Saturday, March 03, 2007

Beware of Control Freaks in Disguise

Spill the Beans writes:
I am attracted to nice guys. I promise. The control freaks are now the ones who make me run.

I would like to add a caveat regarding this remark because control freaks can appear outwardly as nice guys. Granted, these guys aren't the dark, looming, Berlioz listening, Sleeping with the Enemy variety, but they can cause you much consternation.

Here is how the racket works. If a guy operates under the assumption of three flawed beliefs:

  1. It's not okay for me to really be myself.

  2. A woman's approval is the end all/be all of existence.

  3. It's not okay to have wants or needs, let alone go about taking care of them.

Then he will use (1) to apply (2) to indirectly meet the needs in (3). The net result is what therapist and author Dr. Robert Glover calls a covert contract. The guy showers you with nice acts with the hope that you will do something in return and then gets all bent out of shape when reciprocation doesn't happen.

At first you might not realize it's happening because it feels so good to be pampered and spoiled. And by the time he starts to get cranky, you'll probably wonder what's wrong because his unstated expectations may not have occurred to you.

If you've grown up in a family with poor boundaries and relatives who do favors with taut strings aplenty, you might even stick with this guy because the pattern feels familiar.

The best thing you can do is call him on the behavior, and if he can't own up to it and learn to self-validate, dump him. Don't let him drain you emotionally.
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