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          Stop Being Controlling and Critical

          September 10, 2003

          The need to be critical and in control of everything can be exhausting. You may be pushing your friends and loved ones away, and when you become a prisoner to your sense of order, Dr. Phil says it can be unhealthy and neurotic. He offers the following advice on how to lighten up.
          • Stop thinking the world revolves around you.
            “We get to thinking we’re the center of the universe and everyone’s watching, so we hold ourselves to really high standards for fear of judgment,” Dr. Phil explains. His dad used to say, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what people thought of you if you knew how seldom they did.” Stop wearing yourself out with issues that no one else cares about.
          • Realize that perfectionism is an imperfection.
            Kim, a guest who is a self-described perfectionist, says that her husband is too messy, and won’t allow her sons to have friends over because she fears that the house will become untidy. “They’ll judge you way more for being a control freak who can’t lighten up and roll with the punches than they ever would for having a messy house,” Dr. Phil tells her. It’s fine to be attentive to details, but when you’re driving your loved ones away, you need to re-examine your behavior.
          • Learn to trust yourself.
            Another guest, Karen, called off her wedding because she was fed up with her boyfriend Joe’s controlling behavior. Dr. Phil asks Joe, “Do you trust yourself enough, have enough self-worth to believe that someone would be with you if you don’t make them do it?” Start feeling secure enough with yourself so that you’re not so clingy, needy, controlling and demanding.
          • Embrace the spirit of acceptance.
            If you fear that you may not be able to handle situations you may encounter, the need to be a control freak comes in. Most people have more resiliency, depth, strength and flexibility than they give themselves credit for. This means you. Trust yourself to handle all kinds of circumstances.

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