Counseling a Person with Control Issues Part Two
Another characteristic of the person with deeply rooted control issues is boasting. This person will constantly boast about how much they did, how much they are going to do, and no matter what somebody else did, they did it better. They will top dog whatever, whenever, and however. In the counseling profession this person is referred to as the “The Top Dogger”. Counselors will often say, “He’s a top dogging it, she’s a top dogging it”. Boasting so many things they are going to do and have done is a way for this person to convince themselves that they are in control. Remember that one of the “control issues” person’s distorted cognitive beliefs is that as long as they remain superior to another person they have control over them. Their boasting is like a fierce wind that drives others away. Although their tongue is a small part of their body it can boast many great things.
To help a person who has a problem with boasting, it is important to understand that they have convinced themselves that everything and anything they have in this world is a result of their own toil, skill, and endeavor. The person may have made a very painful and faithful effort to obtain what is good and believes they deserve to boast. As a result they are very proud and arrogant. The counselor will want to make sure that the person understands that doing away with the boasting is not designed to discourage them from exertion and doing good. Boasting in arrogance and vain glory is unhealthy. The primary goal is to motivate this person to change their attitude of vain glory and boasting to a disposition of gratefulness. The goal is not to repress a person from giving their best effort to do good but to encourage them to be grateful when they are able to do good. It is not good to boast about oneself and it does not give a person anymore control over others than others allow.
The counselor must understand what motivates a person to boast and brag about themselves. The deep rooted problem is low self-worth and a lack of self-confidence. Individuals who really got it going on do not have to boast. Deep down the person with deeply rooted control issues may believe they don’t belong anywhere and they are not good at anything. They then brag and boast about their achievements because they think it will cause people to like them and it gives them a false sense of being in control. In reality bragging and boasting about oneself usually pushes people away rather than getting them to like you. Let’s take a deeper look at the root of the problem for the person who camouflages themselves with boasting and bragging. Boasting about oneself is certainly a behavior that indicates that somebody feels insecure.
Other signs that indicate a person feels insecure include: being a know it all, being quiet and withdrawn, being controlling and domineering, wearing a lot of makeup and jewelry, not being faithful to one’s mate, being a racist, extravagance, alcoholism/drug addiction, and jealousy.
The counselor can suggest that this person practice giving compliments to others. Ask them if they like listening to someone boast? When counseling this person the counselor will keep in mind that the distorted deeply ingrained thinking pattern is not going to change easily. This person’s defensive thoughts may include telling themselves, “You’re great, how dare this counselor insinuate that boasting about how great you are indicates you are insecure.” No matter how defensive the boasting person becomes the counselor must keep in mind that the more defensive the boasting person becomes about their right to boast the more insecure the person. Boasting is the camouflage that is used to hide a person who feels extremely insecure and lacks self-confidence. The insecurity and lack of self-confidence may be rooted in a history of growing up in an environment that lacked love and stunted the normal emotional growth and development as life intended. Boasting or bragging is a defense mechanism that the person may have been practicing for several years in order to handle their insecurity and dire need to feel like they are in control. If and when the person begins bragging or boasting during the counseling session the counselor may say something such as, “Tell me where it hurts? or “What are you feeling insecure about? The counselor wants to assure the person that it is safe to feel their inner pain. Tell the person that it is up to them to make the first move, it is up to them to bring their insecurities to the surface, no matter how far back it goes.
Some of the things the counselor can do to help the person stop boasting is to encourage them to stop comparing themselves to other people, encourage them that it’s okay to be different, that they don’t have to please and impress other people, don’t let criticism bother you so much, don’t let other people determine your self-worth, and focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses. A person who boasts a lot doesn’t really believe others accept them as they are. They are convinced they don’t measure up. The person is measuring themselves by comparing themselves to others and to the world’s standards.
Another characteristic of the person with deeply engraved control issues is they are always in everyone else’s business. They are busy bodies or meddlers. This individual will wander from person to person and house to house gathering up as much dirt as they can get on anybody. Prying and prying they will not leave until they get some dirt on someone. This pattern of behavior becomes very self destructive. Add the busy body characteristic to the backbiting and you have a person who has become so extremely sick with control issues that are propelled by a deep sense of low self worth.
The counselor helps the person who is a busybody by getting them to understand that being a busybody and meddling in other people’s business is not honorable and is very unhealthy and self destructive. A busybody or talebearer goes from house to house picking up tales at one place and carrying them to another. They take the secrets that are entrusted with them and reveal them to others. The goal of counseling is to get the person to change from a busybody, meddler, talebearer, to one who has a
faithful trustworthy respectful disposition.
The counselor helps this person understand that being faithful to a friend who trusts with their secrets that are spoken in privacy and in strict friendship is important. Knowing everyone’s business does not give them anymore power over others. By whispering into the ears of others things that are prejudicial to the character of others separates one friend from another. This type of conduct can separate even the closest and most intimate friendships. The friend’s minds are alienated so that they will not come near one another or speak to each other as before. When busybody talebearer is found out it separates his best friends from himself as well as from one another. Friends see a worthless person who is dangerous to converse with. The busybody or meddler sticks their nose in everybody’s business and thinks they need to know everything going on around them including everyone else business. This person usually has a lot of idle time and because they were bored they attempt to fill that time by prying into the lives of everybody around them. They like to gossip and are looking for goodies to share with others.
Convinced that the more trash they know about others the more power and control they have. A busybody believes whoever has the most trash concerning others has the most power. They are more than ready to get up in somebody’s business and then go tattletale. They make really good investigative reporters. Often times the information that they are spreading to others is incomplete information that they have accumulated by being nosy. Often times the busybody didn’t see the entire situation or hear the entire conversation that they were sticking their nose in. However; they are convinced in their distorted thinking pattern to spread the trash so they can maintain control. The busybody is kind of like a peeping tom who likes to sneak around and poke their nose in people’s windows.
The counselor helps the person realize that what they are doing is not only very unhealthy but it can put them in danger of being physically assaulted. A counselor may try to help the person find something productive to occupy their time. If the person is busy they will have less time to meddle in other people’s business. A good indication that a person is a busybody is that they have a lot of idle time but they are not a good house-keeper or a good cook. Also this person will have a lot of phone contacts and will spend excessive time on the telephone. Their telephone net work provides them with additional opportunity to gather the latest trash concerning other people’s matters. The older a person gets the more likely they become a busybody since their children are no longer at the home and they are not attending to the needs of a growing family. This person is fooled by that this gives them power and control when in reality it brings them suffering. They will eventually lose the respect of their friends and will experience the bitterness of loneliness because their friends have left them out. The counselor helps them see that they brought this on themselves and encourages them to make a personal self-examination and to eliminate this unhealthy behavior from their life.
A person who has deep rooted control issues is usually a very hateful person. The goal of counseling is to help the person change from being a hateful person to being a loving person. This is most difficult and it seems that it would be easier to turn a pig into a goat than it would be to turn a hateful person into a loving person. Change takes a long time. The counselor urges the person to practice being kind to others, being gentle, courteous, and polite. When other people are happy the controlling person becomes very envious. Not loving others and being hateful towards others is propelled by self hate. When other people’s happiness is increased by their endowments, their rank, their reputation, their wealth, their health, their domestic comforts, their learning etc., those who are influenced by love “rejoice”! The controlling person who lacks charity is full of envy and often will attempt to embarrass them. Another word for Charity is love and of course the opposite of love is hate. So let’s take a closer look at these two characteristics. Not having charity is not having love. A person that doesn’t have love is not necessarily a person who has hate, however; the opposite of charity or love is hate. A person who is full of hate is hateful. They may believe that by being hateful they are getting control. This person goes around being mean to others and insulting others.
The counselor encourages the person to stop insulting others. A counselor may have the person practice becoming aware when they are about to insult somebody and before they let the insult come out of their mouth they practice turning it into a compliment. Instead of insulting a person and telling them the shirt they are wearing is ugly they turn it into a compliment by saying that’s a really interesting shirt. Although telling someone that what they are wearing is interesting is just a nice way of saying, “Wow, that shirt is ugly”, it helps the insulting person take a tiny step in the opposite direction. Another thing the counselor can do is encourage them to practice hugging people. Even if they don’t want to they are encouraged to practice hugging people when it is appropriate. The counselor encourages them to think it through before they criticize somebody by asking themselves how this will come across to the other person. A mean hateful person is encouraged to practice putting themselves in the other person’s shoes. A counselor can ask them how they would feel if they were in that other person’s shoes or how they would feel if someone treated them that way. Hateful people will hate somebody before they even took any time to get to know them. Encourage them to get to know people before they make a judgment. Often times they believe the world revolves around them and other people don’t matter. Whenever they talk about how much they hate somebody find out if it’s possible that the person they hate is a lot like them.