Archive for the ‘Fear’ Category

Fear and Threat Trigger the Need to Control
March 7, 2018

It is a natural human response to seize control when threatened or scared. We just want to grab on and make sure that everything is run the way we want it to be when we become threatened or afraid. Our gut tells us that we can control things back to safety. Healthy people stop themselves when grabbing control is not the right thing to do, when letting go of control is the safest response. For example, if I were the passenger in a car that was going out of control and there was a competent driver next to me, I may get the urge to grab the wheel and seize control, but it would be far safer to allow the current driver to do his or her thing. My healthy, rational self would stop me from grabbing on. So, those people that you know who must control everything and everyone feel threatened almost all of the time. It doesn’t mean that the threats are real. After all many of the Monsters we face in life are only Monsters in our own minds. But whether the threat is real or perceived, those controlling people believe that they are responding to threats. They would probably deny that it is fear that drives them. Most likely they have created many defense mechanisms that justify their need to control the world around them. Many of these people came from scary places where there were threats and they never changed their perception when the environment and the circumstances changed. But many others of these people are just bullies and want to push everything and everyone around.  So, for some of them the threats may be merely that they are afraid that they are not going to get their own way and they truly believe that their way is always best. It is still fear based, even though the fear is just a selfish concern that they will not finish first. For those of us who must live on the other side of people who want to do everything their way and have trouble delegating without micromanaging, we can know these behaviors are fear driven. It is at least an understanding and the only way to have any hope of remediating such behaviors that plague some workplaces and homes. But the people who have the power to effect change must see the cause of over control and they must be willing to remediate in order for a culture to improve.