The Psychology of Stuff: Control

The second instalment of the mini series by Emma The Psychology Mum ❤️

Control

The world is a pretty chaotic place and often we have very little control over it. However, we do exert some control over our home and what we put in it. Control is a core component of many psychological disorders, which is not surprising as uncertainty can make us anxious and having a sense of control can make us feel more secure and reduce our anxiety. We vary in the degree we need control over our environments, and what may seem chaotic for one person may be comfortable for another. For many people having their house “in order” helps them feel more in control of the world and makes them feel more secure and calm. Of course, we are all different. So what order means for one person will differ to the next.

For some people, higher levels of anxiety can make us feel the need to exert more control. For other people, that sense of control says something about them as a person. We’re back to those schemas again. For example, your inner beliefs may tell you “if my house is tidy, then I am coping/ managing”. We may even have deep-seated beliefs that cleanliness makes us a good or better person as, after all,  that’s what those old sayings tell us, don’t they?

To be continued…