Description: Anxiety-based need to take charge and control situations and people’s actions to one’s own will. High anxiety and impatience when that is not possible.
Characteristics: Strong energy and need to control and take charge. Connect with others through competition, challenge, physicality, or conflict rather than softer emotions. Willful, confrontational, straight talker. Push people beyond comfort zone. Comes alive when doing the impossible and beating the odds. Stimulated by and connects through conflict. Surprised that others get hurt. Intimidate others. In-your-face communication interpreted by others as anger or criticism.
Thoughts: You are either in control or out of control. If I work hard enough I can and should control the situation so it goes my way. Others want and need me to take control. You are doing them a favor. No one tells me what to do.
Feelings: High anxiety when things are not going my way. Angry and intimidating when others don’t follow. Impatient with other’s feelings and different styles Does feel hurt and rejected, although rarely admit to it.
Justification Lies: Without the Controller, you can’t get much done. You need to push people. If I don’t control, I will be controlled, and I can’t live with that. I am trying to get the job done for all our sakes.
Impact on Self and Others: The Controller does get temporary results but at the cost of others feeling controlled and resentful and not able to tap into their own greater reserves. Controller also generates a great deal of anxiety as many things in work and life are ultimately not controllable.
Original Survival Function: Underneath the bravado of the Controller there is often a hidden fear of being controlled by others or life. Controller is sometimes associated with early life experiences where the child is forced to grow up fast, be on its own, and take charge of its chaotic or dangerous surroundings in order to survive physically and/or emotionally. It is also associated with being hurt, rejected, or betrayed and deciding to never be that vulnerable again.