Besides, having total control is not actually possible anytime you are dealing with other people or circumstances involving more than just yourself.
The One in Control
There is so much hope as a Christian regarding not needing to be in control. If you are a Christian, you know that God is in ultimate control. If you tend to over control, it would definitely be difficult to accept Jesus’ control and allowing him to work on areas of your life that cause you to be vulnerable or uncomfortable. And, if you do allow Jesus to direct your life in those vulnerable areas, you still may avoid close relationships with others, getting therapy, or seeking guidance and advice from others who can help you to heal.
The first step to releasing control is awareness. Once you are aware and disclose, healing can begin. The first step is to slowly let your guard down. This is a difficult process and seeking help from a therapist can help. It involves allowing yourself to be vulnerable and listening to others. It also involves defining boundaries and being more flexible in boundaries. This can be a hard concept to grasp on your own and may feel overwhelming.
Keeping such control over your life takes tremendous willpower and determination but it is too much of a load for anyone to bare, and is exhausting. Change is not easy but it is possible, especially if you use your willpower and determination to focus on and create change. I’d love to hear your story. Please contact me with any questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
#PTSD #trauma #secondarytrauma #panic #relivingmypast #letgoofmypast #emotionalhealing