driven to obligation

When we are locked into imperative thinking, we hold our absolute conviction so tightly that we have little or no recognition of our choice to say no! Obligation becomes our driving force. Relationships with other people and our responsibilities to them then become matters of dread, resentment, guilt.

Our need for a structured, orderly life can be so powerful that we refuse to make allowances for choices. To us, circumstances are either black or white. Once we settle upon a conviction or preference, we feel rigidly obligated to abide by it, with little variation.

Imperative people are almost afraid to allow for the luxury of choices. We feel the need to minimize our risks by sticking to the rules that we have made for ourselves.

Les Carter, Imperative People: Those Who Must Be in Control