We all know micromanagers and we try to avoid them at all costs. Micromanagers make us feel like we can’t do anything right or on time and that is not a good feeling. It breeds a lack of self-confidence, anxiety and sometimes it backfires into a lack of motivation. Let’s face it. Why bother completing a task that is going to be scrutinized and most likely done over anyway?
It’s important to know that it’s usually not about you at all. The person doing the dissection of your behavior is usually overcompensating for something that has gone awry in their own life. In fact, often there is so much wrong in their own life that they have given up and are seeing how they do running your life. Unlikely, they will succeed at anything but driving you insane, but it’s worth a try!
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being micromanaged it might be time to have a talk with this overachieving manager. Sometimes they aren’t even aware that they have stepped onto that helicopter and are hovering. If you are lucky it might just take a little suggestion to help them see the error of their ways. Other times it might take a linebacker to get their attention, but it’s important to have a discussion and let them know that they are crossing the line.
Wait! You are the micromanager? Do you find yourself relating way too much to Monica’s character from Friends? Are you running behind your friends, co-workers, spouse and/or kids making sure they do everything the “right” way, aka your way?
I get it. They probably need your help and I am sure you are just trying to help them live up to their potential. I also know it’s very funny when we watch Monica micromanage on Netflix reruns, but it’s not so funny when we find ourselves stepping into this role in our own life. So, what do we do when we realize we are knee-deep in micromanagement? Take a step back and look at what is going on in your life.
Has something changed? Is something missing? Do you just like it your way? I understand it’s hard to watch someone do something that could lead to failure, but everyone deserves the opportunity to fail on their own terms.
As parents, we tend to have a difficult time finding those boundaries after raising our kids up. It’s not easy to sit back and watch them struggle. We didn’t like watching them fall when they were learning to walk much less now that they are living on their own.
This has been a struggle for me off and on over the last few years. It’s a constant balancing act of wanting to be there for my kids, but also not telling them what to do. I actually do best when they ask me straight up what they should do, as that is my cue to ask them what they think. It’s when they don’t ask that I find myself wading through quicksand. Then I have to backtrack and say something like, “I mean, that is one option that you could choose from, but you’ll have to figure out the best way. “
What can I say? I am a slow learner, but I am getting better. The first step is admitting that you are an overachiever at meddling in someone else’s life. The next step is to carry duct tape for every time your mouth opens…just in case. Meanwhile, I think I’ll work on trying to micromanage my own life!
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G