Our society demands a fine balance from us and expects us to comply with societal rules and nomenclature. In that way it wants us to learn to be generous and open and willing to adjust with everyone around. Ideally, we are to give each person his/her own space and respect their preferences, choices, and decisions. Of course there are times when each of us wants something done our way, and our way alone, for whatever reasons―logical or otherwise. Sometimes we are not open to adjustments and compromises. But at most other times, most of us are flexible... except some of us just aren't. Some of us are not willing to make any adjustments and not provide any space for the other. Some of us have a controlling personality type. A controlling personality, as the name suggests, is a personality type that needs to be in control at all times―a control freak so to say.
While each of us have a tendency to exert control in certain situations, there are those who do nothing but that... all the time. Imagine dealing with a controlling person who basically controls every small thing that you do? Needless to say, a manipulative personality such as this one puts a lot of pressure on people around them and makes adjustment for everyone difficult. In extremities, it can turn into a controlling personality disorder and thereby making it difficult for others who are in controlling relationships as well. What are the signs of a this personality type and how is one to deal with these personality types is what will follow in the sections below.
How does one know if a person has is controlling or not? The following characteristics should help you identify and label the same.
- Living in constant fear and trepidation that whatever you do will set the other person off. You have to gauge their mood before saying or doing anything.
- Controlling people will control everything, however minuscule―like the control of the remote or however important―like the kind of courses you should take to study.
- They employ manipulative techniques and keep on and on about something that they want to be done their way until the other person gives in. They then act like the other person has finally taken the correct decision.
- Someone who is in the constant company of a controlling person often feels frustrated and run down and feels like they have lost control over their lives.
- There is constant criticism doled out for every small thing. They put others down to feel superior and boost their ego.
- Controlling behavior in relationships often involves people with a volatile temper who might even resort to physical abuse like twisting your arm and slapping you.
- They gnaw at your confidence by criticizing whatever you do, putting you down, making you feel useless and dumb, at fault for doing the things that you enjoy doing, even dressing or looking a particular way. Thus low esteem develops and a person begins to feel that he/she 'deserves' to be treated that way.
- Controlling individuals will try and isolate you from friends and family so that no one can influence your thoughts other than them. They'll abuse and accuse your family and friends and question you endlessly about your motives. Eventually a cut off from any support allows them to control you exclusively.
- A control freak never owns up or takes responsibility of their actions and behavior. It is always someone else's fault.
- They'll discourage you from indulging in any other activities that they cannot control, like any areas of interests and hobbies that does not include them. They'll either criticize it till they force you to give it up or accompany you to it and make you miserable, thus forcing you to quit.
- A controller will always put the onus on the other person in the relationship, saying that whatever they did was never enough.
- They often make comments like 'No one can take me for granted', 'I don't take no for an answer' or 'I always get things done my way'. All these statements reek of control.
- Your friends and family dislike the person for what she/he is doing to you.
- One of the more common control freak symptoms also includes a person who is often moody and is easily angered with normal questions.
- They never compliment or praise you for what you do. Instead they often suggest that it was not because of your talent that it happened, that an external force was at play.
- They are often jealous when you talk to and interact with others of the opposite sex.
How can it be easy to deal with a controlling personality? It isn't. It's as if one is constantly under pressure to be something they are not, to be afraid, and careful. That is why it becomes important to recognize the signs of a controlling relationship and learn how to deal with a control freak. Here are some ways to help you through:
- Reaffirm to yourself that you are not anything less than the others just because someone tells you that.
- Stand firm on your ground that you will not relent and be mistreated.
- Stand up to them and tell them that you are feeling stressed out and controlled, that you are not happy.
- Tell them that they cannot control your every move like one would a child's.
- Try and communicate with them and not to them like they do to you.
- Take up all your lost hobbies and interests. Get back control of your life.
- Don't fall prey to their childish talks and sarcasm. Don't get pulled into their play of words.
- If you are not into a serious relationship with a person who has a controlling behavior, then you should consider breaking up with them. Don't get bogged down and allow them to control you like this.
These characteristics will have given you an idea of how stressful it can be to be in their company. If you're dealing with such a person, make sure that you have the support of your friends and family and are able to bank on them. If it's not a very close relationship in the picture, and using all these ways to deal with them does not help, then try and interact at a minimum level. At the end of the day, your peace of mind is prime. Is it not?