Control: determine the behavior or supervise the running of. ( 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…





42 thoughts on “Out Of Control

  1. The absence of control is chaos. I think a good marriage is a partnership of combined strengths. My husband is a natural leader, but I make sure that things run smoothly. He is big picture, I am the details.

    I think the word controlling has a bad connotation. Believe me, if either one of us feels controlled the other will hear about it. Someone needs to be in control. I think it’s something that has to be worked out then do what works. You can’t have two people in control of the same things, but you can’t have no one be in control either. You can’t have two people paying the same bills or the bills not getting paid at all kind of thing.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good point. Someone ultimately has to be in charge. Only one person can do something like pay the bills. But we throw the “you’re too controlling”thing around too easily. We use it in the wrong context. There’s taking charge vs manipulating a situation

      Liked by 2 people

      1. To take it a step further…is manipulating a situation a bad thing if it is very beneficial to the common good? Or are you being too controlling when you make the decision of what is best?? Is is good to micromanage someone’s life? Is it better to wake your kid up for school or let them be late and learn how to manage their own life? Making the transition when your kids become adults is tricky.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know. I asked my daughter yesterday if X should be done a certain way, and she exploded. I guess at a point we have to step back….but I don’t know what that is. Though I will say that my mil was buying my husband underwear when he was in his thirties…..

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m a believer in letting them mess up. You learn through mistakes. I know I screwed up a lot in my life. Getting through the mistakes is what made me better to deal with future stuff

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, and that our lives had become unmanageable.
    What this tells me is that I can’t control anything (powerlessness personified, if you will).

    When I add in Mr B’s neuroscience studies that posit that we are all just fighting our biology (our brains & the neuro pathways that shape our behaviors), it just serves to heighten that powerlessness.

    Entropy is a thing. It all descends into chaos in the end. I cannot stop it, I cannot control it. I can merely throw a monkey wrench in the works and affect the route the universe takes to chaos (the butterfly effect). All the rest is just philosophical ponderations; in which case I point you to Wittgenstein, whose Tractatus Logico Philosophicus teaches me to live in the moment because that’s all that there really is😘

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oooh….you just brought me into a whole other direction. I admit I have trouble when things don’t go the way I want it to. And you’re right…you can’t control uncontrollable forces…how do you stop a tornado? You can’t. You can only prepare your mind to be strong enough to deal with what’s thrown your way….good comments!!!😗

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sunshine & Mr B would posit that if we aren’t doing what we can do right now to prepare for what’s thrown our way, then that might be something we need to look at🤔

        I need more coffee for this discussion #thisiswhyiloveyou😙

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I think there is a point where “control” is not an instrument of leading or assisting, especially between partners, then it can become abusive (with children it is different because they need guidance and limitations until they can make their on decisions). With partners, this can become destructive. I didn’t see it happening at first, but my ex had slowly and totally isolated me exerting control. As she began to lose that control she began acting extreme and behaving erratically. A future blog post perhaps 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t have the head space for this topic today… 🙂 But I do admit that when things go my way it feels like because I have/had control which makes me feel more at peace (because the outcome is how I want it). This is why it’s so challenging to assign something to someone else with the expectation they will rise to YOUR OWN expectation, which almost never happens. My expectations are not always appreciated. (surprise!)

    Bottom line: you have to let go some of the control, sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I just emailed my students the syllabus again with directions on how to post something as it turns out no one in this class is great at following directions. I admit that I am mystified by this class. I even called the comp guy and said, “can you see my syllabus?” He laughed and said, “Yes,” and thought I was pretty diligent for an adjunct. I don’t get it but I know that their transgressions over not submitting the right assignment kept me up some of the night. As I said, this ones is new to me. Times are a changing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My partner teaches college. Minimum half the class can’t/won’t follow even the most basic instructions. Name and student number missing on papers, no title page…simple stuff.

      Amazing they make it into college…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I had been teaching working adult students. Now I am back on campus with freshman and it is a transition. Then when they make mistakes…they blame me. I believe I have to learn to let things go. Enjoy your weekend! Thanks for sharing.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. People who are said to be controlling also generally put the blame on someone else if a situation goes awry or not the way they thought it should go, yes they are manipulating and that is their form of control. Emotionally abusive people are said to be manipulating when really what they are seeking is ultimate control. Every child is different and when and where they take control over their lives depends on their preparedness as well as their maturity. There are people who don’t drink or take drugs because they fear being out of control. Only so much control is available to us and there are those who just want to go with the wind, but even that is taking control over things.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In talking with a friend the other day, I mentioned that I’m a control freak and she laughed at me. She told me that I was one of the last women she’d expect to identify herself as controlling. As we further discussed it, what I declared as controlling was actually, with her helpful insight, my being responsible, overly responsible, for many people in my life and having to manage many burdens that are not my own. It helped me to realize this nuance of my definition and even to relax. I didn’t want to be left responsible for so much, but it was laid at my feet by others who refused to step up. My problem is that I found saying no difficult. Now I’m trying to share the burdens but nobody steps up. Part of my growing curve I guess….sorry got off on a tangent.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am totally guilty of being a control freak. I need towels and sheets folded the correct way. I need the bed made a certain way. So I do those chores. I am better with finances so I handle those. We have come a long way from me controlling everything, which was just an illusion, to now where we all go with our strengths and are happier for it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I get utterly ticked off when I open a kitchen drawer and the entire pile of kitchen towels end up in a messy pile because people refuse to fold like I showed them TO MAKE THEM FIT.

      So, yeah. 🙃

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I think this is another one of those “to excess” areas. Some control is definitely necessary but those people who have excessive personality tendencies will take it too far. That’s where self-control has to come into play.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ok, this is way off-topic but the minute anyone starts talking about Control I think of Get Smart. Then I remember how much I liked Agent 99 and how I wanted a shoe phone. And on that note, with nothing of real value to add here, I’ll wish you a Happy Weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. To be in control is good. To be controlled is not. And the person who is always trying to control another person is definitely not good. We can control things only, not humans. We can persuade them, teach them, influence them but not control them because control is supposed to come from one’s own mind. And not from another person’s wishes or orders.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. To me there’s a big difference between being in charge and being in control. As a teacher, I was in charge of the classroom. I was the facilitator. But I wasn’t “in control.” I didn’t force anyone to act in a certain way, or to accomplish a particular task. Because the reality is, you can’t “control” others. You can only intimidate them into following your wishes, while inside they lose more and more respect for you, the “controller”.

    Liked by 1 person

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