My Top 5 Control Patterns Confession

By Val Boyko • December 7th, 2010

When I read over the control patterns list  I realize that I no longer rely on some of the old behaviors and have let them go.  As a reminder, a Control Pattern is something that we do try to feel in control and  avoid feeling discomfort, anxiety or vulnerable. (Click here to read more about them.)

The upside is that I am getting more comfortable with uncertainty and the feeling of not knowing. The downside is that I still recognize some childhood hangovers. (I guess that’s life at its best and balanced. If there were too many upsides we would be lopsided!)One girl confessing a secret to an other

So, I decided that I will share with you my top 5 control patterns. It’s a way for me to become more accepting of  them and to show you that, although it is hard to look at aspects of ourselves we don’t like, we all have them… you are not alone… and it’s OKAY!

I hope this exercise is one that you could try as well. You don’t need to go public with it though 😉

…. now I’m feeling a little anxious and vulnerable about sharing with you …. which is the perfect way to introduce my most used and beloved control pattern.

1. I withdraw into my head and become an Analyzer.  When I am not sure of what the outcome will be, I will think about it more and more. Going into my head is what I do when I an unsure or afraid. I don’t want to feel the discomfort or hurt that might come up, so I go into my head and distance myself from the feeling.  I use my brain and try to figure it out. Of course, analyzing rarely gets us closer to the feeling or the real issue and we can end up even more unsure about that to do. I see this as procrastination, which is an other part of myself I’m not thrilled about!

2. The procrastinator is never by herself . Her twin is the Judge. The judge is right there with her. I compare myself to other people and become critical of myself. I notice that the Judger’s voice echoes my mother’s. I notice that I use the same voice to others too. (Ouch)

3.When I’m feeling judged I tend to offer explanations and become an Explainer. I go deeper into the “why” something happened to make it right in my own mind. It complicates things and leads me in a downward spiral contemplating my navel and the reason for being. (It’s pretty tedious to the listener too!)

4. When things are over complicated and I can’t figure them out. It become too hard and then I step up to be the Queen of Denial. It isn’t that bad really!! Queen of Denial used to be my favorite control pattern because it made me feel the safest of all! I relied on her in childhood and through my first marriage …..

5. It’s easy to see how the Super Competent can partner with the Queen of Denial. We both like to feel more powerful and strong. The super competent knows that I can handle it myself and I don’t need help. Which also means I don’t recognize when I need help and find it hard to ask for it. I end up being driven to get things done and taking on too much. When that happens, I thank all the people who care for me who reach out with compassion and help!

We all have our ways of coping with the world around us. It’s part of being human. Finding a way to accept our behaviors – rather than rejecting them or fighting them – is the only way for us to become free of them.

My mother never told me life was easy – and she was right!

If you want to share your experience with Control Patterns, please do what works for you – on or off line.



By susan master on December 7th, 2010 at 9:57 pm

Thank you so much, Val, for having the courage to
share some of the things you don’t like about yourself.
What a source of wisdom and inspiration you are.
I bought Susan Campbell’s book and as soon as I stop procrastinating (it’s so easy to put off doing what’s too difficult and scary) I plan to find my own control patterns within its pages.

Susan, Thank you for your words. You are an inspiration! cheers 🙂

I’ve recently started a blog, the information you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work.

Thanks for the great post. Page Bookmarked


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