I’m a recovering control-freak.
When I was a kid I liked to sort my crayons in rainbow-rhythm in my pencil case. I also remember that I used to set my alarm for 6 a.m. to pack my backpack, make my bed and clean my room before I went to school. I was only 9 years old.
My mother taught me how to clean and how to get all the crumbs from the table with only one wipe. I’m still amazed when I see other people’s attempt to wipe a table, throwing a million crumbs on the floor and leaving half of them glued on it. I must confess that in these moments I have to hold myself back to not teach people how to wipe tables properly.
Once I had a conversation with my best friend about how the toilet paper roll should be hung up on the toilet paper hanger and we both agreed that there is only one right way. In case you don’t know it, here is a picture :-)
Although I’m getting better at allowing others to wipe their tables in their own way, I’m still particular about a lot of things. For example do I find it necessary to hang up a wet dish cloth after using it. I’m disgusted if I have to fish a dirty cloth out of the sink that has been marinated in cold coffee, gravy and other liquids for hours.
As you can imagine, there is a lot of potential for fights if you live together with a control freak like me. My excuse to get mad over things like a wet cloth used to be:
“It’s common sense.”
When I met my boyfriend in 2011, two completely different worlds collided and I found out that a lot of things that I see as “common sense” are not necessarily “common sense” for him.
How you perceive what is “normal” and the expectations you have towards your environment are influenced by your culture, your upbringing and your lifestyle.
Now, instead of denying the fact that I’m trying to control my environment, my new hobby is to accept all the things about myself that are annoying and to see them from a different perspective.
Like Marianne Williamson says: “We are healed by the wound getting obvious.” So if I accept the part of me that is controlling instead of pretending it’s not there, it will eventually disappear.
This works with everything that you don’t want to look at, like feelings of fear, guilt, insecurity etc. Once you can say to yourself: "Yes, my behaviour is stupid." or "Yes, I’m afraid of this or that” or “Yes, I’m a control freak."…it's already on its way out of your system.
Here is the truth:
Denial strengthens your weaknesses.
Acceptance resolves them.
Did I mention that me being a control freak saved a few people’s lives? As I said earlier, I used to get up at 6 a.m. before school. One morning I got up and looked out of the window, when I saw red, orange and yellow flames coming out of our neighbours' apartment. The fire was already reaching out of the windows. I immediately called the Fire Department and it was just in time so that the fire didn’t jump over to other apartments from the same house.
Maybe you drive other people nuts with your stupidity, your weaknesses and your imperfections. But at the same time, they make you so adorable. When I think of good friends, I remember the stupid little habits they have and this makes me miss them even more.
If you’re a control freak like me, accept it! Admit it! Laugh about it and try to see the good in it!
And if you wanna know how to control your control freak, I found a really good article from Kate Britt about the Art of Inefficiency.
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