The need to be ‘in control’ is so supreme in some mortals that it suffocates the others and what is more shocking is that  those trying to be in control do not even realize this.

Why is there a need to be the decision maker or be in control always? One can understand if one is trying to  be in control of one’s own needs and emotions. Good step. But to control the actions and desires of others in the name of love and concern! Seems unacceptable.

Where does the need to be ‘in control’ arise from? Out of insecurities, out of genuine concern, out of sheer ignorance or simply selfishness? Whatever be the reason, it doesn’t seem like the best emotion to have.

We barely have control

The one key learning that has come out of Covid 19 is how totally vulnerable we are and that nothing is in our control, be it the super-rich or the poverty stricken, the suave and intelligent or the illiterate homeless people, the extremely talented or the humble servants. Every powerful and powerless person has been rendered helpless and at the mercy of nature. A simple virus has confined us to our homes and brought lives of people all over the world to a standstill. Yet we live in the illusion that we can be in control of all that happens in the lives of us and our loved ones.

One can understand when one is concerned about a loved one, but to micromanage their lives to the tiniest detail is unfair. As a mother, my child’s well-being is of paramount importance. But I cannot micromanage the life of my child to the tiniest action of selection of the kid’s clothing unless I am asked for.

Presence v/s being overpowering

There is a very fine line between concern and control, between being a confidante and being entitled. More often than not, we may without realizing it, cross the line and cause distress. Being concerned about whether my child eats healthy stuff or not would be acceptable to even a teenager but trying to have a say on every item he/ she eats or trying to control him on what he/she buys is definitely not going to be welcome. Likewise, when my friend chooses to share something about his/ her day, I am being made a confidante but to expect him / her to do that often is behaving entitled.

I am guilty of crossing these lines at times and thus causing distress. Life is very simple when we let go of the need to control, to be an active influencer in the decisions of others, to be the key person a friend turns to for advice and to be expressive of our opinions all the time.

Nobody is indispensable and that rule applies to everyone. It is ideal to be concerned but not to the extent of choking the other. They survived quite well before us and they will do so without us too.

Maybe it pays to evaluate what is more important, to be a part of a person’s life or to be in control. For, in the process of trying to be in control, we may be left with nothing to control.


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