Who is in control?

I’ve been thinking about “control” issues a lot lately. The desire for control is presenting itself to me as a many layered, many faceted complex behavior. And I’m curious if any of us are really ever able to let go of the need to control. As I’ve consciously worked to let go of my need for control, I’ve been in a few situations lately where control issues have been right up in my face. And since I used to be the queen of control, I identify them pretty quickly. I can still go there quickly myself. But I am trying to be conscious of what I’m feeling and why. And then let go.

The most fascinating version of control that I’ve seen crop up repeatedly is the “I love to be carefree… as long as I can control it” person. A person who strives to “control” not being “in control”. They profess loudly (as I am doing now (ha-ha)) that “I am not a control person.” “I love being carefree.” “I like to just show up with no plans”. They work hard to “control being spontaneous”. I can hear the person saying, “I love not being in control… AND YOU BETTER LOVE IT TOO.” If you really are void of any need for control, wouldn’t you just go with the flow when someone else feels the need for say, making a dinner reservation?

The second one that I’ve observed (and have participated in as well) is the “no choice choice” style of control. There are issues within the environment that aren’t working for you, but instead of taking action, you passively wait until a choice is made on your behalf. The opposite, but in the same vein, is knowing a choice must be made but not making one and then placing blame all around that something didn’t happen. By not making a choice or a decision, the person is ultimately making a choice to control the outcome. An example may be selecting a day to meet. You know how it goes, “I don’t care what time. Just tell me”. By not making a choice the event never gets scheduled thereby making a choice not to have the event at all. Unfortunately in the end I’ve seen this type of person be quick to lay blame on others for the fact that things don’t get done. This is where my good friends “Somebody” and “Nobody” generally show up (many of you have heard me talk about these two characters). “It didn’t happen because nobody picked a date.” Or “Somebody was supposed to tell me what time to get there and nobody did.” “Nobody told me what was going on.” Nobody and Somebody are very powerful characters and are responsible for many missed deadlines and plans that never come to fruition.

Not sure why the various aspects of the desire for control are in my thoughts lately. But it sure is an interesting topic.