Need to control everything

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Need to control everything

(Estimated reading time: 1 min, 21 sec)

How do I become aware of the need to control everything?

Why do I Need to control emotions and thoughts? (Fabio)

For about a year, I haven’t been feeling well. I feel a slight but constant anxiety in everyday life.

This is how I “accidentally” came to introspection. After a certain period of work, I discovered some internal habits that affect my life.

I realized that the basis of my anxiety was the need for control. And it was precisely when I felt a lack of control over a situation … that I felt anxiety. I asked myself what I wanted to control. At first, I not only did not understand it (or maybe it was my mind that didn’t want to understand?), but I didn’t even think it was important to know it.

It was impossible to continue ignoring what was going on inside me, and, at some point, I clearly saw a habit of wanting to control more and more emotions and thoughts (my need for control).

The need to control everything. Aurora Mazzoldi. Mother 5 — The Control —  Acrylic painting on canvas
Aurora Mazzoldi — Mother 5; the Control— acrylic painting on canvas

The Introspective Work

The first steps of the introspective work were more on an existential level — I revisited my teenage dramas and my repressed anger. Then I saw how I felt compelled to present myself to others in a certain way. I observed how I try to be what others expected of me (I wear a mask), and I felt that this also made me anxious.

Now that I have taken the introspective path, I want to accept myself and reality more and more, in the best way possible. Of course, I still have a lot to learn.

For a few months now, my need to control has diminished a bit. This makes me understand without a doubt that the path I have chosen is the right one.



Regarding Fabio’s interesting talk, I find it stimulating to elaborate on some points.

Fear is actually a covering emotion, in the sense that it allows us NOT to look at what is underneath.

In psychology, we talk about “symptom functionality” in this context. This means that the discomfort serves a purpose! Then, as Fabio has done, it would be very helpful to ask questions to identify the deep emotion that the fear is covering.

Fabio talks about “control anxiety” and “control of thoughts and emotions,” and this is certainly true. Our rational part is constantly trying to control and manipulate our thoughts in order to trigger certain emotional reactions that condition our approach to life.

But what do you really want to control?

And most importantly, which part of us (or sub-personality) wants to be in control?

In Fabio’s text, “adolescent dramas” and “repressed anger” are mentioned, so I would wonder if Fabio is not (unconsciously) trying to filter or censor his own reactions of anger or sadness by not deeming them appropriate to his and those around him expectations.

Would he perhaps go against the “good guy” image that someone initially sewed on him and that he himself has chosen to maintain and consolidate throughout his life?

But what price must he pay to be such a “good guy”?

In this regard, he speaks of “masks” (to appear as others expect him to be) that are tiring to put on during interactions with the outside world, but perhaps even heavier and more cumbersome when, in the long run, they crystallize and become “ritual, repetitive, and automatic behaviors” that distance him from his real “feelings.

They distance him from himself (alienation).

Three Masks.
Source: Leonardo AI
Source: Leonardo AI

This is where the “introspective work” comes in (encountered “by chance”, as Fabio says, I would argue that he managed to slip in at a rare moment when the mental part has reduced control and closures to the emotional world) as a chance to really start to RESOLVE problems, right from the root, rather than chinch with temporary and illusory solutions.

It is certainly an intense journey that requires motivation, patience and persistence, but the results are so important that the effort is well spent.

At this point, who knows, Fabio may surprisingly come to THANK his fear, because without it he would never have found the courage to take charge of those areas of life that made him feel like a mere “extra” rather than a “leading actor” in his own existence.

Antonella Giannini

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