Warning: naughty language ahead
When shit happens, roll with it.
Confessions of a Recovering Whole-World Controller.
I’ve been trying to control the whole world since I was about 13 years old.
In middle school, I bought a planner and tried really hard to use it.
I wanted that life that I imagined people with planners had. I wanted the suits and the meetings and the money and the freedom.
I felt that if I were older, and away from my terrible family situation, I would be free and liberated. I’d live my life on my own terms. I’d make the rules. I’d have complete control. Then I grew up.
Now, I understand that planning and controlling everything and everyone around me helped me to look toward the future, and helped me to be somewhere and someone that I was not.
Planning for me was an escape method and coping mechanism. There’s a reason behind why I was trying to control the whole world, and that reason has a root somewhere inside me. If you’re a controller, like me, find what that root is for you, and you’ll begin wrapping your controlling little fingers around it and pulling it up.
The first question to ask yourself is:
A.) actually think you’re the most intelligent, beautiful and amazing person that exists. In that case, you may stop reading because I don’t have the expertise to help you;
B.) believe that shit won’t get done unless you’re there to do it because no one else is nearly as capable as you are and you can’t possibly trust someone else to do the job, and if you could just do it all yourself, you wouldn’t have to rely on another person.
Since you’re still reading, I’ll continue.
Being a recovering world-controller myself, I get this. In a sense, it’s a great way to look at some things: you won’t get an education unless you get your shit together and do it. You won’t get that awesome job that you want if you don’t put your mind to it. You won’t save money to buy your dream-whatever if you don’t crack down and save. Yes, these things are true.
These are individual situations in which your control is a means to an end, and is usually toward a good end. But if you’re trying to control too much outside of this, you may have just diagnosed yourself as a whole-world-controller.
The good news is that I’ve put together a short list of five things you can start practicing right now!
These are just small personality tweaks that I’ve incorporated over the years and have brought me to live more in the here and now, and to accept the world around me, just as it is. For the record, I am absolutely still learning!
1. Stop talking. And listen. Listen. Not everyone loves the sound of your voice or becoming enlightened by your factual wisdom and advice. The people who surround you probably have some wisdom to shed too.
2. Stop trying to change people. If your boyfriend doesn’t think the bedroom is messy and you just can’t possibly live with it—learn to. There’s a chance he really doesn’t see it like you do. Really. No one will ever see the world through your eyes, and that’s a good thing! It allows for countless opinions, and countless ways to do things.
3. Be more accepting. A lot of the time, people are the way they are. Of course, people can change, but they must do it on their own. In the meantime, accept each person for who they are, here and now. And in that same vein, accept yourself, damnit. You are who you are. She is who she is. He is who he is. Accept. Accept. Accept.
4. Give for the sake of giving. When you’re constantly planning your life, everything you do is for the greater good, of course, but that greater good happens to be a bit selfish. Try just giving. The more you do it, the more natural and less thought out it will feel. And one day, you will just be giving, and it will make you feel great. Then you can check that off your list.
5. When shit happens, roll with it. There’s no doubt that things will go awry, but when they do, don’t freak out. Don’t go hysterical on the folks around you. Take a minute. Breathe. Try to understand that shit in fact does happen, both the bad and the good, and we all need to learn to take both a bit more in stride.
You simply cannot control everything, so start your journey on the path of letting go, accepting and breathing.
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Assistant Editor: Michelle Wiley / Editor: Cat Beekmans