101 Guide: How To Deal With Controlling People

Last Update on June 28, 2021 : Published on April 22, 2021
How To Deal With Controlling People

Do you know how controlling people look like or how to find if someone is actually controlling you???? Below statements might sound familiar if someone is trying to control you:

“Why did you do that? I asked you not to!”

“No, he’s not good for you.”

“You should eat this.”

“You didn’t tell me you had plans.”

“You should do it this way only.”

The problem with controlling people is that it begins with positive energies but after some time it becomes so toxic that it begins to affect your mental health.

Also Read: Replace Your Toxic Positivity Phrases With Validation | Get Out of “Good Vibes Only” Trap

Controlling people can be anywhere…maybe your partner, your parents, your best friend, your colleague, or your boss! If you’re dealing with a controlling person, you have stopped at the right place!

This blog tells you how to deal with controlling people or controlling personalities positively without facing any backlash. So, let’s get started…

Before starting with “how to deal with controlling people or people”…let’s understand the traits of controlling people.

Traits of Controlling People

Let me tell you… a controlling person could be anyone around you like your friend, spouse, boss, anyone. Therefore, before learning how to deal with Controlling people, it is really important to understand the reason behind their behavior.

Here are some explanations of controlling people traits and behavior that may help you to understand the reason behind their controlling personality:

1. Insecure

Insecurity is always the major reason behind someone’s controlling behavior. Does not matter how much trust or confidence you tried to maintain but there’s always the fear of insecurity or abandonment that makes them controlling in personality.

2. High-functioning anxiety

The height of achieving something rigorously always results in anxiety. Gaining the power or leadership of any organization and living it in the wrong way could reveal the symptoms of high-functioning anxiety.

To put it in a nutshell, when a person tries to control you with the help of a coping mechanism for creating safety of their own concerns and worries, it shows they carry a controlling personality. Moreover, they also have high-functioning anxiety.

[ To read more about, high-functioning anxiety, refer to High-functioning anxiety: What is it and how to cope with it? ]

3. Reduced self-esteem

Consecutively, controlling people have various severe mental issues like low self-esteem due to some reasons related to trauma or abandonment. Such people cannot believe that someone is meant for them; therefore, they try to control you so that you will never abandon them or leave them.

However, if you or your loved one is going through something like this, they require the help or support of a professional mental health provider. To connect with an experienced mental health provider from BetterHelp, click here.

4. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Past trauma and reduced self-esteem or self-image could lead to Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). If someone is trying to control you they might be surely going through something bad. However, the good news is…OCPD is treatable.

Ready to To connect with a mental health provider online?

Get Started Now

Signs of a Controlling Relationship

Traits of controlling people traits are more related to OCPD. However, if you’re determining someone synonymously a control freak or a different kind of controlling personality, then you can check these below signs of a controlling relationship before labeling their issues and concerns as “controlling”:

1. Constant check-in

People or people who are trying to control you will constantly check on you. Like, they will constantly ask when you will be back at home or when you are going to the market or when you will eat or when you will sleep. Hence, they will try to gain control of your everyday routine in their way.

2. More  gifts, fewer promises

A person whois trying to control you will try to flatten you with more gifts so that they can try to impress you. This sign is more observable in relationships or marriages wherein a spouse or partner tries to push their mistakes and issues under the carpet.

In this case, there are more gifts and fewer promises. They are totally trying to seek control over you. Additionally, this can also be a sign of a toxic marriage.

3. Concerned about your physical appearance

People who are trying to control will be more concerned about your physical appearance rather than fixing personal issues and concerns. Sometimes, out of jealousy or over-protective nature, your spouse might tell you to change your clothes or may stop you from attending professional meetings or parties. This sign is more observable in relationships, marriages, and family issues.

4. Control on your views

Whenever you try to put your point of view and someone dismisses it instantly, then it may be the 100% sure sign of a controlling personality. This sign is more observable in professional and personal areas. Your boss might try to dismiss your plans and views on presenting something that could be the sign of a domineering personality. Or your spouse may shush you in front of your family or friends; this could be also a sign of domineering behavior.

If you’re going through something like this, then getting help is really required. You don’t have to hide your feelings or emotions. If you wish to talk about it, you can connect with an expert to gain support.

How to Respond to a Controlling Person

Personally speaking, I have met a controlling personality a long time ago when I was a teenager. You know how immature decisions we make during teenage! However, I am glad that I could overcome that phase and live positively.

Similarly, if I can do it… so can you! Therefore, I am sharing some tips and ways to deal with a controlling person positively in this section

1. Communication

Clearly, if it’s your partner, ending the relationship is never the solution and I would never suggest anyone end their relationship without even trying. So, if it’s your partner, strong and proper communication can help.

If you really wish to improve and preserve your marriage or your relationship with the controlling personality, make them understand and tell them how adversely this behavior is impacting your mental health.

Avoid blame games, speak positively, and if they are trying to explain something, be a good listener and let their insecurities talk.

After having communication, if you are able to find a solution or a middle ground…voila you have saved your relationship and it’s time to set boundaries.

If in case, you are not able to fix it with the help of communication, let’s try to set boundaries or switch to another plan.

Related Read: Managing Conflicts in Relationship

2. Setting boundaries

If you and your partner are willing to give each other a second chance, please always remember, “You can always say a ‘no’ to a controlling person.” If you think your partner’s point was valid and it helped your relationship.

Then, try to set some boundaries, do not agree on everything, do not let his/her controlling behavior force you, try to reinforce and establish a mutual norm wherein you both are comfortable.

If your spouse or partner is continuously demanding and setting boundaries is not working then it’s time to say a clear “NO” and switch to another plan.

3. Don’t debate, instead take actions

If he/she is not listening to you and showing their overprotective concerns towards you…stop debating, stop yelling, instead take action. Do not waste your energy in explaining yourself. Trust me, it won’t change the controller’s view and mind. You can simply say, Period, and gently quit the conversation before it starts becoming toxic.

[ Related Read: Grey Rock Method: The New Way of Shutting Toxic People ]

Talking about actions, if your spouse, partner, colleague, the boss is bothering you…it’s time to take actions and include someone else from the authority here. In worse cases, you can include your lawyer too! In case of abuse, do not forget to seek the help of the police.

4. Seek help if required

If you’re going through something bad or abuse from a relationship or a toxic marriage then having someone at your back is really important. Therefore, always surround yourself with people who support you.

If you’re not able to handle it, seek help from a professional therapist or a counselor. To connect with an expert from BetterHelp, click here.

I hope this blog helps you to understand how to deal with a controlling person. Comment down and share your experiences with us when someone tries to control you or shows domineering behavior. For more such content, follow Calm Sage on all social media platforms.

Thanks for reading!

More power to you.

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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