Control: determine the behavior or supervise the running of. (dictionary.com) Such a simple word. Easily defined. Yet, the connotations are often a little negative. Outrunning my Demons, Claudette and I have been running around the ideas of planning, micro managing and controlling. So what does control actually mean? How does it affect us?
To start, there is one place I am definitely always in control…. But, trust me, that’s a whole other blog topic…
One person in charge. One person calling the shots. One person dictating how all others should act. One person who would get really angry if someone else tries to do something without consent. This is how control gets a bad name. No one wants to be called controlling. If you hear someone being called “controlling” the prevailing theory is that you should run away from that person as quickly as possible. Why would you want to spend any time with a person who’d main goal is to control every aspect of your life?
So- controlling is bad.
Or is it?
Don’t we need people to be in charge? Don’t we need to have someone who is willing to take responsibility for what happens, both good and bad?
Think about parenting for a second? What happens when the tail wags the dog, when the kids take over all the decisions in a household? How does that work out for anyone? What happens in a household where the parents are not in control?
Teachers? Same thought. Does anyone learn anything if a teacher is not firmly in control of a classroom? If the teacher hands out a syllabus, what happens of all the kids toss that sheet in the trash without even looking at it?
So- are we all agreed that sometimes someone has to be in control?
But then we have the bad side. Sometimes parents can dictate a little too much. If your kid has a 92 average, do you have the right to tell your kid that they are capable of getting 96’s? Can you tell them who to hang out with, how to spend their time, which classes they should take? Where is the line?
How about with your spouse. I’ve stated that I don’t feel comfortable telling my adult husband what to do with regards to social situations- to be that is too controlling. Or is it? Can you tell your spouse that you don’t like one of their friends? What is the line with what you can and can’t tell your significant other?
How is controlling different from micromanaging? To me, micromanaging is having a task and expecting it to be done in a specific, step by step manner. It’s usually task related. When I think of a controlling person though, I think of someone who is manipulative, a puppet master. I see controlling as telling someone what to wear, how to act, not allowing someone to think for themselves. They are the people who will get hostile if you don’t obey them. Those are the people I don’t like to be around. Those are the people that I do try to stay far away from…