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5 Common Myths of Control Freaks


control freaksMost control freaks live a life filled with grand illusions and myths about the efficacy of control.  Here are five common myths that control freaks harbor:


Control Freaks Myth #1:

The power to significantly change others.


The only person who can meaningfully change their ways, attitudes or nature is the person himself or herself—and only if he or she chooses to do so.

Myth #2:

They are happier and more content when they are controlling.


Excessive controllers create anxiety, resentment, and overall “dis-ease”—for themselves and others. As the real life stories in Losing Control, Finding Serenity: How the Need to Control Hurts Us and How to Let It Go demonstrate, the more you try to control, the less serenity you have.

Myth #3:

The more they are able to control things, the more control they will have over their own lives.


The only way you can gain more control over your life is through letting go of control.  Which is to say, you gain control by losing control.


Myth #4:

They are secure, confident, and fearless.


Controllers are consumed and driven by their fears, anxieties, and insecurities.  That’s why they feel the need to control.  (See my post, Understanding Control Freak Dynamics).

As the wise sage Allan Watts says in the Wisdom of Insecurity (Vintage Books, 1951), “the desire for security and feeling insecure are the same thing.”  If control freaks were truly confident and fearless, they would allow life’s natural currents to flow freely (and without their intervention)—and be bestowed with the remarkable gifts that result.

Myth #5:

They know what’s best for others.


Control freaks seldom know what’s best for themselves, let alone others.   They erroneously—and often arrogantly–believe that what works for them, will work for others.    Indeed, I doubt that any control freak has ever been accused of being too humble!

Do the controllers in your life harbor these myths?  Please let me know.

In the meantime, remember to

Let It Go!



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9 Responses to 5 Common Myths of Control Freaks

  1. Heinz Studer says:

    …your book is and will continue to be a true inspiration to me, I have learned so much over the last few years. The saying “what you don’t know is your biggest asset” is so true.

  2. Daniel Ujueta says:

    I’m a control freak how did you learned how to let go , I’m in the hardest time in my life and its getting out of hand do you have any suggestions
    Thanks Daniel

    • Daniel, I relate to your difficulty. The process of writing my book over a 20 year period enabled me to identify my control triggers and apply practical tools that reduced my urge to control people and things. You might try some journalling that will allow you to do the same. Also, many of my blog posts offer decontrol tools.

  3. margaret chacos says:

    I really learned a lot from your book. Thank you! My biggest control struggles are at home with my kids. Selfcentered fear is the root of my desire to control. The start of a new school year is a big challenge for me. School and homework. Thanks again.

    • Thank you for your kind words, Margaret. Parenting stirs up so many control issues. With school, in particular, its important–and challenging–to be able to let go and trust that our children will make the right decisions for themselves.

  4. Daniel Reich says:

    Good stuff. Thanks for lighting my light.

    Danny Reich

  5. Daniel Reich says:

    As I said to myself, “ooh, ooh that so fits what’s his name, I realized how many of these traits were my very own.

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