How can I learn not to be so controlling?
Q. I'm a control freak. I don't even realize when I'm becoming bossy. Apparently, it's upsetting my friends. How can I not be so controlling?
A. A controlling personality may be fine, as long as it is accompanied by compassion and wisdom. People with controlling personalities may be natural leaders. But they need to combine this leadership with compassion and consideration for other people's feelings, or they may come across as tyrants. Someone with a controlling personality may be forceful and decisive. But without wisdom and the ability to shape one's decisions in consideration of others' opinions, results may be inconsistent and great opportunities may be missed.
In other words, you are fine. You know your basic personality. Now, you need to learn more about your strengths and your weaknesses. Learn when to assert your control, when to listen to others and yes, when to sit back, relax and just go along for the ride. Many physicians share your trait. From one controlling personality to another, always strive to be more compassionate and wise!
One of the true secrets for stress management and happiness is to let go of the need to control. And one of the best ways to do that is practice. When you sense you are getting too bossy and your friends are getting upset, turn the decision-making over to them and trust that the outcome will be fine. It will be! As you do this more and more, you'll find your need to control diminishes, and you will feel much more relaxed and able to focus on others.