Those who try to control other people are, simply put, not nice-and probably have deeper issues . Here are some ways to recognize a controlling person and respond accordingly.
- Think about your own actions. Do you often find yourself altering your own personality, plans or views to fit someone else's, even if you are a strong person? If so, you might have been dealing with a controlling person.
- Keep track of your relationships. A controlling person will try to cause trouble between you and your family or friends. This is in order to isolate you from others. Be sure to stay aware of these traits.
- Does the person ignore your experience? Controllers attempt to define your reality. If you say you're tired and the person says you're not, that's a good sign he or she is a controlling person.
- Notice people who get frustrated with normal questions. Controlling people often assume that they understand how you think, even when they actually don't. They may become frustrated because their constructed image of you is at odds with what you say.
- Be on the lookout for moodiness. People with moody personalities are often unhappy with their own lives and try to improve their situation by controlling others.
- Be aware of people who are don't seem to understand the word "no" and who will insist until they wear you down to make you give in. Remember it is your right to freely make your own decisions.
- Consider if you are often expected to change your plans for this person. Let's say you have your day all planned out and then you receive a phone call from a friend, and you tell them your plans. The person wants to join in with your plans, with the exception that your time doesn't work well for them, or maybe that isn't the place they want to go. The next thing that you know, your plans have totally changed. You end up seeing a movie that you didn't care to see, at a time that you didn't really care to go.
- Listen for compliments. Often people with control issues are not very good at giving sincere compliments. They do not want you to feel good about yourself because it may take control and attention away from them.
- Watch out for controlling people if you are very attractive, for they can make your life miserable. Your looks will become a handicap in a controlling relationship, for they probably have a jealousy problem too.
- Be on the lookout for not only moodiness, but temper outbursts by the other person when you disagree with them or don't do exactly what they want you to do. In their minds, you are challenging their authority over you.
- Remember just because someone is opinionated doesn't mean they are controlling. A good test to tell the difference between someone who is just very opinionated or controlling is if they willingly accept or tolerate differences between you and them and don't try to change any part of your core person or personality.
- While relationships are not democracies, neither are they dictatorships; seek a balance you are comfortable with.
- If you really love this person things can be much more difficult. Most people who are controlling always throw in the argument the words "you are the problem" or you have a problem." Nothing is ever their fault.
- They always use words like " do this" ", "if you leave", "you need to...", etc.
- They can be very generous and seem to give you lots of things. So you always feel like you're benefiting from them in some way and so owe them something. They then use that obligation you feel towards them to control you.
- Controlling people often have difficulty dealing with problems objectively and will manipulate the conversation to blame others when their own mistakes are pointed out. Be prepared to firmly make your point, then end the discussion without allowing the controlling person to successfully shift the blame to you or others.
- If you are a person who likes to control others, step back and take a long look at the stress that you may be causing someone else.
- When controlling personalities sense that they are losing control, they can psychologically induce physical problems such as back pain, stomach pains, fainting or hives. This is simply their way of gaining control of the situation again by gaining the attention, sympathy and concern of others.
- Controlling people often do not have close friends, and rarely are friends with others who are more attractive, intelligent, or well-liked than themselves. They tend to be jealous of popular, successful people, and will criticize those held in high-regard by others.
- Listen for compliments. Controlling people will rarely compliment others as this would divert attention from themselves and their desire to be the center of attention. Compliments, when given, are backhanded and actually point out some flaw or defect in the other person.
- Controlling people often demean or criticize others as a means of building themselves up and appearing superior and in control.
- Trust your feelings and try to be honest with yourself. Don't be afraid to reach out to others you trust for your emotional needs.
- Relationships and friendship are not built on who is in control.
- The stronger a person that you are, the harder a controlling person will work to tear you down. It's like an ego trip for them.
- A controlling person may try to control the way you dress and speak, or they may even criticize your opinion.
- Controlling people can be both male and female; both romantic and platonic. Be just as wary of a jealous friend who hates your significant other as you are of your significant other especially if your friend is unhappy with his/her romances.
- if you are being isolated or pushed into spending time with only "their" family and friends without respect to your feelings or wants.
- It is likely that a controlling person plays head games, in order to hide this major fault that they have.
- Special note: there is a big difference between being in control of one's self, and trying to control other people. Having good self-esteem is a good thing, the other isn't.
- If you are a strong, secure person you may over time start to feel a bit weird about how you can never be correct in much of anything around this person. Especially if it is a topic they feel they know a lot about. Listen to these feelings, they are there to guide you.
- Controlling people are very manipulative. They will not like it when you try to stand up for yourself about something that is important to you. Always try to stay calm in conflicted conversations and do not lose your cool. Keep in mind that they probably will because you are challenging their control. End conversations immediately if they start to get verbally violent either by leaving or saying goodbye and hanging up the phone.
- When possible, force yourself to distance yourself from someone you believe to be controlling you. Avoid conversations, interactions, mutual interests and friendships/relationships where you are in their presence. Doing so will allow you to gain a more healthy perspective about your life, as well as force you to seek out your own individuality and independence away from this person. Do not provide an explanation to this person for your need for these changes. That will only invoke more attempts at control since they will know what you're up to and their manipulations will prevail. Just make the changes. Remember that the problem of control is theirs and not yours. The goal is to liberate yourself, not fix the problem.
- The longer that you allow other people to control you, the weaker you may become.
- If you find yourself changing your interests to those of the other person or giving up former hobbies or friends - you are probably in a controlling relationship.
- Remember: we teach people how to treat us. If you find yourself constantly "giving in" to the other person, you are not being yourself and are being controlled.
- Set firm boundary lines of what is and isn't acceptable to you when dealing with a controlling person. They will push these limits to test you. Stay firm and don't back down.
- Just because someone has a forceful personality doesn't make them a controlling personality. The test is " DO they allow you to be yourself or do they unduly influence your behavior ". You should know this instinctively.
- Watch for people who try to play on the emotional side of you to gain your trust early in the friendship. Such as telling you what a hard life they had because they were bullied 6 years ago but they feel they can only trust telling you. Then when they find out what others have said to hurt you they'll bring it up constantly like
- "How did you feel again when you were cheated on? Don't you think that you did something to deserve it?" They will seem sincere and caring at first but then they bring it up and use it to subtly insult you until you agree with them. This is sort of a mind game, influencing you to think of yourself the way they want you to. You will often find yourself feeling upset, angry and deflated after a conversation and then they will try to persuade you to do other things they know you don't like.
Related Tips and Steps
Learn how to 'break the spell' of control with Patricia Evans' new bestseller. Already hailed by Oprah Winfrey, Controlling People deals with issues big and small - revealing the thought processes of those who seek to control in order to provide a 'spell-breaking' mind-set for those who suffer this insidious manipulation. Invaluable insight and advice for those who seek support.
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