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Control Freaks

Confrontation looked down on? Check. Large-scale acquiescence? Check. Japan’s culture makes it easy for control freaks to take control. I feel that part of Japanese culture is knowing when not to take advantage of other people, a bit of self-constraint. But sometimes, for some people, that’s just not possible. Giving them free-reign to do so means they just take advantage of you, it’s one of the disadvantages of being a nice guy. You leave yourself open for being used.

The best control freaks are able to do so without your knowledge. Their influence seeps into your veins, controlling your every move without you even realising it. That’s why it’s so hard to know when you are under their spell. So, what to do when you have a realisation that you are being used like this? What is the ‘proper’ course of action?

Stand up for yourself. Call them out. Don’t just lie there like a sitting duck. But always remember to focus on the argument, never the person. Especially with control freaks, if you focus on the person, it will get them riled up, and when you’re riled up it’s impossible to change.

Stay calm, voice your concerns in a calm manner. Take your time when you do so too. Organise your arguments, and you’ll be fine. In the worse-case scenario, you don’t need to be with them. You can leave. Then the onus is on them to change.

Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi


Hi, I’m Tim Bunting AKA the Kiwi Yamabushi, a New Zealander who became a Yamabushi Ascetic in the Dewa Sanzan mountains of north Japan. I’m part of the Yamabushido team, and we host life-altering Yamabushi training on the Dewa Sanzan (website link). People come to us for the ultimate mindfulness experience, to reach the next level, or simply connect with nature and themselves.

I’m on a mission to summit all 100 Famous Mountains of Yamagata Prefecture to spread the splendour of this fabulous location, and in dedication to all those who lost their lives out in nature, including my father.

On my daily blog I post thoughts of a practicing Yamabushi that I hope people can use to better themselves and live as fulfilling a life as possible.

Sign up to the weekly Mountains of Wisdom newsletter, follow me on social (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, Clubhouse, all @kiwiyamabushi), or send me an email via the link below to stay in touch.



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Sakata City, Yamagata, Japan 


All photos my own. Contact for more. 

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