A friend recently shared, “The more I try to control things in my life, the more miserable I become. In fact, the misery in my life is directly proportional to how much I try to control things.”
I, of course, knew how excessive control impacts my serenity, but never heard it expressed in quite that way. As I thought about it further, I realized there is indeed a direct link between control and “misery.” Let me explain why.
When we try to control or change others, it breeds anger and resentment because we are not accepting them as they are. In effect, we are telling them they are doing things “wrong” or are not “good enough.” That, in turn, impedes trust, openness and connection, particularly with our loved ones and close relationships. They are less willing to share with us; to confide in us; and yes, to like and love us. We thus become removed and isolated, even lonely.
That’s not all. Control freaks actually experience stress due to these tendencies. We easily become stressed from devoting so much time and energy to doomed endeavors. We grow frustrated at not being able to control outcomes and with the time we waste trying to. Is it then any surprise that these control-induced impediments make us “miserable?”
My friend is right:
The more controlling we are, the more miserable we will be.
So why not start letting go of your need to control and be happier? To get you started, here are some posts on decontrol tools and strategies:
Here’s to being serene instead of miserable!
In the meantime,
Let It Go—and Accept What Is!
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