When it comes to describing someone who has the need to have complete control over every part of their life, the term control freak is often used. To experience a certain amount of control is not enough, the only thing that will do is having complete control of everything.

And while control can be seen as ‘negative’, it is something that each and every one of us needs. If one had no control over their body for instance, life would be a real challenge.

It will also be important for one to have a sense of control when it comes to the external world. Through one having an impact on what takes place in their life, it will enable one to experience personal power.

Self Control

This is not to say that one will always have the impact they desire, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean that one won’t have any impact either. At times, this could mean that one’s impact is simply based on how they chose to respond to what happens.

External Control

When inner control doesn’t exist for someone, there is going to be a greater need for external control. And as to how much control someone needs on the outside, can all depend on how little control they feel on the inside.

One could have the need to control every aspect of their life and be unable to let go. Or it could just apply to certain areas of their life or when they are around certain people for example.

Letting Go

To let go would mean that one would have to give up their need to be in control and this would require trust. But one reason why someone would need to experience complete control is because they have lost the ability to trust in the process of life.

Letting go is not seen as something that could enhance their life and bring about an outcome that was even better than the one they expected; it is something they need to avoid at all costs.

Through keeping a watchful eye on what happens and making sure that nothing is left to chance, its stop one from feeling vulnerable. By holding on, one is able to maintain emotional control.


But while this allows someone to maintain a sense of emotional control, there are inevitably going to be consequences. For one thing, life is not something that one can have complete control over; what one can have complete control over is how they respond to what happens.

Is not going to be possible for one to relax and this means that their stress levels are likely to be high, on most, if not all occasions. One could also stop themselves from experiencing anything new or different; with a lot of what happens being planned and expected.

And when things don’t go to plan, as they often won’t, painful emotions are likely to appear. This could result in one becoming even more controlling, and creating even more of the same scenarios in the process.

Behaving in this way is not likely to endear one to other people either. This could cause other people to feel violated and that they are unable to be themselves. The people in one’s life could end up walking on eggshells, and one could end up pushing people away.

Emotional Regulation

So when someone is this way, it is clearly going to lead to a lot of problems. Logically one might realise that what they are doing is not helping, and is therefore something they need to stop. But knowing something intellectually is not the same as knowing something emotionally.

When one lets go and doesn’t try to control something, they are likely to experience certain emotions. Through being in control, one is able to regulate how they feel; this will cause their painful emotions to be pushed out of their conscious awareness.

Possible Causes

Now, these painful emotions didn’t just appear out of nowhere, they are likely to be the result of an experience that was traumatic. It could also be due to a number of minor experiences that caused pain over time.

This could have been something that caused one to feel powerless and as though they had no control. And while the experience is over, the emotional experience is still in one’s body. These emotions are then defining how they perceive life and therefore, how they behave.


One approach could be for one to change how they behave, and for some people this may work. However, the emotional experience will still be in one’s body and so there is going to be resistance.

Another approach would be to release the trapped feelings in one’s body. As one does this, the need to control everything is likely to subside.


This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer. The mind can have no idea as to why one behaves as they do, but the body is where the answers are likely to be found.

Author's Bio: 

Prolific writer, thought leader and coach, Oliver JR Cooper hails from the United Kingdom. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation; love, partnership, self-love, and inner awareness. With several hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behavior, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice. Current projects include "A Dialogue With The Heart" and "Communication Made Easy."

To find out more go to - http://www.oliverjrcooper.co.uk/

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