I’ve been around for a few decades in a lot of different environments but it still amazes me how some people think the only way to feel important is to control what other people do and how they do it. It doesn’t seem to matter what age anyone is, either. The behavior covers the grimalkin down through the cranky toddler.
Obviously, our children need to be loved and controlled until they learn to control their own behaviors and emotions, something that takes time. That’s what parents do: provide a safe, kind environment and guidelines, among their gazillion other responsibilities.
Some children boss other children and try to control adults, too, even at a young age. We’ve all seen and heard their tantrums in stores and restaurants, and know that in a few years most of them grow out of that kind of behavior. Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.
So what happens with those individuals who don’t learn how to play nice with other people?
First, they grow up anyway. That’s assuming their own or someone else’s anger management issues don’t take them from the earth early, either as teens or young adults. On their hostile path through life, they order other people around as if they’re some kind of earthbound god or medieval chieftain. It takes more than patience on our part to deal with them. Sometimes we need to assert our own rights to keep from becoming doormats. That requires some judicious choices as to when, what and how we shove back.
Later, control freaks become abusive bosses, co-workers, spouses, parents, volunteer workers, and even church leaders. When they want you to do something, they want it done their way and they want it done now. The fact that it isn’t necessary, or the person simply can’t do it, or it doesn’t make any sense to do it at all, seems to elude them. Can a person actually be more important than any program? Think about it. It just makes sense that a human being’s needs come first. Even peace officers undergo rigorous psychiatric screening before being accepted, to try and weed out misfits who would control people in inappropriate ways.
There are also people afflicted with mental disorders who truly can’t tell when they’re being obnoxious, but too often, mental illness is used as a cop-out for plain old bad behavior. I’ve witnessed and endured both first hand with several relatives and friends. And of course, certain meds can cause behavior that’s difficult for others to deal with.
So, what’s so annoying about being ordered around by a control freak? Well, they will tell you what personal soap you have to use, what toothpaste you have to buy, what colors you can wear, what hairstyle you have to get, when you have to be home from an afternoon tea, which grocery store you can shop at, what you must do next in life, and oh, you’re not going there without me! And watch out for those who bellow at you to make that right turn into that pedestrian or bicyclist they simply can’t see. They’re as bad as the other control freak honking behind you.