6 Things Controlling Personalities Do To Keep You Under Them

How do you define a controlling personality? It’s when someone needs to have those around them behave in certain ways- they like to control other people.

For most of us, we have come across situations where someone tells us not to do something. Then, when asked why not, they respond with, “I don’t want you to,” or “That’s not how it’s  done.”

Controlling personalities stem from having codependency issues. This means that they rely on their ability to control you so that they can feel safe confident and secure.

However, by doing this, they ultimately end up making you feel like you have lost your voice – your independence. As a result, they have you under their thumb and they destroy your self-esteem.

Here are 6 things controlling personalities do to keep you under them:

1. They start out overly-loving, then intentionally create distance.

This is a subtle manipulation tactic that is easily overlooked, if you don’t know how to spot it. Once you meet him or her, they will begin to create a rapid and intense closeness designed to make you trust them and rely on their affection. As soon as they think you truly believe they have feelings for you, they will start to distance themselves, and their affections.

This tactic is designed to make you fall head-over-heels in love so quickly that when things slow down, you are too far down the rabbit hole to escape. You will notice that suddenly the compliments stop and it is you who is expected to run all the errands, pay the bills, and more. Relationships should be an equal exchange. 

2. They are constantly criticizing everything you do.

Controlling people are never satisfied with what someone else is doing. Even if they direct you step-by-step, you will somehow still be doing it incorrectly. Whether it is the kind of music you listen to, they way you dress, the car you drive, the kind of job you have…it’s never good enough for them. “You should’ve” is a repetitive phrase in their vocabulary.

3. They hate it when you ask “why?”

People who are controlling hate to be questioned. Their word is law. Asking them to explain their motives, or reasons, will only frustrate them (and you).

This, of course, is because their reasons and motives don’t make sense. They want you to conform to their control without question. Doing otherwise will lead them to display acts of anger.

4. They use guilt to manipulate you.

“If you love me, you will…” “I will be hurt if you don’t…” “You should want to…”

All of these are sayings controlling personalities use to manipulate you through guilt. They will try to use your love and care for them to get what they want. This is a horribly destructive pattern in toxic relationships of any kind- friendship, workplace, spouse- and can result in permanent emotional damage.

5. They impose arbitrary rules on your life.

Of course, they know what is best for everyone, all the time. Controlling people have a set list of rules that everyone should abide by, and if they don’t, judgement soon follows.

Liz Ryan shares an example list of arbitrary rules with Forbes:

  • It’s impolite to let voice mail messages go unanswered for more than a half-day.
  • Five minutes early to a meeting is on time. On time is late!
  • It’s rude to breastfeed in public, even with a blanket covering the baby.
  • If you don’t have factual evidence for your argument, don’t make it. Opinions don’t count.
  • It’s unprofessional to [hug a co-worker who’s just had a new grandbaby/question a management decision/schedule a day off work just to relax]
  • Work isn’t supposed to be fun; that’s why they call it work.

Although these are just examples, it’s highly likely that you have heard something similar in your life before.

6. They will try to make you feel bad for being yourself.

Once you recognize these behaviours for what they are, and refuse to be swayed by controlling personalities any longer, the controlling party will likely tell you how much you have “changed.”

They rely on their words having power over you, and as soon as that comes to a screeching halt, it’s your fault. How dare you show signs of independence after they tried so fervently to steal it away from you?

Change is good. Especially when it comes to leaving or avoiding toxic people. Never let anyone tell you that you should be who they tell you to be. That decision is up to you entirely.

By Raven Fon

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