Self-Control Vs. Control Freaks

Those who have self-control do not need external control. I suspect that those who lack self-control themselves are among those leading the crusade to control others. However, this may be hard to prove.

I have family members who struggle with alcoholism. A cousin missed our grandmother's funeral because s/he (excessive ambiguity?) was in rehab. My grandfather's death was a result of alcoholism. It might seem like alcohol prohibition is an easy answer. However, this is a very superficial idea of addiction, and tobacco abuse is also common already. Moonshine and smuggling were rampant last time that was tried with alcohol, and illegal drugs today are widely available. Be honest. We all probably know a guy who knows a guy whether we partake or not. But we can all see the allure of the control freak impulse nonetheless.

I also know people who struggle with mental health issues. They choose to not own firearms, but still teach their children to treat weapons with respect instead of trying to regulate the restbof the world based on their own concerns about their own potential self-destructive urges. This is a stark contrast to the gun-grabbers who demand that everyone else be disarmed in order to quell their personal paranoia. Never mind how easily those with ill intent can smuggle or manufacture things already prohibited, or that new laws cannot address these problems anyway.

You cannot control others. You can only interact via cooperation or coercion. The former is civilized. The latter is criminal. It is strange that people understand this on a fundamental level, yet make exceptions for the State and seek to use it for their own ends. We can do better. And it starts with you. Do you choose to let go of counterproductive attempts to control, and start practicing more self-control instead?

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02.02.2020 03:41

I have noticed this to be a consistent theme in the psychology of human beings across many dysfunctional behaviors. When there's a need that's not being met or even acknowledged, that need, through the subconscious, rises to the surface in some very creative ways. The need stays hidden from the conscious due to something external that generates fear.

In this case, the need is to have some sort of control over one's own life. When the higher cognitive function isn't available, the thing that takes its place isn't all that logical, and so we see things like people going to great lengths to control others instead of themselves. They feel that if they can control their environment, including the people that surround them, they will have achieved their goal. It's an insatiable appetite for the very reason that it's insane. It can never be achieved, and unless the person does some self-reflection at some point and realizes their error, the behavior continually escalates.

If they could use their higher cognitive processes in this area for even a few minutes, most of them would at least start backing off from trying to control others. The problem is that they're so terrified of the truth that they can't face their demons and actually use their minds in a deliberate way. Instead they use rationalizations and go through mental gymnastics to double down on their habitual patterns. The humility required to overcome this sort of thing is very difficult to achieve.

02.02.2020 06:36

Indeed, trying to control people and what they do is folly. At best, you can hope that setting a good example will inspire/encourage others to follow suit... and you can teach but without coercing. I say that because it seems like a lot of what we might term "negative patterns" are as often as not the result of ignorance rather than malice.

02.02.2020 07:32

individual responsibility? boring. Let's play the blame game. 🎲 more fun. not my fault. just keep voting. 🗳️😂

02.02.2020 09:44

I think one of the worst examples is the anti-smoking campaign and the idea that ugly pictures can help... You could also beat smokers with a stick.

02.02.2020 10:29

It seems to be human nature to want to control the next guy. If you have 3 random people, chances are at some point one is going to try to tell the other two how/what to do...

08.02.2020 08:24

And we can't change human nature, but we know the control freaks are rarely the ones with expertise or real leadership, so maybe we need to start tearing down the mental constructs that give them a veneer of authority.

09.02.2020 08:14