A Deeper Look at the Control Personality.

Sam and I were having a conversation about why he’s depressed. I said that I knew his dad, Carl, had the same problem. Yeah, he thought his personality was like his dad’s in some ways. Like his dad, he’s angry a lot. (By the way, over time, chronic anger makes depression.)

For example, he said that while driving on the highway today, some guy cut him off and then slowed down right in front of him. His reaction was pretty much how he’d seen his dad react in the same situation. He felt really burned. And, the more he thought about it, the angrier he got. He could hear his heart pounding. He heard himself talking out loud to the other driver: “You’re crazy! What are people like you doing on the road?! Take a driving course, Buddy, or park it.” Well, you get the idea. Sam, though, doesn’t like that he reacts like this. So, why does he?

First, this may be hard to believe, but people like Sam and his dad haven’t yet accepted the reality: that life will not always go as they want it to or even as it “should.” They can’t control it. The reality? There have always been drivers like this on the road and always will be, whether there should be or not. Sam hasn’t decided yet to accept this reality.

Secondly, Sam REacts as though the incident is about him, like it’s a personal insult. It isn’t. There’s nothing personal about it. The other driver took what sounded like an unsafe risk. No doubt he has the belief that he can get away with doing whatever he wants whether he’s on the highway or anywhere else. So, he probably drives like that most of the time. Sam needs to emotionally separate from incidents like this.

Sam looked surprised; he’d never thought it through like that. Then, he said, “Well, I’m done making myself feel bad and talking to some guy who’ll never hear me and wouldn’t care if he could.” Sam’s already started handling his anger. Great! Will he have to “practice” this change? Sure, and he will. The payoffs (less anger and depression) are too important not to.

You, too. If you’re like Sam, redirect your mind and feelings away from incidents like this. Realize that this kind of happening is not about you. Direct your thoughts and feelings to something that will move your life forward, or at the very least, will not rob you of a good mood.

Big Thoughts In This Article.

1. Are you like Sam, angry or depressed a lot or even from time to time? Observe yourself to see how often “shoulds” go through your mind. You know, like “Andy shouldn’t be acting like that,” or “Doris, You should do it this way,” or “I’ve told you, Lee, you should not do it that way; now change it.” Or, the thought: I know the right way to do that.” Do you think in “shoulds” a lot? What did you learn about you?
2. Understand and gradually accept that both the world and others have a reality of their own. You can’t change that. Happiness and Success come from “fitting in independently.” Of course, we retain our individuality, but we don’t force it on others.

My best to you until next time.

Joan

Author's Bio: 

Joan Chamberlain is an author, therapist, and life coach with over 30 years of experience helping adults, couples, and teens. She has a Bachelor's degree in Business and Finance, a Bachelor's in education, and a Masters in individuals, couples, and family counseling. Her book, Smart Relationships, has helped many people achieve the self-awareness needed to see themselves honestly. Its wisdom has helped them work toward improving their relationships with themselves, their friends, and their families.

To learn more about the ideas and concepts presented in her articles, please peruse her website:

http://www.joanchamberlain.com