Advertising
Advertising

Being Kind to Control Freaks Is Being Cruel to Yourself

Being Kind to Control Freaks Is Being Cruel to Yourself

Does any of these situations reminds you of anyone around?

You wanted to hang out with your newly met friend but he insisted that you shouldn’t go because he didn’t know your new friend.

She wanted you to tell her exactly where you’d be going every day, at what time and with whom, and always kept her posted.

These people could be your partner, your friend, or your family member.

Dealing with control freaks is not fun at all. No matter how much they “mean well” or their “heart is in the right place” when all said and done, a control freak in your life is a toxic force to be dealt with.

Advertising

But what is a control freak exactly?

Control freaks are usually perfectionists who feel vulnerable to anything uncontrollable.

The term “control freak” is a psychology-related slang. It describes a person who wants to dictate what everyone does and how everything is done around them. People who have an extremely high need for control over others are considered as control freaks.

Control freaks are often perfectionists who attempt not to expose any of their inner vulnerabilities by making sure everything around them is under their control. To avoid having to change themselves, they always manipulate and pressure others to change and do what they want.

We can spot a control freak in every walk of life, it’s about how to deal with them.

With a few key strategies up your sleeve, dealing with that control freak in your life right now – be it a family member, colleague, or otherwise – can be a lot easier to do.

Difficult people need some extra care in the approach you take, so here is your guide to being free of the control freak.

Advertising

1. Spend as little time with them as possible

Firstly, get away from them. Controlling people exert stress, which can make you more vulnerable to their habits.

Keep your distance and create a gap between you. Letting this person think they are your friend offers a space of opportunity for them to jump in and attempt to control you.

Step back from the relationship as far as you can, be polite but not friendly, and make it clear by your actions that you don’t wish to spend time with them. If they ask why, you have the perfect chance to explain to them.

2. Use strong body language

Body language is a clear signal and can speed up better communication; get acquainted with unspoken assertiveness to aid your message of no messing.

3. Remember why they are controlling

Most controlling people can be charismatic, witty, energetic and wonderful when you meet them, it’s on the micro, on- to-one level that their behavior is apparent.

Advertising

Remember that they are controlling due to a personal insecurity, paranoia, or deep set emotional issue. None of this justifies their behaviour, but remembering that they are vulnerable beneath the veneer can help in addressing the issue of their behaviour.

4. Practice saying NO

Controlling people use the façade of persuasion to hide what is, actually, pressure. When you do not submit to what they are “encouraging” you to do, there is often a display of emotional behavior.

Do not submit in appeasing them because it’s easier. Practice saying “no” without feeling the need to justify it. You don’t need to do things that you do not want to do and under no circumstances should you be made to feel as though you must.

Be clear and firm in your communication; practicing stock phrases and replies to their suggestions can help. Using a mirror, practice saying ‘no’ without expanding more with excuses.

5. Find an ally and sounding board

If the controlling person is close in your family or workplace, it can often be hard to decipher what is and is not acceptable behavior.

Advertising

Find someone who can see the situation clearly and who can act as a sounding board for you. Controlling people typically select targets that pose as potentially vulnerable personalities, so if you are depressed or emotionally vulnerable, they hone in on that potential for exploitation. Buddy up if you are struggling and stand your ground.

6. Work on your own self esteem and confidence

If someone is causing stress to your life by being controlling, work on your own self confidence and sense of self.

Equip yourself with the NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) techniques to deal with their games better:[1]

  • Dissociation — Imagine yourself encountering the same negative situation, but play back like a mental movie with a funny soundtrack. This can help to get rid of the negative emotion.
  • Content reframing — Shift your attention on negativity to other sides of the same issue. This can help you see the bigger picture more clearly.
  • Anchoring yourself — Identify the positive emotion you want and try to remember the scenario in which you felt that same emotion. Choose an anchoring phrase like “I am _____ when I ____ .” and tell yourself this every time when you experience negative emotions.

It could be challenging at first, but you deserve a free life, not a manipulated one.

When a control freak makes you stressful and doubt about yourself, be brave enough to pick yourself up and do whatever you can to keep a clear boundary with them.

If you’re in love with a control freak, it maybe time for you to think about ending the relationship and move on for a better life.

Reference

[1] The Law of Attraction: 5 NLP Techniques That Will Transform Your Life

More by this author

Jo Gifford

Design Guru, Writer, and Founder The Dexterous Diva and the Killer Content Academy.

Being Kind to Control Freaks Is Being Cruel to Yourself 10 Tech Tools That Can Help Save Up Your Time 8 Simple Ways You Can Try Now To Train Your Brain To Stay Focused How To Be Super Organized And Quickly Get Things Done job application mistakes 14 Dumb Job Application Mistakes The Employment Recruiters Often See People Make

Trending in Communication

1 Why an Attitude of Gratitude Is Essential (And How to Develop It) 2 Procrastination Is a Matter of Emotion, Here’s How to Stop It 3 What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It) 4 How to Get Unstuck in Life and Live a More Fulfilling Life 5 What Will Happen When You Surround Yourself With Positive People?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

Advertising

1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

Advertising

If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

Advertising

6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

Advertising

In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

Read Next