Few things can be more irritating that someone who tries to control or micro-manage you at every turn. Life can be incredibly frustrating when you work with or live with a controller. Remember, controllers aren’t necessarily bad people (they may be great leaders, for example) , but they may have bad boundaries. When healthy boundaries are in place, it’s possible to co-exist with the controllers in your life. The most important thing to remember when dealing with a controller is to avoid becoming reactive by remaining proactive.
That simply means that controllers bring out the worst in us when we react in one of two ways:
1)We cave in.
Sometimes it feels like the best way to get a controller off our back is to give in and let them have their way. This approach never brings peace with a controller, it just whets their appetite for more control. If they feel that they can walk over you at will, they often do. Healthy relationships have a give and take. We won’t always win and we won’t always lose. That being said, we should always weigh in with our input or opinion. When we yield to a controller in an attempt to “keep the peace” we lose ourselves in the process, and our co-workers or family members are the worse for it.
If you don’t struggle with the first point, then you likely struggle with this one. Many of us despise being controlled, and push back at the first sign that someone is trying to manipulate us. We go out of our way to show them that we will not be controlled, even when it causes us to make decisions that we would not normally make. When we go to an opposite extreme of an issue to prove to a controller that we will not be controlled, they are still in a sense controlling us. We are not being ourselves. We are being whatever the other person doesn’t want.
This is where proactivity comes in. The only way to stay sane around the controller in your life is to decide ahead of time what you value and how you plan to make decisions. When you know what your priorities are and how you are going to act, you cut down the risk of caving in to a controller, or rebelling against them. Being proactive is the best way to ensure that you are fully you. You, bringing your strengths (and weaknesses) to your workplace and family is what they need the most.