30 Tips For Dealing With Control Freaks

Have you come across or experienced the wrath of control freaks?

Oh my!!!

They rear their ugly heads in our relationships, families, jobs……..

The big question is:

Who is a Control Freak?

Dr Les Parrott III in his book ‘The Control Freak’ defines Control Freaks as people who care more than you do about something and won’t stop at being pushy to get their way. They could be pushy, manipulative, self-centred, or power hungry people who always want to have their way. Control Freaks come in all forms, shapes and sizes. They could be militant dictators, prime ministers, bosses, colleagues, spouses, boss, parents……

This post focuses on the desire to control/manipulate individuals for negative or selfish reasons and looks at various ways of dealing with such character.

It’s perfectly natural to feel the need to control our surroundings and, to a certain extent the people we have relationships with. I think there are situations where control needs to be exercised in moderation or we become branded as irresponsible individuals.

It’s also possible to achieve a constructive and healthy balance on several issues; when you are open to healthy discussions, debates, ideas rather than ‘IT’S MY WAY OR NEVER!!!!’

The characteristics of control freaks are as follows:

  • Constantly worrying over nothing.
  • Live a life of fear and self denial.
  • Rarely think you are wrong
  • Demonstrate extreme jealousy and have possessive characters.
  • Are gifted in the art of emotional blackmail.
  • In extreme cases, they display acts of violence, abuse……
  • Totally obsessed with perfection.
  • Excessively critical of themselves and others…………………………..

The aim of this post is suggest a few ways of dealing with the control freaks you come across in your daily lives.

Most “control freaks” are unhappy and insecure people who don’t understand how their words and actions can affect people

In no particular order, here are 30 tips for dealing with control freaks.

  • Behave consistently calm and patient with them. Getting angry just doesn’t work.
  • If it is a personal relationship and it has become abusive, take a break and  move on in your life.
  • Monitor their anxiety levels. Control freaks have no coping skills when stressed and that could explain why they flare up at times.
  • Always find a way out of the grasps of a control freak.
  • If you feel you are in any form of danger, it’s best you avoid such people or secure the help of friends family, police……
  • Create friendly banter/humour.
  • Make decisions and stand by them.
  • Stay focused on your job, health and other important things that concern you.
  • Show a bit of assertiveness in your dealings with them.
  • Summon the courage to walk away.
  • Work on developing the necessary will power to take action.
  • Set boundaries and stick to them. Don’t agree to demands that are propagated by his/her fears.
  • Express yourself clearly and constructively stating how you feel about a particular event . Make sure you keep it simple and avoid arguing.
  • Engage in deep and meaningful conversations.
  • Seek the help of a professional counsellor, psychotherapist, police, and social services if necessary.
  • Build your self esteem.
  • Always stand your ground in any encounter.
  • Avoid panicking and learn to use your intuition.
  • Don’t have unrealistic expectations of a change in their behaviour.
  • Know your limits and how much you can tolerate.
  • Always remain confident in your approach.
  • Sometimes silence is actually golden.
  • Figure out what triggers their outbursts.
  • Always organize and prioritize your work schedules.
  • Recognize your skills, talents and contribution to the work force or building a relationship.
  • Be proud of who you are. Appreciate your beauty, good looks, friends, family.
  • Don’t settle for less.
  • Work on your vulnerability.
  • Try spotting subtle suggestions, ideas or love advances which are bent on manipulating you.
  • Have optimistic thoughts about your future once you break free from a dangerous.

If you are a control freak or has been under the reins of one, it would be great to have your comments and suggestions.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

41 Comments

emmanuel

about 4 years ago

hey ayo whats good bro? i was wondering where you've been man!! you touched on an issue close to my heart. i used to be rigid with my rules not wanting to be flexible at all but now i know better. i was insecure but now i am as free as a bird open to understanding and i am more relaxed. safe!!!

Reply

Ayo Olaniyan

about 4 years ago

hello emmanuel, i am fine thank you although i've been so busy laugh!!! i am glad you are secure in who your are and open to learning new things from events and people. tak care and enjoy the rest of the day.

Reply

parkerlee

about 4 years ago

Hey Ayo, how are you doing, buddy? I think we've all had some sort of control freak in my life, i'd say the first ones were my parents.. they aren't as bad as they were 10 years ago. but I must say, i can't blame for the reasons of why they were such control freaks. I think most control freaks don't know the extent to how they are coming across to others... all the best, -Parker parkerlee´s last blog post ..When Should You Call Someone Back

Reply

Erin S.

about 4 years ago

I think they know exactly what they are doing and hope everyone is so stupid they don't see the tactics.

Reply

Parker Lee | howtomingle.com

about 4 years ago

Hi Erin, Wow I love tha fire behind your words...don't see it often. Everyone's too scared to sound rated-r. It's healthy imo, sometimes ;) Now that I think about it, you-are-right. There are many out there, ones who don't and do know what they are doing. I guess for me, the longest I've ever held a job was 3 years, working for a boss to which I was too young to see through their "tactics." Then I worked 2 more jobs to which I quit because I can't stand working for people who don't like. So now I've been self employed for the past 7 years and loving it. Thanks for sharing Parker Lee | howtomingle.com´s last blog post ..When Should You Call Someone Back

Reply

Ayo Olaniyan

about 4 years ago

hi parker, how are you? i guess there's a line to be drawn when parents get involved because i wouldnt say they are control freaks if the sole aim is to put us on the straigh and narrow path, instil discipline and make us responsible. besides as one grows older parents tend to relax giving room independence but then i can also identify pushy parents who want to run your life till........hmmm with reference to work parker, it would be interesting to see a comparison of how different things are since you've been self mployed for 7 years... take care and enjoy the rest of the day

Reply

Erin S.

about 4 years ago

Great tips. I have had several jobs working for control freaks. I seem to attract them to me. And maybe I am drawn to them for some weird reason. It can be devastating to work with someone day in and day out where you are never enough, what you have done is never perfect enough. An interesting post. Thanks

Reply

Ayo Olaniyan

about 4 years ago

hello erin, how are you? it's always great to have your contribution and i am glad you found the post interesting. take care and enjoy the rest of the day

Reply

jonathanfigaro

about 4 years ago

I think it just takes some one on one time. Set the person straight what whats okay, and whats not okay. Be a human being about the situation and you'll be released from there controlling ways. jonathanfigaro´s last blog post ..Why You Need To Work Hard

Reply

Ayo Olaniyan

about 4 years ago

hello jonathan, how are you? you hit the nail on the head when you talk of setting the person straight. i think it's ideal for those who prove to be so difficult. take care and enjoy the rest of the day

Reply

Frank

about 4 years ago

Hey Ayo, I have never taken the approach of learning to deal with control freaks. I just try my best to avoid them which is easier said than done. Now I can confidently be aware of how to handle people with this type of aggressive personality appropriately. Thanks for sharing. Frank´s last blog post ..Stories of Endurance

Reply

Ayo Olaniyan

about 4 years ago

hello frank, how are you? yes i agree avoiding them is huge task but i am glad this article sheds light on alternative ways of dealing with them. take care and enjoy the rest of the day.

Reply

Dia

about 4 years ago

Hi Ayo, Thanks for these tips my friend. I think most of us come across someone who is a control freak from time to time. With these tips, we know how to deal with them. Thanks for sharing! Dia´s last blog post ..The power of self talk

Reply

Ayo Olaniyan

about 4 years ago

hello dia, how are you? i think we will always come across control freaks but we just have to learn to manage them and the situation carefully. take care and enjoy the rest of the day.

Reply

Evelyn

about 4 years ago

Hi Ayo, Great tips here! Whenever I have come across a control freak, I try to deal with them, but when I've had enough, I've had enough. I will usually avoid the person, especially if I don't have to put myself in such the stressful situation. I have also found silence to be golden, like you have mentioned. I learned a lesson earlier this year and it taught me that if I don't have to be around the person, then I will not visit or see them. This has made life much easier in that area of my life. Take care, Evelyn Evelyn´s last blog post ..Become a Heathier You Series- Introduction

Reply

Ayo Olaniyan

about 4 years ago

hi evelyn, how are you? it's always great to have your contribution. i totally agree dealing with control freaks in whatever constructive way just makes your life easier and simpler. i'm still expecting your guest post/article for the magazine. take care and enjoy the rest of the day.

Reply

Jk Hustle

about 4 years ago

Ayo - I'm new to your site and happy to have found it. I've known my share of Control Freaks. Can't say that I have a lot of positive things to say about them. But after reading this post...I came a realization..... TOO DEGREE - I just may have a touch of Control Freakness myself. I surely don't want to admit that, but it is what is. At least I have 30 tips to figure out how to deal with MYSELF! Thanks Ayo - I can't wait for the next one. Peace.

Reply

Ayo Olaniyan

about 4 years ago

hi jk, how are you it's great to have you here and thansk for contributing to the topic. i am glad it will be of use to you. take care and enjoy the rest of the day.

Reply

Preeti @ Heart and Mind

about 4 years ago

Ayo, These are some of the great tips, I like using humor and stand by your decision. I know a few control freak or drama king and queen in my life. On occasion, I have been control freak too and I can be still in some aspect like what we eat! *yikes, did I just admit it. Preeti @ Heart and Mind´s last blog post ..Why learning from history is cool- fun Part III

Reply

Ayo Olaniyan

about 4 years ago

hi preeti, how are you? lol!! at you thinking you are a control freak with reference to what you eat. well, i think we must always draw a balance when it comes to issues like this. take care and enjoy the rest of the day.

Reply

Kim

about 4 years ago

Hello Ayo, How are you? Control freaks can be a challenge, especially when I see it rear its ugly head in my need to 'keep it all together' ;) In the stressful demands that others can make on us, I've worked to set healthy boundaries. Staying conscious is key. Hope you're well, my friend. Cheers, Kim Kim´s last blog post ..Clear Your Inner Struggle To Get Results You Want

Reply

ayo

about 4 years ago

hi kim, how are you and whats happening in your world? i am doing well thank you and you are quite right with regards to keeping it together by staying conscious and setting healthy boundaries. take care and enjoy the rest of the day

Reply

Andrea DeBell - britetalk

about 4 years ago

Hi Ayo! What a wonderful list! I love the idea that "sometimes silence is actually golden." We usually say way more than we need to. Specially when dealing with someone that needs to control the situation, it may be better to just be quiet and stay out of it and let it run its course. Great advice. Loving blessings! Andrea DeBell - britetalk´s last blog post ..Must-Read Tips for Great Friendships

Reply

ayo

about 4 years ago

hello andrea, how are you? i am glad you enjoyed the list. i totally agree in certain instances silence is actually the best way forward. at times it shows the folly of the individual exhibiting the attitude of a control freak. take care and enjoy the rest of the day.

Reply

Clearly Composed

about 4 years ago

Hi Ayo! Hoping you are well and enjoying a great start to the week. I think using common sense and intuition helps a great deal with dealing with a control freak. I find sometimes I am so resistant to being controlled that if I don't examine a situation with heart and mind I will actually avoid their input, advice or instruction just out of spite. Being able to see past the behavior and make an informed choice is better than reacting to their drama. When all else fails, a tight smile and zipped lips have taken me far. *lol* Clearly Composed´s last blog post .. Running In The Gray

Reply

John Sherry

about 4 years ago

Great supportive suggestions Ayo. So many people want to bully others and get what they want. Your advice helps us take ownership of our own lives, opinions and actions. And it all starts with a 'No' for me! Hard to say for many but a small word with a massive impact. John Sherry´s last blog post ..Is Self-Help Just A Load of Rubbish

Reply

River

about 3 years ago

Although I don't have anything else to add at the moment to the very accurate list of methods of dealing with a control freak ,I find myself realizing that a very dear and close friend whom I have recently reunited with has grown into a major control freak. I could really use any advice any one has for me. My friends behavior has recently caused many of his other closest friends to cut off their relationship with him . I find his behavior very challenging at times and have had to take more space from himself. He exhibits all the symptoms stated here to a lesser or greater degree. I have tried having a mature discussion with him about the effect his behavior has on me but he becomes angry each time I have tried and just deflects stating he is tired of reassuring people he cares. He refuses to discuss the impact his verbal lashings and dominance have upon those he cares for . I just don't know what to do anymore and is a old and beloved friend whom I don't want to totally abandon. Any advice from any one having a similar experience would greatly appreciated as this has troubled me deeply for a while now. Thank You!

Reply

robert

about 3 years ago

my father's a huge control freak and he never lets up even if you act calm and preempt what he'll try to come up with next. ive learned the only way to deal with him is taking him on till he eventually backs off. its sucks but i have to be really aggressive because he just acts like a 12 year old. if you say NO to anything he wants you to do he will get PISSSED...crazy pissed..and all you can do is look him in the eye and tell him to back off because your not gonna take some intimidating bullshit just so his jackass self can feel better. but like i said the calm thing doesnt really work that well unless you start a conversation that takes the focus off you...its so stupid because you know very well where your leading the conversation and your manipulating them yourself, so they can stay normal..but they dont even realize it cause theyre fukcing crazy anyway..ida know..its surprising how it works cause its almost like theyre intentionally out to get you but then you realize that its some inherent nature they've taken on, since thats the only explanation i can have for a person who belittles you and then can be so easily swayed to a happy person just by a small conversation you come up with so they can stfu.

Reply

Isabel

about 3 years ago

Hello, I wonder if anyone still monitors these comments, one year on! I have to say I'm glad to have come across your piece. I'm currently 26 and am still controlled by my father. I'm slowly trying to get out and move on with my life. He dictates my every step, tells me what to study, where to live and even trying to hold me back at home because MY dog is still living. I suggested to take my dog with me but he gave me a lecture on how unhealthy the new country is for my dog, etc etc... I'm sick and tired of this kind of emotional abuse. He constantly tells us (his children) that he gives us all the freedom that we want, but he doesn't that in reality, he rarely does so. My sister studied what he wanted her to, then after graduation made her work for him, and then when she wanted to look for work, he made her start out on her own (she's in the legal field, and so is he). Now it's my turn. I wanted to study other things but wasn't allowed. Graduated with a general degree but was not allowed to look for work because "working for other people is bad and you won't get free time, etc etc", and I ended up having to work for him. Working with him was/is hell. He would hold "meetings" all hours of the day, talk about work every chance he has even over dinner, when we're relaxing. Calls on our mobile phones and tell us off for "going out" with our boyfriends every weekend (hello! That's normal for other ppl who work for OTHER ppl) and even make you get dressed after you got undressed for shower or make you get up after you've gone to bed at 1am in the morning to have "meetings/talk about cases" because he has "new ideas/tactics" when everything could wait until the next morning. Now I have to study for a professional degree because he says it's good for me and i'll thank him in the future..... he started out with telling me I have a choice whether to study or not, then a week later, I was not allowed to say no. I'm now forced to study another few years, and then he says when I'm done I can work for him, again, also. It's no doubt that our father loves us, but his way of telling us what to do, when to do it is hell. He won't even let us move out until we get married. He's even telling us to live near him when we do move out. Wanting to place a deposit on a house for my sister that is 4 houses away from the family home- when my sister doesn't even want to! He also tells my partner and I to work with him in the future and live near my parents when we get married. Seriously, how FUCKED up is that!? My sister and I often just have a crazy ranging session talking about how crazy our parents are. But I think it's because we ALLOWED him to take control of us thats why he now thinks him telling us what to do is NORMAL. How else can we get out without making him feel like his children disowned him?? By agreeing to everything he says would just make things worse and he'll just keep on interfering with our lives, not letting us live our lives OUR way. I really hate my dad because he's such a control freak. It's really frustrating when he constantly tells us and other ppl that he gives his children all the freedom in the world when he clearly does NOT! Our mother doesn't help either because she sides with him! My sister is almost 30 and all of us have a frigging curfew at 11:30 PM!!!!!!!! This is abuse. Argh! :(

Reply

Paul Campbell

about 3 years ago

Dear Isabel May I suggest that you do the same thing as is recommended for getting away safely from a violent marriage. Decide where you are going to go to live away from the control freak (Alaska, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc.). Start finding out about getting work there. Apply for a work permit. Arrange some sort of job interview. Say you're "going on holiday". (Send a cheery postcard). Secure the job. Pack a secret suitcase. Save your pennies in a separate bank account to tide you over till your first pay day. Secure the deposit on a new place to live. Buy the plane, coach, train, tickets. Let a 100% trusted friend know where you are going and why Creep out the bedroom window at 3 am (Leave a "Cheerio, God bless, thanks for everything" note :). Enjoy the rest of your life. Peace and love Paul (Brighton, UK)

Reply

Rose

about 3 years ago

Isabel, I just cant believe that there is one more person in the world with the exact same situation as me. In my case, i am asian and most asian parents are typically control freaks so i always accepted it as my fate but eventually i moved to United States for school but they continue to torment me through emails and phone calls about how they are so nice to let me get away

Reply

Steve

about 3 years ago

Just out of a toxic relationship with a control freak. I was interrogated on a regular basis about my activities and sex was used as a manipulative tool in order to exercise even more control. Abuse and disrespect was the norm but this person always managed to turn the situation around to try and demonise me as the abuser. My advice to anybody on the receiving end of a control freak relationship is to get out as soon as possible. The consequences of not doing so are far reaching and very damaging, both mentally and emotionally.

Reply

Paul Campbell

about 3 years ago

"damaging, both mentally and emotionally" is a mild understatement. The more narcissistic (and they usually are) control freaks can make you constantly question your own sanity, induce panic attacks and guilt over-reactions, refer you to psychiatrists and doctors (because "you" are the one with the "problem". It's called "Lamplighting" after the 1940's film. You can easily end up teetering endlessly on the edge of a nervous breakdown because of their bullying tactics and demands, double talk and double standards. Nervously waiting for them to walk into the room or phone/text you, with their bipolar-type, extreme behaviour. When you cut yourself off from them, they may come wheedling back with big smiles and little presents (if you're lucky) only to manipulate you again into feeding their insatiable narcissism with all sorts of familiar emotional 'cues' or litle compensatory treats for your obvious distress - which they have induced in the first place. You will always end up feeling used, exploited and ultimately helpless, as long as you stay around them. (I should know after a 7 year, nightmare relationship with a woman who came from 2 previous, extremely violent, copycat marriages). Stop feeding the fire and supplying them with 'kneejerk reactions' to bolster their fragile ego. Think of a stellar black hole... nothing is ever enough for them. Otherwise you'll be shovelling coal for the rest of your life like a 19th century boilerhouse navvy. :( Paul

Reply

johnny cottrell

about 3 years ago

my dad is a control freak. he wants me to take over his buisness, but i have a completely different personality. I am going to college to become a filmmaker. my life long dream and he doesn't want me to succeed. i not going to let anyone stop me I am 34 years old. had to put with him my whole life.

Reply

Paul Campbell

about 3 years ago

Time to start wearing long trousers, Johnny,..? Paul :)

Reply

Massi

about 3 years ago

Dear Sir I am dealing with a control freak at the moment who happened to be my mother in law, I can kind of handle the situation but my problem is my husband who keeps asking me do what she wants ! he is afraid of her, and he cannot resist her constant complaining of me !!! what should I do ? I'm pregnant and I'm afraid she wants to control my child ! please help ...

Reply

Jonah

about 3 years ago

hello, I am a sixteen year old boy living with my mother. This has shown me that my mother basicly displayes all these characteristics, and i was wondering if there is any affective way to deal with her without me angering her, or in turn upset me and causing me to get frustrated

Reply

Lucy

about 2 years ago

yes control freaks are the worlds worsted, they want everything there own way, I gibtel a step son with learning problems, she has put him in a boarding school and uses him to find. out information about us, they say no to to when we want to swap, we are never asked any thing only told, and this has gone. on for years. they are nothing but bullies, who demand, try and take control of our lives, by any means lying, and using an innocent child to get what they want, my husband being a lovely man, put up with that for years, and sometimes because of his son agreers we sometimes argu but yes very hard. they don't see its any body else's fault except yours.

Reply

Lucy

about 2 years ago

answer to question above mine. you have to stay calm, they love and thrive on consultation, you must must stand your ground, and don't say can I or do you mind or is it alright. you make up your mind to go somewhere, or do something and do not change your mind. do not let her bully you. or tell you. very hard. like I say we are told half the time, but things are going to change from now on . remember she wants to control what is around her the people and things, you have to stand your ground, firm. they are sacred and jealous and frightened really. but don't give in. Lucy.

Reply

sheils

about 2 years ago

I have just got out, trying to get on with, a control freak, drama queen, plus bullie, and i am glad,that i got out off it i feel sorry for her kids really.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that.
Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked


CommentLuv badge