Is Your Relationship Spiraling Out of Control?

Is Your Relationship Spiraling Out of Control?

How do we manage things or guide people without controlling them? In order to keep the pendulum swinging from one extreme to another, it is important to understand why we feel the need to control or strongly defy control.

Why do people need to control?

The need to control people or situations is driven by the ego’s need for a false sense of security. We are seeing a strong need for control right now in many people’s lives as their false security is being threatened by changes occurring on the planet. As more things crumble in their reality, the more out of control they feel, and the more they tend to feel like they need to control things to feel safe.

For example, people who have obsessively prepped for disaster have hoarded a lot of food for themselves out of fear of starving to death. They are so caught up in their own fears that they do not think about homeless people who are already starving or how some of that food has been wasted because it has expired.

The extreme polarity of control vs. out of control

When fear takes control of an extreme, some people can end up with obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety over not getting things accomplished. The ego feels the need to have things in order within a framework or to have things so that the house will pass the white glove test. They may have a fear of what people think about them or may become embarrassed when things look out of control in their household.

Then there are also people who are the opposite and are completely messy because they “go with the flow” and don’t try to put everything in a box. However, even this has its extreme where some people live in unsanitary situations or can’t even walk through their own house because the floor is full of things, clothes, and trash. The extreme opposite of OCD is having extreme clutter, filth, or hoarding. There can be several deep-seated reasons for this. It may be due to a fear of being controlled or a fear of never having enough of something. It could be that they are rebelling against anyone telling them what to do. It could be that they were never shown how to pick things up or that most people don’t live like that.

The need for control is the realization that you can control circumstances so you know what outcomes are ahead. Whether it is marking things off a list of things to do or buying things at the store, these are actions within the mind of a way to control the outcome of your future. If you don’t buy milk, then you will likely not have cereal. By marking things off of your list you feel fulfilled and in control. When it comes to the home, every little thing has to be in its place and there is a place for everything.

Ironically this can get out of control when you plan every single aspect of your life to where things are so structured you begin to lose your identity and creativity. You begin to go against the flow and try to control the flow. If you don’t get your list done, you begin to feel unfulfilled and unhappy. This can be a vicious cycle and can trigger anxiety. This can also tend to bring about self-destructive thoughts of unworthiness as you feel unproductive.

Written by Alecia Bennett

I hold a master's degree with a clinical psychology specialization. Currently pursuing school counseling courses. I have attended various programs related to mental health issues. A person who takes a keen interest in writing anything about the human mind and behavior.

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