The Con Troll


Are you someone who feels fear or anxiety set in when things feel like they are not going to plan, when the unexpected happens or things look set to fail?

When things feel out of control for some of us this can be a really scary, unpleasant place to be for ourselves and often for other around us as well. Who have to contend with reaction such as anger, frustration, being ignored while we attempt to cool off or perhaps deal with distress or silence when we are limited in how or what to communicate to explain what’s going on for us.

Of course, it’s pretty common that when the picture we set out in our head, or the feeling we had hoped for or maybe even the results we wanted don’t pan out… naturally this is something that could cause concern, disruption or disappointment in our day.

The adverse effect for some people of having these moments where you feel out of control is to up the volume on control….turn it onto an extreme behaviour

Something I will refer as The Con Troll…. The Con Troll is a mischievous internal pet some of us foster inside us…..The Con Troll holds memories of the stuff that “went wrong” and it will make any attempt it can to avoid that happening again… It doesn’t let go of the time you tried to plan a party and a friend took over taking your glory….. It recalls when you let someone else order your meal only to be served last and when you ate your meal it had a hair in it….. The Con Troll is pretty certain that no one else can do the washing the right way…. and to ensure The Con Troll is right, it will ensure you notice when your partner continually does it differently to the “right” specification…..

Now when The Con Troll comes out to play maybe we feel ok at first, feel like you are taking action? And then there is a little deviation in “the plan” … The Con Troll is soon your worst enemy… the perfect con artist to get you into the zone of fear, anxiety, anger and distress when you feel like the world is against you and nothing goes right….. The Con Troll is a master at conning you. To believe that you cannot trust anyone, to believe that nothing will go right and that you have to shout extra loud, be extra bossy to get your messages across, feel extra anxious. … The Con Troll wants you to believe that by exerting these feelings by getting loud or running scared you have control of the situation. … What’s more … The Con Troll convinces you it’s strategy works because when all the drama is over, and calm is resolved you say to yourself.. Ok I sorted it.

The Con Troll can be an even more incredulous trouble maker as a manager in the work environment. Using tactics such as dissecting your colleague’s tasks only to take over and finish the job for itself. The Con Troll invites team discussions until it gets bored and then will boom heavily over everyone else ensuring instructions are heard clear from its viewpoint. The Con Troll likes order, which means that things will only ever feel safe if everyone else is following The Con Troll’s rules…even if the growing fear and distress of others who are genuinely losing control is overlooked.

In reality control that stems from fear, anxiety and resentment can easy get out of hand. If this feels familiar getting to the root cause of your Troll can be a useful way of choosing other techniques.

Things can be orderly, things can be safe. Problems can be resolved with energy and enthusiasm where anger and panic once set in.

Now no one really wants to lose control, I get that.. Mayhem and chaos are only favoured by a select few…. You can choose to lose The Con Troll though… and regain skills like leadership, curiosity….. you can choose an approach of “I am learning” where you needed once to “take over”.

Ultimately our feelings and behaviours are lead by the beliefs that we should do something with a view to getting the best outcome for us…. Sometimes that Con Troll can misguide us of what that truly is.. often leading to guilt, shame, regret at the way we felt or acted about something..

Learning to become comfortable with flexibility and change can be a freeing process…. You can retain your inner values, and ensure that you hold the part of your identity that is you at the core… without having to be dominated by needing to be in control. …

Letting go of stuff can be fun.


The person with the most flexibility will gain the greatest choice.


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