Control: A Universal Strategy
Imagine someone asks you if you have a need for control.Does your heart soften?
I bet the answer is no.That’s a good sign that control is not a universal need.When you guess another’s need your heart softens because you have the same needs.When you feel resentment or resistance come up you have likely guessed a strategy rather than a need.
Control often gets called a need because it is such a common strategy.It is a useful strategy when applied to things like controlling a heat source to meet your need for warmth, controlling what you eat to meet your need for health, etc.Control starts to cost more needs than it meets when it is applied to other people’s behavior.
When you witness someone behaving in a way that you might label convincing, cajoling, guilt-tripping, threatening, analyzing, or criticizing you are tempted to guess they have a “need” for control.They may indeed want to control you or others and behind this strategy is still a universal need asking to met.
When someone is engaged in the strategy of control regarding others’ behavior you can guess that one or more of the following is going on for them underneath:
Feeling nervous because of a need for competence
Feeling defensive because of a need for self-acceptance
Feeling anxious because of a need for support
Feeling shy because of a need for belonging
Feeling worried because of a need for predictability
Feeling apprehensive because of a need for safety
Who in your life have you labeled as someone who “has to be in control”? Think of the last time you saw them doing something you labeled controlling.What feelings and needs would you guess might have been up for them?What feelings and needs are up for you when you want to be in control?
***click here for a list of feelings and universal needs