What Does It Mean To A Controlling?
While we all have an image of a bully in mind when it comes to controlling people, it might come as a surprise that this isn't the only kind of controlling people out there. Most people who are controlling use emotional ways to control their partners rather than physical ones.
They do this in a way that the one being controlled hardly sees it and therefore isn't equipped to take action. I've seen many people spend years with such people without knowing that they are being controlled, and trust me; it's not a pretty sight. To understand what being controlling is, one has to understand why people act that way, keep reading ahead to find out.
Why Do People Become Controlling In Relationships?
While people being controlled often think of themselves as the victims, that isn't true. People become controlling in a relationship for dozens of reasons, but none of them are related to the one on the receiving end. In reality, the person who needs to control is the victim. Controlling people suffer from psychological problems such as low self-esteem, PTSD, need to micro-manage, obsessive-compulsive disorder, body dysmorphia, and much more.
Even if you know the reason why they have such a personality, the best you can do is to sympathize with them. Keeping up with their behavior can take a toll on your mental health too. You are not their therapist, and therefore you owe them nothing, especially if they've made your life a living hell of self-doubt, guilt, and undue gratitude.
What Is A Control Freak?
A control freak is anyone who feels an obsessive need to be in control all the time. They need to be the one with the last word, and they can go to any means necessary to make that happen. They'll try to make your life their very own project that they can set out according to their liking.
Signs of Controlling Parents
1. Don't approve of your company
Granted that parents do have to look out for children; sometimes, they tend to cross the line. If you're hanging out with the wrong kind of people, they must let you know, but they should also sit down and talk to you about it.
Parents should treat their children with enough respect to give them the freedom to choose. After a certain time, parents should let their children learn that mistakes have consequences.
2. Pressures the child about his career way too much
Every parent is worried about their child's future, but that too has limits. Some parents belittle the child's aspirations and constantly tell them that someone else’s kid is so intelligent because he did so and so and they haven't. This is toxic behavior and should not be normalized. For example, my friend's parents used to say, don’t become an artist; it doesn't pay well; you're going to live on the street while all your peers have great jobs and big houses. This is a toxic way to get kids to alter their path of choice.
3. Aren’t sympathetic about the kid’s problems
Controlling parents tend to be unsympathetic. For example, in high school, I had a friend that had to study 8 hours a day without a day off. If she said she was sick or that she was tired, she had to listen to long stories of how her mother works two jobs and how she used to study day and night to get her degree, and how she should be thankful to her for putting a roof over her head and a warm bed to sleep in. It got so bad that she had to go see a therapist, and even that couldn't sway her mother's behavior.
4. Punish you to get their way
Another controlling tactic is punishment. For example, the child might be grounded for long periods without explanation, or if we’re talking about a grown-up who does something that doesn't align with the parent’s thought out future for them, they'll stop talking to you, cry, be passive-aggressive, and make the child feel unwelcome till they make amends. The parent plays the victim card till they get their way, and that isn't easy stuff to deal with.
5. Unreal expectations
They set unreal expectations for their children so that they fail and come back to them. This is a method they use to feel good about themselves. However, since they've done this since childhood, most people don't even realize this is happening. A friend of mine once got fired from a really good job; upon inquiry, I found out that his dad had given him crappy advice that he followed through with. He had to move back in with his parents, and he still couldn't see that he was being used.
6. Threaten you
Another technique is that they threatening. An abusive parent might threaten to take away something their kid love; they might threaten not to support them, they might also threaten to throw the child out if they don’t act, dress, or study like the parent instructs.
Signs of a Controlling Wife
1. Trying to limit the social interactions
If you suspect that you’re turning into a controlling wife, notice your behavior when it comes to your husband’s social circle. Do you get irritated and go off on him for socializing? If yes, that’s not okay. Your husband has needs other than his love life, having a healthy social circle is one of those. Next time he stays a bit late with his friends, welcome him with a smile in place of an argument. He’ll be pleasantly surprised with this change.
2. Gets mad a little things
Try to monitor how often you get mad at little things that your husband does. When a person is becoming controlling, every move the other person makes can pose as a trigger. If you get this in control in time by reminding yourself that your husband is a whole person that cannot function on a manual you create, you’ll save yourself a bad marriage.
3. Threats to leave
One trademark of a controlling wife is that she'll threaten you. She'll threaten to take the kids away, to leave you, to never let you meet your children; in short, she'll use threats to get her way and make you a slave to her will. Apart from that, she might use a technique in which she'll threaten herself. To keep yourself from being this psychotic wife, refrain from such behavior.
4. Has no regard for privacy
A controlling wife has no regard for privacy; whether it's the husband’s phone, his drawer, or his car, she invades like it’s her own, she’ll look through the phone and make a fuss over small things; she might even suggest having a joint account. Know that while all of us are a little co-dependent doesn't mean that we shouldn't have our own lives. If you’re acting this way, you need to understand that being married doesn’t mean that you own each other. It’s a major sign that you are being a control freak.
5. Extremely jealous
A controlling wife cannot stand the mention of another woman from her husband. In short, she wants all the attention and she will go to any lengths to get it. If you’ve been feeling irritated when he mentions someone else, be it a friend – you should start being mindful of why you’re being insecure and not act upon it mindlessly because that will make you a controlling wife.
How To Deal With A Controlling Person?
If you’re in a relationship that involves a controlling individual, you need to be equipped to deal with them. Here are a few ways to do that.
- Know the signs
- Know the reasons
- Confront them, Communicate and try to come with a solution
- Suggest they take help
- Be patient
- Never feel shame in walking away
Now that you know the signs try to identify your situation and act accordingly. The fact that you're trying to be a better person and you're putting in the effort to identify whether you're being controlling or not is a great first step. if you think that things are getting out of hand - turning to counsel to get your controlling behavior in control is also a great option.