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How to Deal With Controlling People

Updated on August 1, 2014

Bossy, Manipulative People Can Drive You Crazy

I grew up with a very controlling father, mother and older brother. After that upbringing, I escaped and moved out on my own at 18, but I managed to marry way too young, and ended up with a paranoid, picky, unpleasant, petty, bully of a control freak who tried to erase me as a person, yelling and complaining at me and demeaning my accomplishments regularly. Yet, he was perfectly happy to let me work to support the family while he played video games for years. I stayed in the relationship, went to marriage counseling, stayed for the kids, and am finally extricated from that situation after 26 years.

Only as I've gotten older have I gained perspective on my life, and the pattern of controlling relationships in it. I read a bunch of books on the topic of controlling people, and am recommending some of the best here in this lens. It really does help to read several different books, as you can see the issue from various points of view. I wish I'd read these self-help books earlier in my life.

I always thought that it was me. I thought that if I just tried harder to please my husband, there would be peace. Now I realize that a main part of his controlling personality is that he couldn't be pleased. That's a big part of where he got his ability to control. It wasn't all me. I am a smart, insightful person. I am resilient, have good intuition, and have positive interpersonal skills.

Read some of the books you find here if you have a controlling person in your life. The earlier you recognize what's going on, the sooner you can decide how to handle it. These books will help you recognize the dynamics in such a relationship, as well as give you strategies to use.

Read on to find out how to recognize controlling behaviors, reasons you may be easy to control, and action steps to take to deal with a controlling relationship. There are also Youtubes and links to blogs and articles that may help you deal with controlling people.

Photo from @Morguefile.com

You can find controllers at home, at work, in friendships, and in many places.

Recognizing controlling behaviors is the first step in dealing with the problems caused by controllers. A controlling person will try to make you think that you cause the problems in your relationship. You find controllers in many places, and some of us, because we're nice, tend to attract controlling people. Maybe you had controlling parents. There are controlling lovers, partners, and spouses. Sometimes, a friend tries to control you. Then, there are controlling people at work, who try to exert undo power on all those in a department or company. No matter where you encounter a controlling person, it can be quite trying.

Photo from @Morguefile.com

This kind of behavior sets the stage for all kinds of abuse. - author Patricia Evans

How Do Controlling People Keep You Under their Thumb?

Not all controlling people are alike. However, many of them use similar tactics. Here are some common ones:

As soon as you start doing or saying something a controller dislikes, the manipulator will raise his or her voice or start complaining that you are being terrible, ungrateful, awful, or wrong in some way. Perhaps the controller will give a certain menacing, or disappointed, or hurt look. In other words, as soon as you start to assert yourself, the person will do something unpleasant. You, in an attempt to keep the peace and avoid conflict and unpleasantness, will likely fold, and comply to the controller's wishes.

Controllers may tell you what you think. They may also tell you what you feel. When you say you want something, they tell you that you really don't want it. When you tell them how you feel, they tell you you don't really feel that way. Most likely, a controller will never ask what you feel about anything. If you are asked what your opinion is, you will likely be cut off or interrupted by the controller, who will proceed to tell you what emotions and thoughts you are having. Perhaps, the controller will completely disregard your assertions, and talk right over you, saying what he or she thinks and feels. Or, they might "listen", and then completely disregard you.

Some controllers induce guilt. Some do it on purpose, and others do it unconsciously, but both do it in order to keep you in line with their purposes. They may use the silent treatment as soon as you assert your own wishes or needs. They may tell you that you are doing something just to make them feel bad. They might tell you you are being selfish, just because you are doing something that is in your own best interest. A controller knows exactly which buttons work to keep you going in the direction they want.

A controller won't make a lot of sense, but will insist that they are being logical, and you are being unreasonable. You might feel confused after being with a controller, and second guess yourself all the time. That's just the way a controller likes it.

"To put it bluntly, manipulators do not care about your feelings. They are out to serve one purpose: to advance their own interests and goals, frequently at your expense. If you benefit from a manipulative relationship, it is merely accidental."

- Harriet Braiker, author of "Who's Pulling Your Strings?"

I Can't recommend This One Highly Enough! - Controlling people can just hang it up after you read this book.

Who's Pulling Your Strings?: How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life
Who's Pulling Your Strings?: How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life

This author and therapist writes so clearly. She cuts through all that emotional, weird confusion, and lays things out so you get it. You really, really get it, and you won't be tasty bait for any more controlling people, because you'll recognize their tactics. I can't recommend this highly enough!

 

Arm Yourself Against the Wolves - Uncloak Controlling Behaviors

Read the reviews on this one. Uncloak that sneaky, expert manipulator. If you know something's not right, and you always wind up doing what you don't want to do, and you feel confused by a relationship, this book can help. It clearly identifies the tactics used by controllers, and clearly gives you practical actions to use in self defense.

A Classic About How to Deal with Controlling People

Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal with People Who Try to Control You
Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal with People Who Try to Control You

This one explains what's going on. You'll recognize what's happening in your own relationship with a controlling person. Many people recommend this book as a top pick.

 

If You Had Controlling Parents...

If you did grow up with controlling parents, you must read the first book listed here called "If You Had controlling Parents." It has had a profoundly positive effect on me and my understanding of family dynamics as I grew up. It gives strategies for claiming your own place in the world, and is highly encouraging!

Controlling behavior and emotional abuse can come from a variety of relationships.

Reasons You May Be Easy To Manipulate and Control - Why Are You a Target?

It's OK. It happens to the best of us. Literally. It is usually the nicest people, those who are TOO nice, who end up being controlled and manipulated.

You have to know how and why controlling people find you an easy target. Here are some of the main reasons:

  • You don't want conflict. You will go to great lengths to make sure that it doesn't happen. Unfortunately, all a manipulator has to do is start making conflict unless you comply with his or her wishes.
  • You are a people pleaser. You perceive your identity and self-worth as being able to make everybody else happy. The controller just expresses displeasure, and you fold, bowing to his or her desires.
  • You care about keeping the relationship more than your controller does. The controlling person knows this. Therefore, the controller takes advantage of you, secure in thinking you will never leave.
  • You give your controller the benefit of the doubt. You won't believe that the manipulator is being selfish and that he or she does not care about your well-being. You think that he or she is just misguided in being so difficult to live with. You likely think you can change the controlling person by explaining to him or her how their behavior affects you. Guess what? You are wrong, wrong, wrong. (See the Harriet Braiker quote above.)

Why Don't you Just Leave?

Just "Pick yourself Up By Your Bootstraps."

If you haven't been there, you might not understand why we put up with a controlling relationship for way too long. There are lots of reasons why. In my case, I stayed because by the time I matured, wised up, and recognized the situation for what it was, I already had three children. There was no physical abuse, and only "minor" abuse of drugs and alcohol, so I felt that I didn't have a "right" to break my wedding vows and break up my family, just because I was miserable.

My husband was happy. My kids were happy. I had been raised to believe that my feelings did not count. I was raised to believe that it was "selfish" to want anything for myself. On top of that, my Christian belief system highlighted the self sacrificial example of Jesus, and the sanctity of marriage. Always put others first and yourself last.

My Dad had yelled a lot and been selfish and awful because he didn't know how to handle his emotions, so when my husband did that, it felt like what I was used to. My parents had actively taught us that feelings don't matter. Add it all up, and you get me: a confused person trying to do the right thing, and being walked on.

I was actively suppressing my feelings a lot. Whenever I asserted myself, my ex bullied me verbally. Yes, I tried all kinds of things to stand up to him, and he was an expert at being intolerable as soon as I did. We had been to counseling several times. The strategy that had some measure of "success" was to avoid him and just do my own thing, becoming successful professionally and personally in my own right.

I planned to leave when my kids were old enough and out of the house, and that's what I did. It was difficult to keep myself there. I had to struggle not to leave. I can only hope that it was helpful to my children. Some who have not come from a family background that made them susceptible to a controlling relationship will no doubt think the whole thing is easier than it actually is. Unfortunately, that's too simplistic. When you are in it, you are likely to be confused by the manipulation of the controller. Or, as in my case, you may stay to keep the family intact in an attempt to do what's best for the kids.

It is essential for many of us to read a clear author's expert analysis of this type of relationship. Books can be a guiding light of clarity that help us see the smoke and mirrors for what they are. Everyone's story is different, yet there are commonalities that are important to understand and address. If it were as easy as "picking yourself up by your bootstraps," I would have been gone from the marriage years and years earlier. It doesn't matter how intelligent you are. There are emotional, societal, economic, and religious aspects to "just leaving" that need to be taken into consideration.

Working on Yourself...

These books help someone who doesn't want to be taken advantage of by a controlling person anymore.

So, How DO You Deal With Controlling People? - Action Steps to Foil Controllers...

  1. Read and learn all you can about the dynamics of controlling relationships. Once you understand what's happening, you can see it coming, and stop it or avoid it.
  2. Be willing to incur some unpleasantness in the name of saving yourself. Do what is in your own best interest anyway, even though your controller will be upset. Don't go along to get along. Conflict is absolutely necessary, and may save you.
  3. Say no, and calmly stick with your decision.
  4. Name the behavior that your controller is doing. If he or she is giving you the silent treatment because you want to go somewhere with a friend, then say it out loud. "You are giving me the silent treatment because you don't want me to spend time with my friend." Naming the behavior at least gets it out in the open, and it becomes less of a covert thing.
  5. Accept the fact that the controlling person wants his or her way at your expense. The person does not care about your best interests. This is hard to accept, but it is the truth. Stop denying it.
  6. Leave if you have to. Be willing to leave the relationship or the job or the friendship if the controller does not stop the negative, manipulative behaviors after you have changed your behaviors.
  7. Figure out what you want, and assertively go after it. You have a right to be yourself and determine your own path.

Do You Have a Schema That's Not Helping You?

Something Else to Think About...

If you seem to attract controllers, you may find it helpful to look into schema therapy. A schema is a set of beliefs that automatically runs in the background throughout your life. A schema is a belief like, "My feelings aren't important," or "I must be perfect, " or something like that.

A schema or two that's not examined and addressed can be very destructive in your life. It can allow controllers to have their way with you, almost unchallenged. Below, find some links for more about schemas.

Stopping Bullies and Control Freaks at Work...

Often, people with a need to control become bullies at work. Get these books to help stop this phenomenon and bring out the best in your workplace dynamics.

Controlling behavior is a type of emotional abuse.

Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder - Some Controllers May Have This...

This is different from OCD, which is characterized by ritualistic behavior. OCPD is a need to be right, a rigidity in thinking, and a desire to control. My ex could be a poster child for obsessive compulsive personality disorder. When I came across this description of the disorder, I was amazed that there was a name for it. Not all controlling people can be described by OCPD, but some can be.

Emotional Vampires - People with personality disorders hurt others.

The metaphor works well. People with personality disorders are emotional vampires who will suck you dry if you don't know better. This book is your valise of garlic, mirrors, and mostly sunlight to recognize emotional vampires and render them harmless.

Do You Know Someone Who Tries to Control You?

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    • Joan Haines profile image
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      Joan Haines 3 years ago

      @AmyLOrr: Glad it helped. You're way ahead of many of us to recognize control when

      you see it at twenty years old. Go, Amy!

    • Joan Haines profile image
      Author

      Joan Haines 3 years ago

      Love that pig quote. So true. I wish you well. Thanks for the advice.

    • profile image

      mrfishr84 3 years ago

      Very helpful. You could've been writing about our sister-in-law the past 8 years of our marriage. We are finally addressing it, and though it is painful, it will be worth it. The trick is to be calm, consistent, and very firm and clear. My dad always said 'never wrestle with a pig - you both get muddy and the pig loves it' Great article.

    • Joan Haines profile image
      Author

      Joan Haines 3 years ago

      @AmyLOrr: You are quite ahead to already be able to see what's going on at twenty years old. Wonderful.

    • profile image

      AmyLOrr 3 years ago

      Yes, a few people in fact. But now at twenty I know and recognise that kind of behaviour and try to avoid letting people like that into my life. Thank you for this great lens, it was much appreciated and so helpful :)

    • Joan Haines profile image
      Author

      Joan Haines 3 years ago

      @fedupwithitall: We can set boundaries and not be controlled, though. The way I gained perspective and skills is through reading a lot about controlling people.

    • Joan Haines profile image
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      Joan Haines 3 years ago

      @anonymous: It was something I just had to write.

    • Joan Haines profile image
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      Joan Haines 3 years ago

      @anonymous: I wish you peace and love and happiness.

    • Joan Haines profile image
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      Joan Haines 3 years ago

      @fcinternetmarketing: I hope this perspective and the books I recommend help some people.

    • Joan Haines profile image
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      Joan Haines 3 years ago

      @Flowerchild1946: I hope it gets better for you two.

    • Joan Haines profile image
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      Joan Haines 3 years ago

      @BigRedDomino: May you have continued success.

    • Joan Haines profile image
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      Joan Haines 3 years ago

      @ConvenientCalendar: You're right. Fear plays a big part.

    • geosum profile image

      geosum 4 years ago

      Great treatment of the subject. By now, at 76, all my controlling people are long gone.

    • profile image

      fedupwithitall 3 years ago

      I find 80% of the people I meet are control freaks. And being male, it appears as though most of them are women. But that's probably because I don't deal with as many men and the population of women is greater than that of men where I live. It leaves me not wanting to deal with most people. I have no clue as to what their agendas are. I work at home, am self-employed and socialize almost not at all. Most human beings today just cannot be trusted.

      This is my take on things and please, I am not being sexist by my statement up above. This is only my life experience as a man in his late 40s. I'm very down-to-earth, honest and let people be who they are. But I don't get the same treatment back, so I ignore most people.

      Thanks for letting me say my piece.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Thanks for this Lens much aprieciated

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Very informative and helpful as I am still living with such a person and wanting to leave but held down by constant guilt after 26 years of marriage and 2 teenage children now whom are also telling me to leave their father. Just crazy why I am still here looking for what... I do not know... to finally leave him!

    • profile image

      fcinternetmarketing 4 years ago

      Informative and useful.

    • Flowerchild1946 profile image

      Carol Brooks 4 years ago from Florida

      Yes! My daughter is extremely manipulative and controlling. She learned it from her father, who I was married to for sixteen years. She is almost 40 years old and acts like she is the mother and I am the child. Yikes!

    • HSP Connections profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 4 years ago from Port Townsend, WA, USA

      Well, my mother used to... but she has passed away. Everyone in her immediate environment was only allowed to be there IF they subscribed to the world according to her perception.

    • BigRedDomino profile image

      BigRedDomino 4 years ago

      Indeed! I'm practiced in the art of NOT GIVING THEM THAT POWER though...or at least I would like to think so :)

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      It is tough when dealing with controlling people, if they control the relationship you are ok, if they can not, they hate you! It is really bad, but the root of control is fear! Great lens and needed topic! I think you will like my relationship quiz!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes I do I have been with him for about 7 yrs and he's has no respect for me or my family he complains about everything blames me and yells and embrassed me public he doesn't help me at all if he doesn't have he's way he will leave me and our son behind he's life and friends come first before he's family he left and went bck to he's own flame and wanted he's family bck he's do egotistical low class and he would use our son against me he's hating on me cause of he's past I have help him when he didn't have a plc to go food money clothes etc when it comes to days or holidays nothing only my son hrs buying my son affection and he's a kid and its eaier but me no chanes no way im so over him I'm ready for real man with a beautiful heart who can love me gor me I want better and deserve better

    • NuttSoRuff profile image

      NuttSoRuff 4 years ago

      So honest...thank you for sharing such an important topic.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 4 years ago from Perth UK

      A fantastically honest and thoughtful lens. Thank you. I'm sure you will help so many people to free themselves of controlling relationships - one of the best lenses I've seen.

    • wahponywoo2 profile image

      Steven 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      Wow ... great subject matter! For some reason I seem to attract controlling people like bees to honey... I have be told it is because I am too easy going ... hmmm

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Everyone needs to know how to deal with a controlling person. Thank you for this.

    • dickscott profile image

      dickscott 4 years ago

      From my experience this is an issue that's unfortunately not spoken about so much. More often people live in a relationship where one control another; in other words a relationship based on fear not love as it should be. You got to have a lot of courage and strength to step up and break this pattern that hold you down, otherwise your not really living just existing on some others rules then your own. A key to break with this is to have good and honest friends that see and say when somethings wrong; and can support you.

    • profile image

      JayDiesel 4 years ago

      I've had a controlling boyfriend in the past, I believe it just shows how insecure someone is. I think it's best to let that person go.

    • priscillab profile image

      priscillab 4 years ago

      Coming across this lens again is very weird as I am currently re-visiting these issues. Thanks for a personal but informative look at how to escape this damaging behavior.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      OMG, I just came off a 9-week contract assignment in which the gal directing us was a micromanager and control freak. She made it a very tense work environment ... I finally succumbed and ended the assignment early. Couldn't imagine 6 months or more of a controlling person and nitpicker. I pray for her!

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 4 years ago

      Great lense! I have read the book "Why Does He Do That" and would highly recommend it to anyone who thinks (or knows) they are in an abusive relationship. The book is amazing.

    • nanafisher profile image

      nanafisher 4 years ago

      I have a bully at my part time job. The lady is with child so I am trying to be patient with her and hopefully she will soo be out of my space having her baby.

    • spellbindingsis profile image

      spellbindingsis 4 years ago

      In my past it happened, thankfully that relationship ended quite fast. No one should treat you like an object.

    • JimboBimbo profile image

      JimboBimbo 4 years ago

      Wow! Fantastic Lens... and it's actually made me think in more detail about a couple of people currently in my life, and especially one. I recognise many of the above "symptoms" being displayed on a daily basis and always assumed that perhaps it was simply me being over-sensitive.

    • heytoto profile image

      Karen Kolavalli 4 years ago from Lexington, Kentucky

      Useful info--thanks for your thoughtful lens. If you're not familiar with John Cleese (yes, THAT John Cleese!) and psychologist Robin Skinner's books, you might want to take a look. I return to them again and again. "Families and How to Survive Them" and "Life and How to Survive it." They're both available on Amazon.

    • Felicitas profile image

      Felicitas 4 years ago

      Great lens. I definitely give people the benefit of the doubt far too often. No matter how many times I'm proven wrong, I just don't want to believe that people are being deliberately cruel.

    • profile image

      elizbathmartin 4 years ago

      This is really a nice idea thanks for sharing this useful information with us. Keep writing amazing article like this and help the people to exploring the world .

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This is a brilliant Lens. I have been controlled for years by an ex and his mother whom controls him. Not many people understand what it is like and how it does have an effect on every one in that persons life. Its like dominos some times. She controlles him so he becomes the spit of her and controls his wife or partner I.E Me, the mothers wants and needs come before the wifes. So when they have kids the kids are used as a constant weapon to hurt the non controller. I am still controlled no in certain ways but I am determined to fight it!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been with a controlling person all my life, first my father, then my husbands. Yes, husbands. My father controlled my mother and sisters. Being girls, we were never good enough, did nothing right and were rarely praised for what we did. Whenever something went wrong at home, my mother was blamed, or we were. At 21 I left home with my boyfriend and we got married. I was too young, and did not recognize my husbands behaviour as controlling as well. The mariage did not last long. I was very insecure, and vulnerable and suffered from anxiety attacks. I could not stay alone, and met my second husband while I was separated. Again, I had a controlling person in my life, but I turned a blind eye because I did not want to stay alone. It has been 25 years, and have lived with a controller all these years. He is not physically abusive, but does make me feel guilty for certain things, like his moods. My feelings do not seem to matter very much, and when he is verbally abusive, tears don't matter. I have become used to this of course, and have always let these behaviours pass so as not to "rock the boat". I have wanted to leave many times, but always feared being alone and coping on my own. I met someone many years ago, and this person has helped me become stronger and more independent. I have no fear of being alone any more, but feel sad that I would end another mariage. My husband and I are both retired, and ending another mariage would be a financial disaster for both of us. I feel that it's best for me to simply cope and leave things as they are. Life is not always dark, but there are moments when I feel worthless and to leave would be best. It is a very difficult decision at this stage in my life.

    • maryseena profile image

      maryseena 5 years ago

      Of course I do. But I try to keep a safe distance and not let her lord over me. But occasionally, though sometimes things don't go as planned. What is most irritating is that the tormentor is blissfully unaware of the pain she is causing by simply interfering in another person's life!

    • DeepaVenkitesh LM profile image

      DeepaVenkitesh LM 5 years ago

      Do I? OMG! I have become more patient but sometimes lose control

    • BlackSunflowerB profile image

      BlackSunflowerB 5 years ago

      Yes.

    • profile image

      greenlungsofpoland 5 years ago

      Oh do I ? after a 13 year abusive relationship, I like you managed to break free... but maybe I will save that for another lens! great lens love the sentiment and I can relate well done for sharing! much love x

    • profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      @sibiana: Sibiana. Never think it is you! Controllers will do what it takes to keep their power.

    • profile image

      mecheshier 5 years ago

      This is an amazing Lens. Unfortunately many people "keep the peace" which only gives the controller more power. I am guilty and learned the hard way. Thanks for the share!

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Thank you for a great lens. Presses a few buttons here...

    • meltyourmansheart profile image

      meltyourmansheart 5 years ago

      Very good lens. I don't have a problem saying no and sticking with it.

    • profile image

      sibiana 5 years ago

      Sometimes it feels like EVRYONE tries to control me, however my boss at work is the worst. What is wrong with these people? Or is it me?

    • WebWriteGirl LM profile image

      WebWriteGirl LM 5 years ago

      This is a great lens and has been an informative read. Thanks!

    • WebWriteGirl LM profile image

      WebWriteGirl LM 5 years ago

      This is a great lens and has been an informative read. Thanks!

    • christylsalas profile image

      christylsalas 5 years ago

      This lens touched very close to home for me and I'm sure it has for others too. Thanks for sharing the personal story along with the informtion. Great job!

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      My ex was the most selfish control freak I've ever known, not as first of course or I'd never have married him. Back then he was quite charming. But over the years transformed into this evil being, truly a nightmare.

    • Jennifer-Soldner profile image

      Jennifer Soldner 5 years ago

      Wow, I'm pretty sure you are specifically talking about my family. I recently had to cut ties with my parents for this purpose. The emotional abuse was not obvious to me, as it was all I knew for so long, but once it is realized, so much can become clear. I hope this article helps some others who are unaware that they are being manipulated by loved ones. Thank you for writing it!

    • Howcanigetagirl profile image

      Howcanigetagirl 5 years ago

      Not really.... maybe I'm too busy trying to control my hubby that I haven't noticed lol! Seriously though.... good job on highlighting a type of abuse that very often becomes accepted and overlooked.

    • Totus Mundus profile image

      Totus Mundus 5 years ago

      Controlling people get away with it, because they are very rarely challenged over their behaviour. People tend to pussyfoot around them, so their behaviour is reinforced and there is no incentive to change. I choose to have minimal contact with them.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Controlling people are also called narcissists, or with a narcissistic personality disorder. They are self centered individuals with an overinflated opinion of themselves and need to manipulate people in order to exist.

      They use people as mirror images of their personal idea of what they should be like or to gain whatever personal advantage, being social status or material accomplishments. To their eyes, people are empty shells to fill with themselves in order to achieve their means.

      They are a person's soul vampires, sucking the life out of their victim for their own purpose and personal interest. They accomplish this through violence (verbal or physical) and more often through manipulation or emotional blackmail.

      In short, they are psychopaths who fear and are neutralized only by one thing: isolation.

    • shahedashaikh profile image

      shahedashaikh 5 years ago

      Yes I do.Fortunately my parents were not the controlling type but present situation is that my spouse is controlled by his family for monetary gains,so indirectly I feel also controlled to a certain extent.

      I try not to let their overbearing and dominating attitude get to me but sometimes it does.Your lens is helpful and one can gain insight.

      Thanks for visiting my lens free masks and blessing it.

    • SecondSally profile image

      SecondSally 5 years ago

      I certainly have known some that used guilt.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My husband continually gets his own way. I have been an enabler of his behaviour. Working and running the household. For the most part I have been the bread winner also. Not all that long ago I put my foot down. The performance he put on would have won an award. He was so horrible to me. Ever since then Ihave looked at him in a totally different light. I don't think I can continue with this marriage for much longer.

    • profile image

      SteppingRasor 5 years ago

      I do and he makes my life hell. Psychopaths, that`s what they are. Great Page!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Dot, get out of there. I was married to somebody just like your husband. He never stopped complaining for a day, and I never did anything right. What a relief the day I began living my own life. I also had a baby of 14 months to care for, and was worried about that; but here she is, 28 years old with two university degrees. And I am as happy as a lark. Bless you!

    • vegan3k profile image

      vegan3k 5 years ago

      My mother Is like that.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @davidangel: This is a revelation for me.

      I am in the UK and have spent the past 4 hours reading these pages. Until I had read these pagesI was caving to her all the time. The past few months I have felt suicidal at timeseven imagining and picturing doing it.

      Having read these few pages this evening, I now understand. I understand that my wife of 14yrs is NPD and BPDand dare I say it just plain evil. It is often mooted men marry women who are like their mothers I didI recognise the signs of how my father was treated and how I was treated (badly) as a child. Ive never had the courage to say this everalways believing I am wrongan abject failure because I am told that so often.My father stayed till the very end precisely to protect mehe died of ill health too soon and even during this time still was attacked. I am experiencing the exact same thing.and I see that now. I see it in clarity tonightfor the first time ever.

      The latest attack tonight.just a day after our dog had died and left my 13yr old daughter distraught, she was telling me to goI begged please, not before Christmas please don't do this to (our daughter) doesn't need this right now. That was a big mistake saying that but for the first time in my married life I stood up to her. This did for a period of about 30 seconds actually render her speechless and I admit, it felt good.

      I am very grateful for having now read these pages and read comments.

      Every trait I have read about I now recogniseI think my wife has all these traits multiplied to the power of 10. Nothing I do (main bread winner, housework, all the things I have done with our daughter cos she wants to sit on her fat arse and watch TV) is either recognised or even acknowledged. Once in a while she will catch me and say you're just no bother (when I offer to do dishes or something) thinking wow, shes great. I now realise this is a trap to later use against me in that I never do the dishesWTF!!

      Thankyou everyone here.thankyou for putting clarity in my mind.

      I am in a bad place.but I want to stay put to keep my daughter protected and give her some kind of stability until she is an adult. I capitulate all the timebut maybe now, if I keep reading the information here, I may be better placed to protect myself.

      Cheers,

      H

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My husband

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I understand how you feel, but you need to take baby steps to get out of there. Read about Narcissitic Manipulation Disorder. I woke up to the hard fact that my husband not only doesn't love me, but he's not capable, nor interested in doing so. In fact, this is all just a game to him. Everything he says is a mirror. I told him that if you are feeling depressed or suffering from low self esteem perhaps it's because you have assholes in your life. He said, "I know. I've been living with one for four years." This morning what set him off was that I hadn't filled the Brita with water before he woke up so I am a lazy fat ass who has to have three jobs and he makes more collecting his unemployment then I do working. I don't cook and I don't clean...blah, blah, blah..... Any change is temporary. I thought I could live like this till my daughter is old enough but I find myself time and time again back to where I was with him. Telling my daughter to not make noise, not to make waves, to listen to her father, while he's calling her stupid, troublemaker, worthless and a number of other things. I wish you luck, David.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 5 years ago from New York City

      Plenty. They are noticeable by their frustration.

    • Joan Haines profile image
      Author

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      @anonymous: David, please do get help. Destroying yourself is not the answer. I hope you will find peace in your life.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi there,

      I "woke up" earlier this year to the fact that my wife of 12 years controls me. So it's been about 8 months since the realisation really hit me. It was a shattering moment.

      I resolved to either fix the relationship (make it equal) or leave.

      So far I have not been able to fix it to my satisfaction. I've been to counselling, I've taken the advice and brought up all the issues with my wife. So far there have been some improvements, but I see now that she is unable to change completely. Some of the behaviours have improved, but not sufficiently to say it's much better.

      I resolved to leave a few months ago, but then I had a break down because I was unable to cope with the prospect. My wife found me in the bath after I had taken 4 sleeping pills and had drunken a bottle of wine.

      I'm not sure what to do... it's so hard for me to leave. I am obsessed with this issue... I just don't know what to do anymore. I think I need help.

      David.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Sounds like he has narcissistic personality disorder

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Dear ivy. I am sorry you are suffering. Try looking up narcissistic personality disorder. I think it is a term to describe him.please understand that you need to reclaim yourself and your life.

    • davidangel profile image

      davidangel 5 years ago

      @cathybeams: "the best way to predict future behavior is by past behavior." I have to agree with the good doctor. This also applies on a spiritual level, it is known as "karmic propensity". That is, if a given individual has made poor choices in past lifetimes, they are more likely to continue to make them in this, and future lifetimes.

      I found muscle testing to be a great way to determine karmic propensities both in oneself and others, and made a lens to describe my experiences.

      https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/how-to-te

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      cathybeams 5 years ago

      Clearly defined and enforced boundaries are necessary for a healthy relationship. The power is ours to decide how we allow others to treat us. Dr. Phil says something that I have discovered to be very true and that is "the best way to predict future behavior is by past behavior." Abusers usually do not stop abusing their victims unless they no longer can get by with doing it. When they have lost what they had, some do hit rock bottom and realize that they need help, but this is not the norm, and it takes time for someone who has the disposition to control others to learn how to let go of the tendency.

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      tim-schultz-716 5 years ago

      @anonymous: very interesting subject. I have been in a relationship where my wife controls the family and does a great job of showing a picture perfect entity. The family has it together and we are fun except I am dying and she is frustrated. She is frustrated because we are not intimate and I am frustrated because it feels like i am being screamed at and told the way things should be and that her ways are the best and mine are not. She does make sense a lot of . the time. I think being right is not enough it is more important to be a wife.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My husband plays God. He controls me like a kid and acts like my life would be worthless without him. He yells @ me, calls me names and beats me like I'm a kid.......I'm trying to create a word that defines him ( Mean, manipulative, controlling, perfect to a fault, too difficult to please)

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      venesia 5 years ago

      This is a great post. There is so much controllers out there and when you tell them. They always say "am not controlling" and worst they will never say sorry.

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      philipcott 5 years ago

      Nice

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have been dealing with a boyfriend who has been doing this to me for months now. He adored me at first, but after a year began subtley controlling me. I was always wrong, always trying to push his buttons, always trying to "control" him! If i ever express any sort of discomfort or unhappiness about his inconsiderate actions I receive the silent or treatment, but only after her blows up on me. There is absolutely no communication. On top of that "everyone I know" is "stupid" and I had to quit my job and change my phone number because they all just want to "have sex with me." You don't realize what is happening until it is too late and you are miserable!

    • davidangel profile image

      davidangel 5 years ago

      My ex-wife was a control freak. After we divorced she alienated my children from me, in all effect abusing them. I wrote a lens to help raise awareness on this subject: http://www.squidoo.com/parental-alienation-syndrom...

    • mbasa79 profile image

      mbasa79 5 years ago

      I watched a relative of mine being controlled in a relationship for years. The boyfriend would dictate who she can be friends with. He alienated her from us and would push her to befriend people that he knows from his side. The situation caused quite a rift in the family as we would always turn out to be the bad ones when we try to advise her. Thanks God she finally saw the truth and got out of the toxic relationship although it did take her 12 years to see the light.

    • NAIZA LM profile image

      NAIZA LM 5 years ago

      I very much agree. Such an eye opener for anyone who is experiencing this kind abuse in their life. What a great find. ~Blessed.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: That is EXACTLY what my husband says and does to me ALL the time!!! :((

    • hijess profile image

      hijess 5 years ago

      I was young too when I found my way into a relationship with a controlling man. 9 years later and I'm still fighting for control of my own life! They are not easy to deal with and it scares me when I read stories of men who get violent (even going as far as killing children) to maintain as much control as possible over their victims.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My wife loves the term "that's not it at all" when I express my feelings about something she has said or done. Trying to dismiss my feelings and telling me how I should feel

    • Ahdilarum profile image

      Ahdilarum 5 years ago

      My boss is controlling too much, as he was controlled the same way by his boss..

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      hln6688 5 years ago

      well yes my father he don't listen , he said I want you guys to talk with me to discuss me but when an event happen in the home and we "his children" try to say our opinions he wouldn't listen . he's a good father and he raise us in a good way and always protect us . but this thing in his personality make me nervous and angry with him

    • Vortrek Grafix profile image

      Vortrek Grafix 5 years ago

      Unfortunately, controlling people are everywhere. Some are flagrantly obvious in their egotism, while others mask their need to control people through passive aggression. Based on your your writing style, you seem to be a caring and giving person. That is wonderful and more people should be that way. Too bad that controlling people tend to sense these qualities and are attracted to them out of self-interest, especially in relationships. In a professional situations, passive aggressive control is more likely, also out of self-interest -- as the controlling person can not be too obvious around others. Self-confidence goes a long way towards relieving the stress factor in those situations.A truly objective person knows when they are treated unfairly, and does not assume blame for it. Life being what it is, it is not always possible to get away from these situations immediately. Never lose focus though. With self-confidence, determination, and resourcefulness, alternatives can be found in time. Even if the effort to change things seems incredibly arduous, at least standing one's ground against unfair treatment boosts one's morale to keep trying. Never lose hope, as it will only feed the controller's self-interest and trun a bad situation into an impossible one.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Good for you, Monica! Good luck! I hope you have a job or some money saved. No one needs to live with someone like that!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I believe in the fact that my life has been a difficult kind of life because my life was greatly controlled by a very possessive father who never realized how much it affected my love life, my married life and for many years continued to control everything so that I never experienced any accomplishment on my part as a mother to my children even though I have been trying my best to take care of them as a single parent. I experienced all kinds of trauma and even ended up getting psychiatric help at a point where I became terribly afraid and confused and desperate because I never had a right to do anything in my own home. I was thrown out of my own house and ended up leaving my children and had to suffer the pain of losing them and since then my life became much more difficult to cope with, even though I knew I wanted so much to make things work. My family was never a family as it was mainly controlled by my fathers wishes and my mother went along with everything he wanted even if she knew he was wrong at times. I am so relieved now, because now I know I have every right to be happy and move on with what I feel will be good for me even if it means that I need to be firm and tough about making decisions on my own.I should know by now that all these years, there are people who are indeed very controlling, manipulative and self-centered that the only reason why they are happy is because they can get their way even when it meant hurting me and ruining my life.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @MarkSierra: Right on.

    • Joan Haines profile image
      Author

      Joan Haines 5 years ago

      I chose to work because I needed to support the family. He contributed some, but the harder I worked, the less he did. Think about it. Would you just stop working and quit your job because your spouse wasn't working much? There is a lot to the dynamic, and no, I did not want to participate. I was married, and took those vows seriously. I thought that he wanted things to be better, but just didn't get it. Actually, he wanted me to have to work so he could loaf. He kept it that way by bullying me. I wanted to leave, but felt I had to stay because of the family and my marriage vows. Read the lens a few times to find the answers to your questions.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm confused: when you say at the beginning of this piece that HE was "perfectly happy to stay home and play video games" while you worked - don't you mean that YOU were perfectly happy - or at least willing and choosing - to do so? The problem with controlling people is that they try to control everything around them. The problem with people who choose to be with controlling people is that they participate - and participation isn't mandatory! I think these stories are less about controlling people, and more about people who want or desire or simply agree to be controlled. What is that, and where does that come from? How does a person outgrow or change this characteristic? How do you break the agreement with the controller and every other controller in your life? How is this done? Some people describe the tendency to be controlled as codependence. I wonder if that sums it up.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My sisters a major control freak she wont let me go out, have any friends over, let me speak about myself or my feelings or even practise my singing in the house Im like invisible when I live with her Ive had enough after reading this I need to leave and do the things I want and Ive helped her enough with renovating her houses for free for nearly a year now and looking after her daughter 12 hours a day and shes very angry and nasty and pysically abusive too damn her Ive had it!

    • ermiarch profile image

      ermiarch 5 years ago

      nice lens..!

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      webscan 5 years ago

      No, but some people try to control by winning hearts.

    • OMENA777 profile image

      OMENA777 5 years ago

      I love your lens. Controlling people have no power over me. I believe controlling people come from an inner place of fear.

    • MarkSierra profile image

      MarkSierra 5 years ago

      Oh yeah. Someone at work is like this; just can't be pleased. Makes me feel like that game, Whack-o-mole. No matter what I do or how much I prepare something, he's always there with his mallet when I pop my head out.

    • radasum profile image

      radasum 5 years ago

      Yes, I know some of them, but do not let control me.

    • DeepaVenkitesh LM profile image

      DeepaVenkitesh LM 5 years ago

      I wish I had come upon this earlier, bookmarking this dear. i know the trouble of loving with a dominating person lifelong.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Most people try to keep a little control over their lives - it's natural. And there are some who are control freaks and try to be in control of everything. And then there are some who are not extreme, but who you will have to deal with sometimes but not all the time. I am glad you write this. I ordered a book and am going to read more.