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Monday, January 27, 2014

Freedom vs Control

"Freedom isn't the absence of commitments, but the ability to choose - and to commit yourself to what is best for you"

I am drawn to this quote by Paulo Coelho time and time again. I guess it's because freedom is important to me. And maybe I'm only really understanding now what it means to be free. I have felt free many times before. I am good at feeling free. I actively seek out things that make me feel free.

Control is not conducive to freedom. To want to be in control all the time is time consuming and exhausting. I am probably the complete opposite of a control freak. My life just seems to happen. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. Ultimately, I believe in balance. So I probably should take more control over some aspects of my life.

So, because freedom and contol were on my mind I decided to do some research. I came across an article on Psychology Today. It mentioned James Redfield, author of The Celestine Phrophecy, and his suggestion that attempting to control another person's behaviour is a type of neurosis, based on childhood feelings of powerlessness. He referred to four different strategies in attempting to manipulate someone's behaviour; The Interrogator, The Intimidator, The Aloof and The Poor Me. The interrogator is constantly questioning and criticising the beahviour of others, making them feel uneasy about themselves. The Intimadator uses force or violence to scare others into submission. The Aloof is distant and detached, speaking rarely and only in vague or cryptic ways. The Poor Me is always complaining about feeling unwell or sick, to make others feel guilty for asking them to do anything.

According to Don Miguel Ruiz, a truly free person is someone who is not affected by either the neurotic or normal attempts of others to regulate his or her behaviour. In order to do this we must not "take anything personally". It goes without saying, of course, that a truly free person will not feel the need to control or regulate anyone else's behaviour.

So, when someone asks me to commit myself to something and I say no, I'm not saying no to commitments, I'm just choosing to commit myself to what is right for me.


Rob Z Tobor said...

I would like to think I am none of the four as I dont think I am out to control or manipulate folk. For one thing I cant remember who most of them are anyway.

No is a bit of a commitment in itself, best to say . . . Well maybe not right now Ooo look a seagull. . . . It always works for me when under pressure.

hootchinhannah said...

Y'see, even the word 'control' displeases me. I think it's because con is the opposite of pro and so it represents the negative. And a troll is a nasty creature that eats billy goat gruffs.

Nelly said...

P. is a Poor Me!

hootchinhannah said...

She sure is. We mustn't take it personally though!

Rob Z Tobor said...

those trolls get a bad name, I blame rumours started by grumpy goats

hootchinhannah said...

The trolls do get a bad name...thanks to goats and online bullies.