The word control has different connotations because it can mean a number of different things. If that word evokes a negative feeling for you, then perhaps you are feeling out of control about some aspect(s) of your life, or perhaps you have experienced someone who you feel is too controlling. If it evokes a positive feeling, perhaps you are feeling in control or think of it as a positive trait, like being able to control your emotions or reactions.
Some people feel a strong need to be in control, no matter what the circumstances. They may like to plan everything out, dominate conversations, always get what they want, be in charge, be the center of attention, and so on. They may not be able to adapt to change or “go with the flow” as well as others. Some people don’t like to feel like they are being controlled and typically like to do things at their own pace and schedule and don’t like to follow routines or directions. I have a spouse who feels the need to be in control in certain situations except the ones where he should be, like when it comes to parenting, but doesn’t want anyone else controlling him and often feels like I am trying to control him when I am not. I’m sure this stems from having parents who are too controlling. Unfortunately, he doesn’t recognize that he has control issues or want to do anything about it, and that has been a major underlying issue for us. I’m pretty sure the word control has a negative connotation for him.
It’s too bad certain people cannot let go of the need to be in control, be first, or be the best at whatever it is that they do. The way people drive comes to mind as I write this. Imagine how much better the roads would be if people let go of these needs. There are so many things we cannot control, like the weather, certain hormones, and how other people drive. We cannot control what other people do and say, either. But what we can control is how we act and react, our expectations and assumptions, our attitude, how well we listen, how well we pay attention, how respectful we are, the good or bad choices we make, how honest and sincere we are, how much we smile and laugh, how helpful and cooperative we are, how much we are willing to compromise, how kind and generous we are, how well we communicate, and whether or not we look for opportunities to make the world a better place. And that just neatly summed up numerous previous posts.
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