Being more in control makes us feel safe. As a matter of fact, it brings us the surety and comfort we usually crave. Yet, there’s a huge difference between being moderately in control and having borderline control issues. If you’ve dated around for a while, you might’ve had some run-ins with a few exes that seem to be struggling with the same thing. The irrational need to keep tabs on your locations and friends seems a little over the top when done repeatedly. Add in the daily dose of manipulation and possessiveness, you’ve got the perfect recipe for a disaster.
Some parents tend to follow the same unhealthy trajectory. Without even realizing it, they become a little too intrusive in their kid’s life. Their usual motivation behind it is the need to retake the lost control over their “newly matured” kid. It’s about time that you stop brushing it under the rug and call out these folks on their control issues.
Here are some reasons why people act this way;
5 Reasons Why People Struggle With Control Issues
Fake it till you make it! We’ve all heard it, but only a few can apply this motto to their life. Being extremely controlling in a few situations tends to be a coping mechanism for people who experiences extreme anxiety or lack of self-esteem. When they fail to feel worthy like normal people do they exercise irrational amounts of force to get that power trip. It’s a coping mechanism that works for them in most ways and gets them what they want. Staying more in control also lowers down their stress levels and fears. It offers them a satisfying kick. In a way seeing others crumble in front of them makes them feel more superior and covers up their own inferiority complexes.
People who always want to exhibit control over every matter, person, or happening in their lives are usually perfectionists to the core. Their habits are very compulsive and can cause them extreme anxiety when left unfulfilled. Thus it’s quite a possibility that they’re struggling with an undiagnosed personality disorder. Exhibiting control issues can be a sign of the following;
- Borderline personality disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder
- Histrionic personality disorder
- Antisocial personality disorder
- Narcissistic personality disorder
Learned Behavior & Trauma
What you witness in the earlier, developing stages of your life usually becomes a part of your personality. Kids who exhibit controlling tendencies from a younger age must be witnessing the controlling nature of one or more parents. It’s a possibility that sooner or later these kids will turn into adults that struggle with control issues. The presence of abuse in the past can also be a reason behind the presence of control issues in the later phases of life. Feeling like a fickle human being who lacks control over anything can force a person into turning quite the opposite. So, such people with traumatic past experiences make up for the past by exhibiting an extreme amount of control over everything in life. That’s just an unhealthy way of dealing with untapped trauma.
The way people behave in specific situations is usually based on their past experiences. Tough times can crumble the self-esteem of a few people but they can also have the opposite kind of impact on some people. Some people tend to toughen up after facing the worse. They’ve pushed into compromising situations in their past and fought their way out by being controlling or borderline dominant. Thus they start believing that it’s the only way one can survive in this world. Either eat or be eaten.
Even people with healthy upbringings and positive personal experiences tend to be extremely controlling sometimes. One can’t really blame a personality disorder or traumatic event for that. It’s simply something that’s natural to them because they’re just born with it. Some people naturally have strong auras, dominant personalities and they can really alter that if they want just with a little effort.
9 Signs Indicating Control Issues & Controlling Behavior
Lack Of Accountability
People with control issues tend to never be at fault. Even when they’re at fault their lack of empathy and self-centric nature enables them into blaming others. Thus a colleague with control issues will most probably throw you under the bus when the time comes for taking accountability.
Classic Victim Behavior & Manipulation
individuals with control issues have this extreme anxiety associated with being left out. They never wish to be not part of the conversation and want to stay in the loop. In order to make things stay that way they visibly engage in manipulative tactics. They try to manipulate people and things which indirectly turns up advantages for them. They’re usually very intrusive which in turn exposes some of your secrets in front of them. Consequently, they can use those secrets against you to exhibit even more control over your life and actions. Using something important as leverage is a tactic that’s also habitual among controlling partners. Some of these leverages used to maintain control or dominance can be the kids you both share, sexual favors, a financial or personal favor done in the past, etc.
Constant Ups & Downs
Dating someone with control issues can be very draining. They struggle with extreme mood swings that are visible even from afar. This constant merry-go-round of changing emotional reactions can frustrate both the person with control issues and the people around them. It’s a routine full of ups and downs as their mood elevates or crumbles continuously.
Troublesome Life Trajectory
When someone’s extreme kinds of controlling tendencies then there’s usually lots of anger involved. Consequently, it’s a huge red flag if someone’s had multiple run-ins with the law. Those kinds of people are always in conflict with their colleagues, friends, and family members. They’re rarely on good terms with an ex-partner. Their life is never as smooth as a normal person’s supposed to be thanks to their deceitful manipulation and thirst to stay above all. Additionally, another indicator is their usual state of unemployment. Because of their inability to take accountability, controlling habits, and inability to stay honest they usually get fired from most places they work at.
Self Centric Nature
We’ve all known someone in our circle who craves attention. Even when the topic in question doesn’t concern them they’ll find ways to be the center of attention at all costs. It’s among one of the biggest signs of an extremely controlling person. Their self-centric nature turns their view of things pretty dualistic. Either everything suits them, or it doesn’t. Additionally, this self-centeredness can also turn them unsympathetic toward others.
To maintain control over a situation or a person, sometimes you’ve got to use some deceit. One way or another we’ve all been guilty of this habit. On the contrary, a person with control issues tends to use this antic with more regularity. In order to maintain a clean slate and to be on people’s good book, someone with control issues can always twist the truth. Lying soon turns into a habit for them which they just can’t avoid thanks to the fear of being exposed and losing control over a situation.
Extremely Possessive Nature
You can easily pinpoint the spell of jealousy over people with control issues. We’ve elaborated upon the extreme FOMO people with controlling tendencies experience. This fear of missing out on anything pushes them to do pretty irrational things even to the people they love. For instance; if you’ve ever dealt with an ex who has these controlling tendencies you might be able to notice how easily possessive they get. In order to maintain their dominance and control over their loved ones, they might go as far as limiting time spent with friends. A controlling ex will also try to keep tabs on your location all day, fearing that they’ll lose their control over you. If you’re financially reliant on them, they’ll squeeze your finances so you remain dependent on them.
The Hint Of Narcissism
Of course, we’re not insisting that every person who has control issues might also be struggling with Narcissistic disorder. Yet, most of them do have narcissistic tendencies. The constant urge to remain in control of the discourse, inability to take accountability, and self-centric nature does point out to a classic case of narcissism. Thus, you can spot someone like them if they’re 24/7 chanting in the rhythm of “me, me and me”.
Too Compulsive & Excessive
Being moderate in terms of everything is a healthy habit that can make anyone’s life much easier. Extremism of any kind whether it’s in terms of lifestyle, love life, or any other factors can be very draining. Controlling people are severely Compulsive. Whatever they plan on doing they’ll do it to its extreme. For example; the urge to maintain their weight and to stay in control pushes them to overwork their body to the point of exhaustion. They might even go as far as trying every athletic activity and starvation.
Control Issues: How Can They Make Life Extremely Hard?
Of course, under the pressure of your controlling antics, some people might choose to bend. They’re more likely to stick around you even if they really resent how dominant you usually are. On the contrary, people with control issues tend to be lonelier than most folks. Thanks to their compulsive habits and irrational behavior they’re unable to maintain long terms romantic relationships or friendships. As an extremely controlling parent, you’ll be causing the risk of making your kids estranged from you. You’re more likely to feel lonesome and distraught if you just can’t seem to lose this compulsive nature of yours.
Anxiety & Fear
As stated earlier, in a few cases maintaining control acts as a coping mechanism for some folks. But in a large majority of cases the constant urge to remain the omniscient narrator of everyone’s life can cause extreme amounts of anxiety. When you’re constantly in the rush to keep up with everything in your life, you can lose control over your sanity. Everything starts falling apart as you’re less likely to enjoy any parts of a friendship, relationship, or any happy occasion. Needless to say, you’re constantly stuck in the loop stay ahead just so you can feel accomplished in every way possible. It can have a dire impact on your mental health as well as the people you try to bend on your command.
5 Ways To Overcome Control Issues
- Practice the art of letting things go every once in a while. It’s a habit that’s hard to master for people like you but it’s still attainable.
- Get in touch with a counselor, therapist, or any means of professional help to diagnose any undiagnosed personality disorder. It could be the cause behind your compulsive nature. Additionally, therapy can also help you wear of the impact of your traumatic experiences.
- Relocate the stances you take and the situations you find yourself more controlling in. This can be done by the end of the day. Grab a journal and list down situations that coerced you into becoming irrationally controlling. Talk to your counselor regarding those triggers to come to a solution that suits you and the ones around you.
- Even in a situation where the brighter end seems too narrow, try to find a silver line. It will curb your need to “fix” things via hook or crook. We’d also like to suggest keeping a gratitude journal. Fake it till you make it!
- Replace needless criticism with constructive criticism. What you’re putting out there is going to come right back at you. So the more positivity you radiate the more lovely every day turns out. We’re all only humans and we’re all imperfect.
If you’re noticing your controlling antics for a while then it might be having an impact on your quality of life. Needless to say, you need to get help for the sake of yourself and the people around you. If you know someone who tends to use immense amounts of dominance over you then distancing yourself from them would be the best option until or unless they don’t seek help. Control your nearest crisis intervention hotlines in the wake of any kind of physical or domestic abuse. Remember, your mental health and wellbeing come above all. So, take any drastic decisions in the light of this very belief.