There's Only 3 Ways To Gain A Sense Of Control

Find out who and what you get to control.

Last updated on Nov 04, 2023

Woman trying to control every aspect of her life as well as others El Nariz | Shutterstock

Controlling is usually something most of us would never like to be called. Yet, in subtle or not-so-subtle ways, we search to be in control.

Maybe you can't wait to plug your story into the conversation, effectively moving the spotlight from the other person onto you. Or, you insist on telling everyone exactly where everything has to go in the fridge. Or do you freak out because someone wiped the counter with the wrong kitchen towel? Whatever the case, you must react, be right, and defend your point of view, tooth and nail.


Are you letting your emotions hold the reins and letting life happen to you? The secret to being a control freak is to take control of your emotions before they get the best of you.

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There are only three ways to gain a sense of control:

1. Don't assume you know why the other person is doing what they are doing.

It's rarely about you anyway. Chances are they didn't wake up and ask what they could do today to annoy you. Assume the other person has a good reason for doing things, as you have your reasons.

It's not about controlling others but about the need to feel a sense of control. That's the "control freak secret." We feel out of control, helpless, powerless, or hopeless. When we're sick, worried about finances, or just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, the need to be in control increases.

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2. Change your perceptual position from your own to the other person.

When you meet confusion or resistance, hesitation or hostility, stepping into the "other position" helps you to create rapport, understand, empathize, and consider others accurately and thoughtfully. Step into their shoes for a moment and see the situation from their point of view. What are they hearing, seeing, or feeling? What would they like to hear being said to them? What do they want? This doesn't mean saying, "If I were you..." It means understanding what they are feeling.


Now, imagine that you are observing the situation between you and the other person on a stage. How do you sound? How does the other person sound? What do you see? Seen from a neutral "observer position," the stress lessens, and you can shift gears and start to see the forest again.

We tell ourselves we are a victim, unlovable, or not good enough. We get angry and try to control whatever we can. You can be sure the power struggles aren't far behind as we jockey to be heard and be right. We talk over one another to eliminate the uncomfortable tension of the situation. The harder we try to control another person, the more we lose ourselves. Can you relate?

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3. Practice detached involvement.

This means you live your life as both a participant and an observer. You experience life and your journey without judging them as good or bad, right or wrong. Because you choose to live the experience, you regain complete control of your responses to what life offers you. You're both fully involved and detached from being influenced by emotions and outcomes.


Once you've easily mastered detached involvement, you can more quickly focus on the moment and step into your true power. Here are the simple steps to learning how to practice Detached Involvement:

Quit taking things personally.
Make no assumptions.
Make as few judgments as possible.
Say goodbye to the need to be right.
And say goodbye to the need to control.
Be passionate about all your experiences, including the painful ones. There is always something to learn from them.
No matter what you do, give it your all and share your gifts.
Detach from the allure of future outcomes.

So there you have it. Next time someone pushes your buttons, and you feel the urge to point your finger, be right and defensive, remember these super easy and effective tips, and give yourself complete permission to be "controlling." Just remember who and what you get to control.

Here's to your new success as a masterful control freak.


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Deb Dutilh is a Relationship and Compatibility Coach and has over 25 years of international experience in teaching and personal development. She writes to help women learn how to stop people pleasing, and how to communicate their needs and get them met.