I don’t like being told what to do. It’s the whole anti-authoritarian bent I’ve never gotten over. But I’m mature (you’ll have to trust me on that one) and know that there are times when people need to tell me what to do. So I can live with that to a degree.
But what really gets me is when people tell me how to do something. Like how to do my job. I get pretty bristly about that. Unless you know I don’t know how to do something, you should tread lightly. If you’re unsure if I know how, you’re allowed to ask if I understand or I need direction.
I think it’s a control thing. I think it’s an on-going battle between my need for independence and people who think they need to control me, or more accurately people who think they need to control everything around them. I’m hypersensitive to it. I notice the behavior immediately whether it is occurring to me or someone else. The reaction to controlling behavior is visceral. It can’t be helped.
I suppose a strong sense of my own personal boundaries adds to the tension. I know personal boundaries are different for everyone but most people at least make an effort to understand what yours are. I sense control freaks aren’t so interested in that.
Not everyone is as annoyed by control freaks as I am. I am sure I offend control freaks all the time. I am probably offending them right now. I am sure I offend people who like control freaks, too. I don’t really even feel bad about that, which is really unusual for me because I normally don’t like to make people feel bad.
Maybe some people need control freaks to tell them what to do. Maybe they feel control freaks help give them the direction and stability they could never achieve on their own. I guess I get that and I try to be empathetic. But my empathy tells me it’s violation of personal freedom so I end up only feeling sympathy.
I guess maybe it falls into that dominant/submissive psychology. I suppose some people get enjoyment out of it. So who I am to say. I don’t want to control your behavior. That would be rather hypocritical now wouldn’t it?
So I guess my message to control freaks is this: you probably can’t help being a control freak but at least have the decency to ask if I want to be controlled. Obviously the answer will be no. But at least when I bristle at your attempt to control you won’t be surprised it.