My Way or the Highway?

Are you a control freak? Do you only want things done your way? If people cant do things the way you do them, would you rather do them yourself? I can relate to that in some ways. I keep a really organized and tidy home. I love to do laundry and I do it well. I fold the clothing just so. At one time or another, each of my four daughters has offered to help me fold the laundry. When I have said yes in the past, I always regret itbecause I end up watching in pure frustration and refolding them after they are long gone playing. So now, I always say no. I have tried to let them fold towelsthats simple enough, right?.how can they do that wrong? Yes, you guessed it, I refold those too. My husband has stopped asking me if he can help, as he knows that is the one area I want to control.

So, I admit it; Im a freak about laundry. As I have come to terms with this fact, I have also looked at myself to see if that controlling attitude of It has to be done my way bleeds into other parts of my life. Because being a person who truly tries to control the way other people do things and the way they think goes way beyond wanting to fold the laundry a certain way.

Controlling something in your life is one thing, but controlling people is not healthy or attractive.

I have to evaluate how my thoughts and actions are with regards to control. Ive been in tune with my reactions to other people when we talk; listening to their opinions, their thoughts, their beliefs, their desires, and their ideas.

I can honestly say, that in all other areas of my life, except the laundry, I am more relaxed and let it flow. I have always had the attitude of Live and let live. I believe that each person is on their own life journey. We are each here to learn a different lesson, to experience different things and emotions and trials and celebrations. I can try to enrich other peoples lives by setting a good example, leading with my actions, and sharing my twisted thoughts. But, ultimately, its not my lifes mission to get everyone else to think and act as I do.

There is deep learning in diversity! I love to have profound philosophical conversations. Its fun to allow myself to think outside the box. When I hear another persons point of view or belief that I had not considered before, it allows me to ponder and stretch my thoughts and growI get to have an expansive, satisfying, fulfilling experience through themhow FUN is that!?! But if I am closed minded and not open to hearing a different perspective, I am shutting myself off to learning and expanding. What do you think and say and how do you react when someone has a different opinion or belief than you? I think being open scares a lot of people because it threatens them.

I have met many people in my life who have a My way or the highway sort of attitude. If you dont like and dislike the same things as they do, then you are wrong. That has never set well with me, as I believe we are all here to learn from each other. How can we learn from each other if we all think and believe the same things? When other people try to make you think and believe and live and do exactly as they dothat is a true control freak, and it repels people, because it is judgmental and manipulative. I think the best way to teach is through action. And not you must know this or else youre not one of us. That is not teaching. That is only fear that what you say and believe might not really be so, and so to convince yourself you must convince others.

I liken it to food. Most people are open to trying different types of food from different cultures and countries. What if we werent? What if we were so close minded about our food, that we only ate the five meals we grew up eating as a child? When someone introduced a new food to us, we became defensive and angry and would not think about trying it. That seems pretty silly, doesnt it? I say Live and Let Live!

Virginia Satir, a very brilliant family therapist, said that she did some silly research and found that there are more than 250 different ways to wash dishes, depending upon who is washing and the ingredients used. So, now I know there are probably hundreds of ways to fold the laundry. Maybe my way is the best way for me, but not the best way for my five year old. I can teach her the way I think it should be done, but ultimately she will do it the way she likes to do it. And that is okI am loosening my grip…I will let them help. (GROWTH)

Take Action: This week, evaluate your thoughts and reactions when you are talking with someone who has a different opinion or belief about a topic. Do your defenses activate? Does your heart rate pick up? Do you want to pounce and debunk what they are saying? Lets all try to listen with a loving ear and an open heart. Lets all try to gain a fresh new perspective, broaden our palette, expand our thinking, and learn and grow. If you have a My way or the highway attituderelax and lighten up!

After allOur differences make the world go round!


  1. Pamela in LV says:

    Deanna – I LOVE your blog!! Thank you for sharing this with me. I will always think of you when I fold towels!


  2. Steph Whitley says:

    Great insight!!

  3. Jessica says:

    Love today’s blog. Have passed it along to several people.
    Have a wonderful day D

  4. Deanna,

    So I finally made my way here to your blog. I’m glad I did!

    It’s true that there’s something to be gained from listening to someone else’s perspective…even if it only reinforces your own position. When you listen with an open heart, it’s a pathway to the truth! I am still a work in progress on this subject:).

    Have a great day!

  5. You know when your in church and you feel the pastor is speaking directly to you? Well as I was reading your blog I thought wow how well she knows me! Lesson learned and will no longer blame it on being a Leo!

  6. Christopher Hopkins says:

    Great thoughts to begin our Monday. We all have the ability to learn something new everyday. No matter how old and experienced we think we might be!! Have a great week.

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