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5 Steps to Handle Yourself Around Controlling People

To be in control is a good thing. To be controlling is not. There is a big difference.

One who is too controlling is in fact so out of control they lose everything in their grasp.

I’m sure you have seen it before. Someone who is so controlling they need to get their voice heard in every situation. They set guidelines and rules so stringent no one could possibly measure up. One slip up and there is war. The ‘My way or the highway mentality’.

It’s like they have a choke hold on every aspect of their life and maybe yours too. If it is a parent, the kids are given the idea they can’t trust in themselves because everything they do is never good enough. As an adult the same message is received however it is also demeaning to ones character.

We see it time and time again, these people’s lives come crashing down and they don’t understand why. To those of us looking in we could see it coming. When all of our suggestions to help went on deaf ears, we just shut up and did what we were told.

But there are some things you can do to either understand their controlling behavior or at the very least, minimize the effects on you.

Understand The Controlling Behavior

– People who try to control others are themselves out of control – in their mind that is. Often, they have many conflicting thoughts which create havoc in their mind. They will then latch on to that which they know they can control thus making them feel better. It is kind of a protection for them.

– Whatever is going on for them is never about you. Human nature allows us to take things like this personally. Don’t. Remember, they are doing this for their own sense of inner control, but doing it via outward expression.

– Being a control freak is a compulsion. Recognize that it began for them long before you showed up. In other words they try to do it to everyone.

– More often than not, control freaks have low self esteem. They do not have enough inner trust to handle outcomes other than ones they plan.

– Control freaks never want to appear vulnerable. But in fact they are.

Be In Alignment With Your Values

– Don’t engage with them. Do not allow yourself to fall into the same behavior you are trying to avoid. Situations like this aren’t about winning. Or at least they shouldn’t be from your end. Do what you need to do in an unfavorable situation whether that is hanging up the phone, walking away or not responding to an email. These are subtle reminders to that person that what they are doing is not ok with you. Remember people do what works. When you stop allowing it they stop doing it. It won’t be overnight but it will happen.

– Do not react. Knowing now what you do about control freaks, when they become aggressive take off your armor. Show them you are not a threat to them and you just want to help. You can do this by simply remaining calm no matter how much turmoil they are trying to create. This more than anything shows great strength.

– Remain fearless. Everything is energy and we are emitting energy with each emotion. We are also receiving other people’s energy. Note the energy in the room while with a control freak. The minute you begin emitting fear energy they pick up on it and the behavior gets worse.

Ask For Help

– Control freaks like to be in control. By asking for their help you are giving them that control. They can now ‘tell’ you something and they will have your undivided attention. They may teach you something very valuable and it may also help build trust with them as well.

– If you are being issued orders ask them how they would like to see it done. If they have already done that, find a relevant question and ask it. The point is you are asking the control freak to help you and letting them know you understand the importance.

– Try to find a solution to their problem and ask them for help resolving it.

Offer Extra Help

– Do something that proves to the control freak that they can trust you to get the job done.

– If there are moments where the controlling is at a minimum do more. This also sends a message.

– Ask for the opportunity to do something to lessen their load. Make sure it is something you want to do and do it well. They will soon see someone other than themselves is quite capable to get things done.

Trust Yourself

Self trust is crucial. When you trust in you, all fear goes by the wayside. Knowing you can handle whatever comes sets you apart from failure. Not everything works out exactly as planned. When you trust yourself it doesn’t matter. You know that there is a deeper meaning and move on. You don’t dwell and fret and stew over it you simply learn from it and proceed with the next thing.

-With self trust you don’t take these things personally. You accept what is and remain calm and intact.

-Decision making becomes easy and self confidence builds with inner trust.

There are reasons people have control issues and should not be judged. We need to look past these outward expressions and try to understand them as people.

So starting today, do your best to see others through new eyes.


My name is Suzanne Jones. I am a Certified Hypnotherapist and a Writer. I have a blog and write based on true experiences. I guide people through either Hypnotherapy or my Writing to regain personal and mental control of their lives. Just one degree of perception change is all it takes.

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29 Responses to 5 Steps to Handle Yourself Around Controlling People

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think having a clear sense of your own values and direction is vital. If you are clear about your purpose, you’ll be less likely to fall into the trap of being manipulated. It’s also important to remember that nobody can force you to do anything. You always have a choice in every situation.

    Thanks for a great article.

  2. dissertation says:

    But this is very hard! How..

  3. Vasco Brazao says:

    Interesting! This beautifully complements my own blog post on motivation, check it out:

  4. happy holidays to everyone!

  5. StillInJourney says:

    It is a journey; keep your awareness on what needs to be achieved and then slowly your mind will gather all the tools required to achieve it.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Yes we do have choices but when one is in a job for instance with a controlling boss, possibly borderline bully, it is very difficult in the moment to grasp that he/she can’t force you to do anything. This situation has people feeling weak and powerless which is why I believe self trust it vital, and as you say, having a clear sense of your own values and direction.
    Thanks for commenting!

  7. Suzanne says:

    Yes, and again, trust yourself to know you can handle any situation that presents itself. It is amazing how one’s insight, perception and whole being,  shifts with this one thing alone.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I find my self controlling others and i have been more mindful about this thanks for the great info! I hope i can provide other useful information at my new blog persistent development i could use critiques

  9. Suzanne says:

    Yes you are right, it fits right in. Good post with a nice breakdown.

  10. Suzanne says:

    Yes as my mother used to say, you get more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. I was the same way. I reflected or mirrored rather the way I felt when others spoke to me in the manner I spoke to say, my kids. Makes a huge difference.
    P.S. nice looking site…the first line in your post about Think and Grow Rich..the ‘think’ is missing the ‘t’…:)

  11. It’s like they have a choke hold on every aspect of their life and maybe yours too.

  12. Renu Karnani says:

    great article…bt how to control theses people …its not so easy

  13. Matzsusan says:

    Very good article.  It addresses the fear factor.  How many people in the work environment operate out of fear, be it fear of making a mistake, fear of disappointing a superior, fear of looking stupid, fear of losing their job, and the list goes on.  Fear is actually debilitating.  The control freak freaks out more in a fearful environment because of his or her own chaotic mindset.
    When one can remain calm in those circumstances, then control, REAL control, is established.  It requires great inner strength to work around control freaks, but with time and patience, it will happen.  That does NOT mean being a doormat!  It means seeing a situation clearly, for what it is, and stating the facts.  Sometimes this may have to be done privately with the control freak.  That’s another thing you have to avoid, blatantly embarrassing the CF.  Good luck to everyone who has to deal with these people!  It will work out if you step back and see what’s really happening.

  14. Anglehannahlucy says:

    Really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us.

  15. Gayatri kumar Goteti says:

    All I can say is Thank you Very Much for such a great article and indepth psycological analysis. I belive that this will change many lives.

  16. Amy says:

    I am really struggling with my controlling husband. Everything is about him and I try to pick my battles and remember what is important. I just dont know where to draw the line and lately Ive begun daydreaming up scenarios where he stops coming home so I can breathe. He was offered a job with a raise but requires 70% travel. He says he wont take it so we can have the family time…I wish he would take it so I can get a break. Our most recent dilema is that he is taking over Christmas dinner. He did not grow up with Christmas and it is my favorite holiday. In fact, 5 years ago he was so uninterested he didnt participate in anything. This year, I am hosting dinner. I volunteered to make dinner for my family. I wrote out my menu and asked him to take a look and double check I hadnt forgotten anything. He told me to scrap the whole thing and make Middle Eastern kebabs because that is HIS favorite. I reminded him that this is my favorite holiday and that the meal was very important to me. He is speeding full steam ahead and says he will be writing a new menu that will be more interesting because traditional is boring. Part of me says what is the harm in letting him have his way and another part of me is so angry that he cant see that this is not his holiday…not about his favorite foods.

  17. Jasmine Herrick says:

    You’re married to a child. I’d suggest scrapping him, and upgrading to an adult ASAP.

  18. Jagoda Perich-Anderson says:

    Good post, Suzanne. I’ve experienced people turning into control freaks when they feel particularly stressed. Also, if someone works for a control freak, your suggestions about asking for and offering help are good ones. It’s also important in that situation to take care of yourself and manage your own stress levels.

  19. stephanie says:

    Very good article but maybe you could add that control freaks can be abusive lovers. And that we shouldn’t stay in a relationship with an abusive lover. Thats all.

  20. control freaks are wong says:

    Controlling people can be so abusive, abusive, abusive emotionally. You seem to have so much sympathy for bad behavior. They tend to judge others! It’s offensive. They use religion to get their way. It’s wrong! They want to destroy your job. I don’t think you should have sympathy for evil behavior. They know it’s wrong! Just as a child molester knows their behavior is wrong, we should not excuse bad behavior. There is a time in life that you stop blaming mommy and become an adult.

  21. Niamh says:

    Tradition IS boring…that’s what makes it safe and comforting. There are Sunday roasts each Sunday and yet Christmas dinner (just an elaborate roast) is viewed as something special. Kebabs can be eaten anytime, for any reason. Christmas is about everyone in the Christian world sharing the same tradition-which does not happen to be your husbands favourite dinner. If he refuses to acknowledge that you may have an inkling of an opinion, then he’s either incredible selfish or just a dick. Good luck cheering him up after he realises how your family are struggling to keep their severe disappointment and probable irritation at the lack of the traditional, expected, customary dinner. But I’m sure, he’ll find a whingey,whiney way to blame you.
    Roast turkey, ham, potatoes, veggies, gravy, pudding too boring? Let him eat takeaway donor kebabs all he likes, for a long long time.

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  23. Kev says:

    A very interesting read. I have been with a controlling wife for a number of years and decided I wanted to get out of the marriage. I didn’t realise at the time that she was controlling, and reading this article, she ticks all the boxes listed above.
    I love her dearly but I felt so choked up and trapped. It seemed right at the time if not the wrong thing to do.
    I desperately want to get back with her but now she “holds all the cards” as I left her and she has put barriers up. How are you supposed to tell someone the way they are, when they wont admit that they are controlling? Especially in my situation now when I am seen as the bad guy for leaving?

  24. Erika says:

    My mother is like that. Always has been. If something isn’t perfect or done exactly at the requested time she’ll say “Never mind I’ll do it myself”. If she can’t control people she’ll control the dog. She couldn’t stand the barking so she had the dog de-barked. :( It’s either her way or the highway all the time, except when it comes to herself she can do whatever she wants and no one can say anything. It’s impossible when you live with someone like that because you can’t afford to live in your own place because rent is so sky high…

  25. Articulus Opinio says:

    Don’t be a doormat.

  26. InsaneJane says:

    Been there. Doubt is a horrible place to live long term. Hope you find that moment of clarity and strength that is going to be necessary to recovery your esteem and your options.

  27. InsaneJane says:

    Sometimes those that control are in sheeps clothing. They aren’t always loud and pushy, but persistent and passive aggressive. It helps to have a firm foundation in my own life about what I am willing to do and not do.

  28. larry says:

    Interesting subject and some good points. However some people are actual poison and suck the positive energy out of any situation or event. They are pathological. I volunteered in a gardening society. A older extremely angry woman joined. It soon became apparent that her sole purpose was to snag a man. She had driven her husband away and was alone. Her own children want nothing to do with her. Locally she fought with the community and committed slander against a local politician. Her first agenda in the garden society was to drive off women. She attacked a number of them yelling that she hated them, that they only got along with men due to their penis. All resigned. If a male member ignores her she spread gossip that he was gay. Then I found out that she was researching members on the Internet to find out where they lived, occupations etc. She visited the gardens daily to keep track of anyone who was there. Gradually the 40 members all left. She still goes in to survey the gardens and catch the ear of anyone there. The former membership left but a new board was created which shut her out completely.

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