Pointless predictions

A downside of being a control freak with a fully controlled and ultra-cautious approach to everything is that people regard them as incapable of innovation or insight. Of course this is completely true, so a control freak needs a special technique for reversing that perception – pointless predictions. This is another technique that relies on the frailty of human memories and the general mass hysteria that a control freak tries so hard to cultivate and exploit.
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Total control – the end game

With misdirection and manipulation a control freak slowly builds their empire up bit by bit. Don’t ever be fooled into thinking that a control freak is not building an empire, they certainly are, it’s just a matter of you spotting what it is. Even if there is no apparent movement then that does not mean they have given up on it. It normally means that they are plotting quietly.

But there comes a time when an extra special push is needed to take total control. A push that overcomes resistance from the enemies that have undoubtedly built up over the years. The final move in the end game.
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Everything I do is so much harder than anything you do (the hero expression)

After a while in a senior position, control freaks begin to deliberately adopt an aura around them that everything they do is really hard. This aura, as with many things control freaks do, is developed both by how they talk and their facial expressions.

On the facial side, they wear a pained expression at opportune moments to give the impression of a being in the midst of a serious battle. Never enough to suggest they are actually losing but always enough to suggest that loss is a real possibility and they are taking a genuine risk. The implication of this expression, and the impact they are aiming for, is that they are mightily brave and a hero for taking this on. The reaction they are after is one of awe at their bravery, sympathy for their struggle and rejoicing at their victory. In short, an epic.
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“I could talk about …” but then doesn’t

This is a superb way I’ve seen people establish credibility without ever proving it.

There are often situations where a control freak feels it necessary to exaggerate their experience to gain control, but the usual method that people choose to do this is to say too much, which is where they can get caught out. The more they have to embellish a lie, the less convincing they sound. Some believe that the more that someone lies the more difficult it is for them to maintain consistency of fact and that’s how they get spotted. For some that might be true, but in real life there is no such thing as consistency of recollected fact, it is more consistency of recollected emotion that is the giveaway.
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Losing it

Control freaks expend considerable energy in manipulating the world around them. There are so many fronts they need to watch for new developments and so many lies they need to maintain. The bigger their ambitions the wider they have to cast their net.

This is why you often see control freaks abandon a whole set of friends when they make it to the next level. It’s not because they don’t like them or don’t think they are good enough for them – it’s because they can save so much energy by not having them on the control list, energy that can be more usefully directed elsewhere.

But even with techniques to reduce the workload there comes a time when all the lies catch up, the effort of controlling the world around gets too much, when it all falls apart. This is as inevitable as day following night, there is no way to avoid it, it is the natural consequence of all that manipulation that it takes its toll inside the mind.
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But you’re the one who caused the problem!

There you are in a meeting when someone pipes up with a problem they’ve spotted that needs fixing and your jaw drops open because you know perfectly well that they were the person who caused the problem in the first place.

What seems really odd is that they’ve just lobbed the problem into the conversation with no intention of fixing it themselves but equally not trying to offload it onto anyone in particular. To make it worse they seem to be over-emphasising the seriousness of the problem.  Guilty conscience perhaps?

Perfection is the enemy of the good

Everyone has their own limit on what is good enough, what will do, what they will accept.  Some people have fairly low limits and some have extraordinarily high limits.

From what I’ve seen, those who set the higher limits, those that really push others for things to be done well, those that demand perfection, tend to rise up the hierarchy.  They may not come close to achieving perfection themselves in their own work, but this act of insisting upon it from others has real power.
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