How to recognize a controlling person?

A controlling person tends to feel threatened all the time, since all the changes that happen are potentially dangerous for his perfect planning.

Last update: 08 December, 2021

The aspiration of a controlling person is to have “everything in order, under control.” At first glance, there are those who will say that there is nothing wrong with it; after all, planning prevents many problems. However, when we analyze a little further, we see that behind that organization there is a lot of effort, tension and previous nerves.

The tranquility is sustained by a precarious balance and hangs by a thread, since any unforeseen threatens to break that perfect plan. This is exactly what controlling people fear. So, let’s see the signs to identify this way of being and how to deal with it.

What is a controlling person like?

A controlling person is characterized by dictating what is done and how, that is, defines all aspects of a situation, since that makes her feel safe. However, deep down he has an insecure personality; therefore, it seeks to be in control.

He attends to all the details in the extreme, since he does not know how to deal – nor tolerate – improvisations. The problem with being in a relationship with such a person is that they try to “tackle it all.” Thus, over time, the bond becomes overwhelming.

In fact, it can lead to unintended consequences. For example, in work environments, when there is a controlling boss, his employees are limited to responding to his orders, Instead of looking for innovation, go for creativity or make improvements. In this way, what at first seems a virtue, becomes the Achilles heel of these people.

The controlling person specifies every detail. In addition, he tries to manipulate those around him.

Characteristics of a controlling person

There are many signs that allow you to identify a controlling person. Some of the most frequent are the following:

  • Act like you’re protecting other people. In this way, he disguises his lust for control under a facade of interest or concern.
  • Deep down, these types of people have a permanent sense of insecurity, of “threat.” For this reason, he is very aware of those situations that are of interest to him, which causes him a constant experience of stress.
  • They are inflexible people, those who find it difficult to adapt to changes and unforeseen events. In general, they try to establish their own rules of the game. For this reason, they tend to be not very spontaneous.
  • They are insecure people with low self-esteem, although sometimes they seem to “eat the world.” They fear losing control and being exposed or people realizing how they really feel. So they always try to get ahead.
  • In some cases, They are very invasive people, who do not respect your privacy and that they may even ask you for the code of the cell phone, the computer, among other things.


What to do with a controlling person?

Learning to deal with situations with a controlling person can avoid uncomfortable moments. Some recommendations to act against this personality are the following:

Show character

Initially, It is important that you do not give him room to take control of your life or to assume a role beyond the one you want him to have. That is, avoid giving explanations of where, when, with whom or what you do, be it your partner, your friend or your father.

Don’t give explanations just to avoid confrontation, as you will end up getting tired. The more explanations you give, the more they will ask of you, so conflict will come at some point if the situation persists.

Put limits

Don’t be afraid to set limits. You need to assert your privacy and your rights. There will be details of your activities or stories that you want to share, but when and how, that’s up to you. When you do, act assertively and avoid violence. Do not put aside your needs and your desires.

Let go of the blame

Controlling people often hold others accountable and spread blame; don’t let that happen. Don’t try to explain yourself either, as they usually have a why for everything.

The other side of guilt is that, many times, this person uses emotional manipulation to try to get what you want. In this way, it generates guilt and pity in its interlocutor, who acts by doing what they are told. So learn to say “no” whenever necessary.

Strengthen self-esteem

Finally, it is also very important that you work on your self-esteem to be able to value yourself and make yourself respected. Sometimes you end up pleasing and giving in to avoid conflict because you think it “doesn’t cost you anything.” Therefore, the control begins to spread like water on sand.

When there is a person in control, on the other side there is someone who has a hard time setting limits. Therefore, it is important that you can also “break” with this place or role.

Strong self-esteem allows limits to be set for people trying to take control.


Extreme control is toxic

As we propose, having some control over life is positive, since it allows you to have a margin of safety, know how to act and not feel that you are “in nowhere.” However, this should not be confused with controlling other people’s lives; each has their own autonomy and the freedom to make their decisions.

Control often leads to conflict and is toxic to relationships as the environment ends up feeling overwhelmed. Of course, it is important to understand that it is not about black and white. Many times, behind certain behaviors there are stories that allow us to better understand why they are.

For example, in certain cases the need for control comes from the type of parenting received, such as authoritarian or rigid. In this sense, whether you are the person who seeks to exercise control or you are the one who is going through a similar situation, it is important that you ask for help to avoid damaging your mental health or that of those around you.

Finally, on the road to change, it is necessary to “whitewash” the consequences in one’s own health regarding wanting to be in control. And is that this derives episodes of anxiety, stress, depression and permanent tension, because not a single detail can be passed.

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