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In Control: Not Even Remotely

If you want to see who really values control, watch people sitting in front of the television for awhile.

Invariably, one person will keep reaching for the remote control. They may let someone else have it momentarily (or if they’re busy doing some other kind of work) but when it matters (to them) they’ll find a way to get a hold of that master control device (and cling to it for dear life.)

Not saying that I’m innocent of this particular vice…but most of the time I’m otherwise occupied and too busy trying to stay in control of countless other aspects of my life.

As I was reading a review book last week, I ran across a helpful section on control. This author, Holley Gerth, a counselor, life coach, and speaker, discusses ways women approach control and why.

Gerth writes —

If you’re drawn to external control

You want to determine the behavior of others
You are often tempted to be critical
You may be seen as “bossy”
You have expectations for those in your life
You feel unsafe in situations in which you can’t determine the outcome
You’re drawn to positions of power

If you’re drawn to internal control

You are very strict with your own behavior
You are quite hard on yourself
You tend to be anxious and find it difficult to relax
You have high expectations of yourself
You feel unsafe in situations in which you don’t know what others expect
You are continually pushing yourself to do and be more

Gerth notes that everyone struggles with control in both of these ways at times, but there’s usually one tendency we’re drawn to more than others. She also comments that while fear is the underlying emotion for desiring control, all of life is a risk, and therefore, needs to be faced.

Gerth is right. The majority of our grabs for control is because we’re afraid of that which we can’t control (which is just about everything.)

This author enourages women to first understand what they’re afraid of and why before addressing ways to let go. She reminds us that one thing is certain about constantly grasping for this ellusive goal.

Control keeps us alone.”

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