Don’t Be a Control Freak

I don’t like to think of myself as a control freak, but when it comes to driving, this is a term that I’m embarrassed to say describes me. A control freak is characterized as one who tries to control other people in attempt to control a situation usually caused by one’s irrational thinking. Who wants to be described as irrational?

For years, I’ve insisted on always being the driver. I refuse to sit back and relax and be a passenger in a car. Typical control freak behavior. However, I’m proud to say that I’ve relinquished my hold on the car keys and have begun sitting in the passenger seat.


Our trip to Washington was the event responsible for the change in my behavior. Since John had to pick me up in Portland to start the second leg of our vacation, he rented a car in Seattle. As a result, he was listed as the sole driver of the rental car so for ten days as we drove in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, I had no choice but to sit in the passenger seat; and I learned that I don’t have to be in control of the driving.

I was the navigator (although not a very good one). I read. I researched our destinations. I wrote. I edited pictures. And I survived. As a result, since we’ve returned home, I’m no longer the sole driver. Those duties are now being shared 50/50.

Look at your behavior. Do you exhibit signs of a control freak? If you’re not sure, check out this list  from the article, “8 Signs You’re a Control Freak” found at

  • You believe that if someone would change one or two things about themselves, you’d be happier. So you try to “help them” change this behavior by pointing it out, usually over and over.
  • You micromanage others to make them fit your (often unrealistic) expectations.
  • You judge others’ behavior as right or wrong and passive-aggressively withhold attention until they fall in line with your expectations.
  • You offer “constructive criticism” as a veiled attempt to advance your own agenda.
  • You change who you are or what you believe so that someone will accept you. Instead of just being yourself, you attempt to incept others by managing their impression of you.
  • You present worst-case scenarios in an attempt to influence someone away from certain behaviors and toward others.
  • You have a hard time with ambiguity and being OK with not knowing something.
  • You intervene on behalf of people by trying to explain or dismiss their behaviors to others.

Let’s be honest, does it really matter if the laundry is folded your way? Is there really only way to clean the bathroom or mow the lawn? Is it possible someone else can run the report or prepare the presentation effectively without your oversight? Can the driving chores be turned over to someone else? Maybe it’s time to find out.


Trust me. Relax. Don’t be a control freak.



One thought on “Don’t Be a Control Freak

  1. I know where you got your “control freak” attitude about driving – FROM YOUR DAD! I have to admit I have always thought there was only one way to clean house – MINE. However, now that there are some days when I don’t feel quite up to doing much needed housework, and your Dad takes over, I have finally relented to his way. He is so great about doing anything that needs to be done and who cares if he doesn’t wash windows, run the vacuum or mop floors the way I always thought they had to be done. I just wish he would relent and realize that he doesn’t always have to drive the car!

Leave a Reply