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  1. #1
    Member Lindaxo's Avatar
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    Lightbulb ENTJ and controlling "controlling"

    I'm going through one of the most difficult things in my life, being an ENTJ and resisting opportunities to control. I didn't realize how often I do it until I became aware and decided to stop. I want to stop controlling everyone and only control myself. I've really cut down a lot, but I feel disappointed whenever I find myself controlling a situation or a person and I feel like I am letting myself down when it happens. I'm missing out on so many great things in life! I really liked how someone said "can I realistically do something about it?" on another board and its been really useful so far. The only thing is, all my relationships/friendships are stable because I control them. And if I'm not in control, fights happen. I don't know what would happen if I let others control me, but Murphey's Law definitly comes to mind.

    To practive I've:
    Quit biting my nails, embrace enablers- my greatest challenge, turn my envy into a genuine compliment, find ways to agree, take the time to listen to people out before I give a response, don't volunteer information or advice, practice what I preach and lead by example, resist my humorously "obstructive criticism" reflex and ask "how would I feel if someone just said that about me?," instead (even if my clothes are cooler than theirs) *lol*
    I've stopped trying to correct everyone else, and have accepted the fact that I have a serious problem.
    Last edited by Lindaxo; 03-13-2008 at 11:32 AM.

  2. #2

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    I've seen this problem with both ENTJs I worked closely with (I'm also friends with both) It's caused them lots of issues in their personal lives and office popularity (which led one to being ousted from his position, even though he was competent in every other way - except the way he handled subordinates).

    I sincerely wish you tell me, if you ever come across a good "cure" or coping mechanism to alleviate the issues (as I still work with one now).

    I actually suggested therapy to one, but I read that ENTJs often refuse therapy and I'm not clear if therapy would even help. The times I've seen things blow up usually occurs when someone questions/criticizes the ENTJ in front of others. If I criticize or disagree with the same ENTJ alone, he can often take it at face value but it if it happens in front of others, one will just explode irrationally scaring the hell out of everyone in the room.

    The other one who is more emotionally balanced will just write off most disagreement as idiocy in a condescending manner without fully realizing the argument presented. They are both extremely competent and motivated individuals and have little patience for anything that's less than perfect from their less talented peers, subordinates etc.

    The thing that drove people crazy about one is particular is he had no problem whatsoever dressing down anyone else in the room, but absolutely snapped when folks did it to him. I appreciate your honesty and just being aware of your issue is the first step to alleviating this weakness in interaction with others.

  3. #3
    Senior Member nottaprettygal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindaxo View Post
    The only thing is, all my relationships/friendships are stable because I control them. And if I'm not in control, fights happen.
    I would seriously examine whether or not this statement is true. Fights will happen occasionally whether you're in control or not, but do you really think that you are the only thing between peace and all out chaos?

  4. #4
    Member Lindaxo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanlittlechimp View Post
    The thing that drove people crazy about one is particular is he had no problem whatsoever dressing down anyone else in the room, but absolutely snapped when folks did it to him. I appreciate your honesty and just being aware of your issue is the first step to alleviating this weakness in interaction with others.


    WOAH! I do that all the time! In a joking way, of course, but I find it personal when people do it to me because "they don't know me like that." Hmm... I'm definitly going to add that to my list of things to practice.

  5. #5
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindaxo View Post
    WOAH! I do that all the time! In a joking way, of course, but I find it personal when people do it to me because "they don't know me like that." Hmm... I'm definitly going to add that to my list of things to practice.
    This may not apply to you, but when most of the ENTJs I know do something "in a joking way" its actually serious and they are just heading off a possible counter with humor.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  6. #6
    Member Lindaxo's Avatar
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    nottaprettygal: To be completely honest, that thought has NEVER occured to me. But yeah I usually do feel that way.
    Metamorphosis: haha that is definitly something that I do. I've added it to my list. =]

  7. #7
    Senior Member nottaprettygal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lindaxo View Post
    nottaprettygal: To be completely honest, that thought has NEVER occured to me. But yeah I usually do feel that way.
    Maybe it would be a good idea to examine exactly what does happen when you stop controlling people. . . even if you just do an experiment for a week or two. You may be surprised to find that your relationships remain rather stable without your hand constantly guiding their course.

    This is an interesting topic though. It's very hard for people to admit that they are controlling. Clearly, you do more self-examination than most.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottaprettygal View Post
    I would seriously examine whether or not this statement is true. Fights will happen occasionally whether you're in control or not, but do you really think that you are the only thing between peace and all out chaos?
    That's what I was thinking, too.

    I was also wondering whether you may have some role in starting these fights, being so worried that you don't have control. Anyone who's addicted to control probably goes searching it out when they don't have it. A feign doesn't make for the most peaceful and amicable person. npg's week-long experiment is a great idea.

    P.S. I enjoyed the paradox in your OP. It certainly part of this whole mystery, isn't it?

  9. #9
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    Needing to control others stems from the inability to control oneself. It may seem like strength at first to control the environment, but it really is a weakness. It is rooted in fear and insecurity. The only thing you've got full control on is yourself. The more you will be secure, independent and self-sufficient, the less you will feel the need to control anything.
    So change the way you think about things rather than changing what goes on around you.

    The less you are dependent on changing the world around you for your wellbeing, the stronger and better you will feel. I've pushed this thinking to the point where I let go of controlling things that "normal" people would feel the need to control. I am one of the most uncontrolling people in relationships. I don't seek to change people. I either stay around them and accept them as they are or just forget about them if they don't have what I need. What's the point in criticizing people? That is based on value judgment, which is inherently subjective. There is no value of truth about criticism of people. I do what I want, and I don't care what you do. You're with me, fine. You're not, so what. We both are as we are, if we're not going to get along, so be it. I don't care if you're better than me or I'm better than you. But I have my own selfish interests and needs, just don't get in the way of them and we'll do fine. I need to get what I want, but if I can't get it from you, I'll just get it from someone else.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    Needing to control others stems from the inability to control oneself. It may seem like strength at first to control the environment, but it really is a weakness. It is rooted in fear and insecurity. The only thing you've got full control on is yourself. The more you will be secure, independent and self-sufficient, the less you will feel the need to control anything. So change the way you think about things rather than changing what goes on around you.
    Well, I couldn't agree with you more that control is rooted in fear and insecurity, such as wanting to maintain an organization so that nothing gets screwed up, but doesn't control also come from ambition and the desire to want to get things done -- essentially bossing others around to fulfill one's own master plan? That kind of control doesn't sound like any insecurity.

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