The Solution to a Controlling and Uptight Woman - Teal Swan Articles - Teal Swan Jump to content

The Solution to a Controlling and Uptight Woman

Society has characterized people as fitting into archetypes and has identified some of those archetypes as a problem. One of those problem archetypes is the uptight, controlling woman. Every week, I get messages from men asking me what to do about the controlling and uptight woman in their lives. But the thing is, most people are totally ignorant about what causes this behavior in a woman and therefore, are totally ignorant about what the actual solution is. So, let’s look at what causes a woman to be uptight and controlling. And let’s look at what the actual solution is. 

Control is a fear-based behavior. And people become uptight when their nervous systems cannot relax and unwind due to that fear and anxiety. If someone is controlling and uptight, they have experienced something acutely painful (usually not one time, but chronically). This experience (or chronic experience) is a trauma. In other words, distress without resolve. As part of this trauma, their needs were not met, especially the needs they have to remain in a feminine polarity. And they feel as if their only hope of avoiding pain (whatever they may be afraid of) is to go on high alert and to seize strict control over their environment and the people and things and routines in it. Doing so, is the only way they know how to taste a hint of safety and security.    

Knowing this, let’s break down some of the ignorant ideas people currently have about uptight, controlling women and what to do about them. 

  1. One of the most popular ideas is that the solution to a controlling, uptight woman is a laid back or carefree man. As if this is a match made in heaven because the theory goes that he will help her to chill out and relax and have fun. This could not be more wrong. In fact, I would go so far as to say that behind nearly every woman who stresses about everything, is a man who isn’t “phased” by anything. The very worst thing for a controlling, uptight woman is a laid back, carefree man. Why? Because a man who is carefree is not attuned to dangers. And does not take responsibility for them. He is not out ahead of her and around her as a buffer, anticipating potential consequences and dangers (whether those dangers are on a physical, mental or most commonly, an emotional level). Because of this, not only is she exposed, she is the one with the sole pressure to ensure safety/security. Controlling, uptight women are SUPER attuned to potential dangers. And if a man is not attuned to those dangers, she cannot trust him to account for them. Therefore, not only is she alone with that pressure, he has potentially become a liability himself. It is very common that women in this scenario gaslight themselves into thinking that the carefree man in their life is helping them to not be so fearful and swallowed up by problems all the time. This perception happens when the man in the woman’s life reassures her in a way that causes her to doubt her own estimation of reality. Sometimes, the reality is that a woman IS perceiving more danger than there actually is. But when this is the case, the absolute weakest response is to try to help her to chill out, rather than to get out ahead of her fears. But again, controlling, uptight women are SUPER accurately attuned to potential dangers.   

So that you can get that a carefree man is the exact opposite of what a fearful woman needs, here is an example. Shannon is in a relationship with Jabril. Shannon will tell you that she is so very thankful for Jabril because he helps her to not take things so seriously and shows her how to be less problem focused and more able to enjoy the moment. But Shannon has not become any less controlling or any less uptight. She struggles with constant worry and flips out anytime her sense of control is shaky and is also hyper responsible. 

Jabril wants to go climbing. And he would love for Shannon to come with him. Shannon immediately sees all the potential responsibilities and dangers involved in doing so. If they go climbing, the dog must go to a friend’s house during that time, otherwise the dog will suffer and pee and poo all over the house. If they ask a friend to watch the dog, that might put pressure on the friend and that may cause a bad emotional dynamic, such as “You owe me, because I watched your dog.” The car has to be filled with gasoline, otherwise they might get stranded on the side of the road. If they don’t bring food, she will get to the climb and both of them will have low blood sugar. There is a potential that if something goes wrong on the climb, one of them will get hurt, and that causes a whole cascade of painful experiences. So, she has to tell Jabril to go over the climbing equipment to make sure that nothing is missing and that the satellite phone is actually working. You get the point. Because of all of this, she is not easygoing. She is controlling and uptight. This drives Jabril a bit nuts. He reassures her so she will chill out and stop putting the brakes on his enjoyment. He tells her “come on, it’s going to be fine. We’ve got everything. I’ve got someone to come over and watch the dog. We can stop at the gas station on the way out.” 

Shannon feels self-conscious about her worry issue and about how not easy gong she is. So, she gets in the car and takes a breath and looks out the window and tries to enjoy the fall time color of the leaves. She actually does manage to enjoy herself a bit. For a while. Until she gets an angry text message from the neighbor that her dog is over at their property chasing the chickens. Shannon is flushed with shame and discomfort that she now has a conflict with the neighbor. Shannon flips out. And demands to know what the hell is happening with the plans Jabril made for the dog. Jabril says “I asked Matt (his friend) to come over to be with him for an hour after he gets off work. And he said yes. But Matt only gets off work at 3, so I thought the dog would be ok in the backyard for a few hours. It’s a really sunny day.” Shannon yells at Jabril. “What the hell… you know that he digs when he’s penned up in the yard.” Jabril responds “I didn’t think he would, he hasn’t done that for like months.” And just like that, Shannon’s uptight, controlling behavior is not only reinforced, it is increased. Jabril has taught her that he is incapable of being attuned to responsibilities, potential pains and dangers. It does not matter how much Jabril might be able to convince her to just look at the view or enjoy the act of climbing, Shannon becomes more and more uptight as a person. More and more controlling. Of course, Shannon likes to normalize the entire dynamic by saying things like “I think this is just how it is for most women and men, every woman I know feels like they have to be the one to stay on top of all of the details.” And “What I love so much about Jabril is he teaches me how to just appreciate the moment.” She has no idea that the big picture of reality (rather than the tiny moments where he does succeed in encouraging her to be less fearful, is that Jabril’s behavior is actually doing the exact opposite).     

Carefree men often lack masculine containment in their relationships. Their own sense of enjoyment, fun and personal peace, is often much more important to them than the actual emotional wellbeing of the woman in their life. And they often perceive containment to be an oppositional force to their own sense of enjoyment, fun and personal peace. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: Containment What a Woman Needs From a Man in a Relationship.               

  1. People think that what motivates a controlling woman is control in and of itself, and so they need to deal with their power lust and need for control over things, including over other people. Control is a symptom. In this case, so is the desire for power. Power is the ability to bring about what you want, which in the case of a controlling and uptight woman is the power to not experience painful things. Focusing on control in and of itself as the issue in this scenario, is the same as focusing on yellow skin as the problem, when someone has liver failure. Again, the problem is trauma and fear.    
  2. People think that the solution for a controlling, uptight women is for them to just figure out techniques for how to relax and go with the flow. But no relaxation technique will actually address the monster in the room. The reason why they can’t. This idiotic approach could be compared to teaching someone breathing techniques when they are floating downriver in a boat towards a waterfall. 

Now that you understand all of this, here are some solutions to a controlling, uptight woman. All of these solutions involve addressing the ACTUAL root of the behavior, which is fear created by past pain and potential future pain.   

  1. Get out in front of her and anticipate and buffer her from potential dangers. Your hyper-attunement to the dangers and actual problem solving of them, will not only cause her to trust you, it will cause her to relax and be able to enjoy. Why? Uptight, controlling behavior is a trust issue. And by doing this, not only have you demonstrated that you can be trusted, you have become an ally, rather than a liability to her safety and security. This, is what no one in her life was before. Uptight, controlling women do the very best with men that are really on their A game regarding responsibility and anticipating and accounting for dangers on a physical, mental and especially emotional level, so as to prevent those consequences and dangers. They do well with super responsible men who are on top of things. Figure out what she might be afraid of and what consequences or pain she might want to prevent and take ownership over those things. Preferably, before she has to tell you. Take responsibility of things. Do not put the pressure on her to get rid of the symptom, which would be to simply be less uptight and less controlling. 
  2. Women are not controlling by their nature. Control is rigid. They get controlling when things go very wrong relative to their needs. Uptight, controlling women have super unmet needs, especially the feminine needs (or shall we say the needs that are needed to be in the feminine polarity). Needs such as: Containment, protection, assurance, a sense of support from the people around her, trust, providorship, positive ownership, emotional engagement, commitment, joint effort, collaboration and security. These needs must be met for a woman to no longer be uptight and controlling. Therefore, come up with solutions for these needs to be met. Think about it, what would the uptight and controlling woman in your life be like if she had all of these things?                           
  3. Uptight, controlling women actually DO need a conscious, proactive way to be able to prevent painful things from happening. Most of what they are doing, is subconscious. It is an immensely beneficial practice for them to directly face what pain(s) they feel they need to prevent and to consciously problem solve how to do so. And NOT ALONE!       
  4. There is trauma underneath their behavior. When they get into uptight, controlling mode, they are actually feeling an emotional trigger. Within that trigger, is the trauma that needs to be resolved. One of the best ways to do this, is with The Completion Process. To lean more about this, you can read my book that is quite literally titled the Completion Process. But be warned. No amount of trauma that they resolve will make it so they don’t have the needs they have. You know, the ones they didn’t have that pushed them into controlling and uptight behavior in the first place.     

People seem to think that it is natural for a woman to be uptight and controlling. It is being normalized, especially in today’s world, where all the emphasis on women and men being the same, has caused men to drop containment and women to be expected to not have the female needs they have. Women are not going to outgrow these needs. Or to toughen up so they don’t need them. All you will end up with is no women. A woman being controlling and uptight isn’t natural. A woman only becomes controlling and uptight when things go very wrong. And the problem will not correct itself unless the real root of uptight, controlling behavior is actually seen, recognized and directly remedied.


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