How to Deal with Control Issues?
There is a sickening feeling that comes with control issues. You get nonstop butterflies in your stomach, anxiety is rushing throughout your body, and you feel like you are spiraling.
You stop it by putting your hand in every aspect of your life. You try as hard as you can to make the situation go the way you want. This stops the spiraling and anxiety and all is well in your mind for a while.
This is all well and good until it starts affecting relationships in your home and work life. And it will if it has not already.
The feeling of losing control and having someone hurt you is one that makes you sick to your stomach. Not being able to control if you get hurt or not is hard. No one wants to be hurt, but it is inevitable in life.
Getting hurt is how we grow as humans. Unfortunately, it is also how insecurities grow. Insecurities are the root of control issues.
You can’t have a bed of roses without a lot of rain.
You will have storms in life that will push you and you won’t know how to overcome them. This is good though. It teaches you how to appreciate the sunshine and flowers. You cannot control when or how those storms come. You can control how you react to them though.
Where do control issues come from?
Many people with control issues have the need to be, look, and do everything perfectly. Why though? Needing control over everything is a protective mechanism developed in your mind to save you from getting hurt or from your fears.
Issues with control oftentimes stem from being badly hurt by someone or something when you were younger. Once you have been hurt, your brain is programmed to prevent you from getting hurt again.
Makes sense, right? Of course! Unfortunately, your brain cannot always tell what is an actual threat to you and what is not. This is where the problems with control start overtaking your life.
Being hurt by someone or something important in your life will cause you to develop insecurities. This is where most issues with control stem from. Internal insecurities to keep you from getting hurt will cause anyone to lose it sometimes.
It can be overwhelming trying to figure out what triggers you and why. Here are four powerful steps to walk yourself through to help you break down your control issues and how to overcome them.
Figure out why the situation makes you want to take control
What is going on in your head right now? Why is this situation making you anxious? What would you want to change about the situation and why? Do you feel insecure at this moment?
Ask yourself these questions and be honest with yourself. Write them down on paper to come back to later on. Being able to figure out why this situation bothers you so much will help make the problem much less overwhelming.
Pinpoint the problem so you do not fight the entire situation.
When was the first time you felt these like this? What was going on?
This is the possibly painful part. When is the first time you remember feeling this way? What happened? How did it affect you? Why did this hurt you so badly?
Answering these questions will help to heal your inner child, in turn, start healing your issues with control. Most find that being able to break it down to figure out why they are feeling this way makes the emotions easier to control.
Figuring out the first time you experienced this feeling will help you connect the pieces to why you are upset about the situation at hand.
Learn proper coping mechanisms to overcome the anxiety
Write a pro and cons list about the issue, relationship, job, etc.
This will help you to figure out if the issue is worth being upset over. If it is not worth the pain and spiraling to you, you need to remove it from your life.
If it is unhealthy and controlling the way you live your life, you need to remove it. Keep it in your life if it turns out this is more of internal insecurities.
Talk about the problem out loud
Talking about the problem out loud will help get it out of your head. Do not underestimate the power of talking.
It helps you to see things more clearly. If you do not get it out, it is like a giant zit. It is going to get worse and more painful until you finally pop it. Get that junk out!
Pick up a productive hobby
The best way to overcome a lack of control is to do something you can control. Make this something enjoyable and fun for you. Baking, sewing, exercising, learning a new skill, and woodworking are all great hobbies to keep your hands and mind busy.
Having a productive hobby helps to build your confidence, in turn lessening the fear of control issues among many other things.
Accept others will do what they want to do and you cannot stop them
One of the most difficult things for me to accept during my time in therapy was there is nothing I can do to control the situation.
People are going to do what they want to do and you cannot stop them. If someone does hurt you that badly, remember there is someone out there who wouldn’t dream of it.
I use to repeat that to myself all the time when I was younger and it really helped me. It showed me the issue is not the end of my world and the pain would pass. And then the idea of not being able to stop them became freeing.
It was no longer my responsibility to stop them from hurting me because I wouldn’t be able to.
Figuring out your mental health is like putting together a giant puzzle. It is difficult at first but gets easier as you put more pieces in. Breaking down why you are being triggered and struggling with control will help you put more puzzle pieces in.
- Break down why you are wanting to take control
- Figure out the first time you felt these control issues
- Learn how to properly cope with your anxiety
- Accept that you cannot do anything about it.
Eventually, the issues start to fade away. You become more confident with where the last few pieces start to go and you stop caring so much. The same happens in your mind.