Sometimes we tend to think that everything is our
responsibility, that we're supposed to have our hands in
everything. This perspective not only tends to cause
us an awful lot of stress, but it affects other people as
well. We all have witnessed the micromanagers at
work, people who not only do their jobs, but also try to
tell others how to do their jobs to the most miniscule
This isn't a "live and let live" approach,
though--it's more like a "live and tell others how to
live" approach. It keeps others from being able
to do things on their own, in their own ways, often under
the threat of retaliation or firing or withdrawal of
affection. It keeps others on edge, uncomfortable,
I worked in a unit in the Army with a Commanding Officer
who was like this. In that situation, none of us
really had the right to do our jobs the way we had been
trained to do them; instead, we all had to do the best
that we could, knowing that this CO would show up
eventually and tell us to re-do our work, his way.
His interference (or meddling, to be fair) kept us all
from working effectively, and kept us all miserable at
work, for we never knew what was coming next. In
families, parents can have this effect, and in offices,
managers can; in schools, principals and superintendents
and even teachers can.
We all have our own responsibilities to take care of, and
when all is said and done, that's enough, isn't it?
Why do we so often feel that we need to tell others how to
take care of their responsibilities? When we do so,
we interfere in a very real way with the lives they're
trying to lead and the work that they're trying to do, and
don't they have the right to do what they're doing without
constant interference or meddling?