I have written about the Redneck, the Free Spirit, and now the Control Freak. The control freak is a very interesting personality. In my observations of the control freak, I have noticed most are successful, driven, and they want someone to do what they say because they think it is the best path for that person. Case in point, Steve Jobs, was labeled a control freak. You can’t get much more successful than him. The Wikipedia definition of a control freak is a person who attempts to dictate how everything around them is done. The phrase was first used in the late 1960s — an era when great stress was laid on the principle of 'doing one's own thing' and letting others do the same.
As I did research about the control freak what I learned lead me down a path I did not expect. I developed a great compassion for this personality type. They put on such bravado, but they are so very vulnerable. They are often a perfectionist. They believe if they are not in total control, they risk losing everything. They often experienced a childhood of great pressure, fear of abandonment, and a feeling of powerlessness. They use manipulation and pressure to encourage others to change, to train them, so they can avoid having to change themselves. A lot of times the control freak feels an inner emptiness. Directing others makes the control freak feel secure and by getting people to fall under their control it is a way for them to avoid conflict. They are usually the Type A personality, driven to dominate, control, and have power over all situations.
In work situations, the control freak feels it is necessary to attend to every detail, because they fear others are incapable of doing tasks correctly. This gives them a feeling of power and domination. When you work for a person like this, you will often leave your job or just give up because you know you will never please them. Many of us have worked for people like this, and I wonder if we had known how vulnerable the control freak is, if we could have stayed and learned from them, while letting them discover from us.
Signs you may be a control freak:
1. Regarding the people that matter to you, you always think there are one or two things about them that they could change, which would make you happier.
2. You don’t believe in imperfection and people that do irritate you.
3. You expect people to behave in a way you consider correct, and if they don’t you with hold attention that you know they need until they fall in line with your expectations of them.
4. You offer constructive criticism to a lot of people.
5. You attempt control by managing the impression others have of you.
6. You present worst-case scenarios to a person regarding their actions to get them to change to the action you want from them.
7. You have a hard time dealing with not knowing something others know. This makes you feel out of control.
8. You are quick to defend yourself.
9. You are terrified of failure.
Signs you are in a relationship with a control freak:
1. They may psychologically attack you. This will make you seem less credible while making them seem more credible.
2. They may magnify your small faults and destroy your self-confidence.
3. They may want to be in control of all decisions of your life. From what clothes and shoes you wear to how you are to act in public.
4. They may make you feel guilty to get more control over you.
5. They may be jealous.
6. They may check your cell phone and invade your privacy.
Why control freaks are successful:
1. They are result orientated problem solvers. Accomplishing things puts notches in their belt, and they crave that attention.
2. They want to prove they are special. They are natural survivors. They believe they are destined for great things, and this is often self-fulfilling.
3. They need attention and to be adored. This makes them charismatic leaders.
Control freak is just another label we have for people with certain characteristics. After reading for a week to study this complicated personality, I came to understand both the beauty and the beast of this type of person. The insecurities and the demand for perfection the control freak has placed upon them makes them have a hard time finding inner peace. It makes me want to hug them and tell them it is okay not to be perfect. Can you imagine the pressure they must feel in their fear of losing control?
From the three personality studies I have researched, I have learned human behavior is not black and white. Human behavior is a complex balancing act. We must learn to open our hearts to the good traits and the bad traits in people and try to help each other find inner peace, acceptance, respect, and love. Someday my dream is that we can banish labels and live in harmony with ourselves and each other.