I was requested by an anon to write a guide in playing a control freak. I find this amusing, as I myself am something of a control freak. So hopefully this guide will be completely useful, as I will be drawing on my own personal interest. I do suggest doing additional research though, as I know my experience with this will be different to others, and in order to play any sort of character effectively requires a cross section of information.
Control Freaks have a compulsive need to control everything in their environment. They are often perfectionists, and have firm ideas on things, unable to be put off by even rational arguments. If they believe their way is best, they will see it done no matter what. Control Freaks like routine, and order. They will often have strict schedules and love to-do lists. Control Freaks have trouble delegating tasks, and often try to do everything themselves because they believe no one else will be able to do it correctly. Sometimes control freaks are like this in every aspect of their life, while others seem to be more relaxed about some things, but other things are very carefully controlled. They can be very over-bearing and hard to work with, but don’t necessarily realize they are coming off like that. They are single minded in that they are focused only on the task they are trying to get done, and often can’t see the bigger picture.
One important step in playing a control freak, is deciding how self-aware they are of these behaviours. Some have no idea how they are coming across to others, and have little control over their compulsions, while others may be aware of their issues, and struggle to fight their impulses because they know what that might lead to. When deciding how self-aware your character is, be realistic about it. The road to self-awareness is a long one, full of lots of stress, tears, and anxiety. It will not take just one person telling you that you are a control freak for you to try to change. Often, it takes an extreme break down in a relationship or someone reaching their lowest point in order to ignite the change in a person. Even then, you cannot change overnight. It takes a lot of hard work, and commitment. You need to work out where they are in their journey, and how the journey is affecting their behaviours. Sometimes being hyper aware of it can cause their anxieties to rise, while other times dealing with the anxiety helps ease the other behaviours. Like everything, each person is unique, and factors like their upbringing, personality, and environment will make a huge difference in how the control freak behaviours manifest.
While your character probably (or at least not at first) doesn’t have any clue as to why they act so obsessively controlling, you as the player need to know why they are this way, and what triggers their behaviours. When creating and developing a character with a control freak, you need to consider if their behaviours are
Once you have considered which category your character falls into, it will be much easier to determine how it manifests and what behaviours they do and don’t have. Doing some research here can really help. For example, if the cause is trauma, do some research on the physiological effects to make sure you are being realistic. If their control freak tendencies have not always been a part of their personality, it is a good idea to know who they were before, and exactly what has changed, and why that has changed.
DEALING WITH CONFLICT.
People with control freak tendencies are, for the most part, horrid at dealing with conflict. As already stated, they have trouble seeing the big picture, or beyond the idea in their head. Often times their fear of failure comes into play here, and they can be very irrational in their arguments. It is the other parts of their personality though, that will dictate exactly how they deal with the conflict, but just keep in mind they won’t be good at it, and it can often be their fault without them even realizing why or how they caused the fight.
REMEMBER: This is not who they are as a person, but one aspect of them. Each person has their own unique set of personality traits and a history that will affect how the control freak behaviours manifest. Consider all of this when developing and playing your character.