Are You a Controller, or Dating One?

When it comes to personal relationships, being or dating a controller can be very unhealthy, leading to tumultuous relationships, rocky breakups, and the occasional restraining disorder. If you are dating a controller, your self-esteem can plummet, and you may suffer other negative affects as well. If you are the controller, you need to look beyond what you may think is just a personality quirk to see if you have issues in your life that need addressing. Take a look through the behaviors below to see if you or someone you love (or at least think is hot) is a controller.

A controller may:

Tell his girlfriend who her friends should be, and/or not let his partner go places on her own.
When a partner does go out alone, a controller may be consumed by worry and jealousy. Controllers also have a deep need to tell people what to do, so telling a person where they can go and who they can go with is part of this. If you see this behavior in yourself, or your guy, step back and take a hard look at it.

Criticize constantly, find fault with everything, and get very upset when someone disagrees with him or her.
This negative behavior certainly doesn’t make for a healthy relationship, whether it is you or your guy engaging in it.  

Manipulate others. 
This is just another form of control, and can be especially damaging to your self esteem, whether it is you doing the controlling or your guy. Manipulation can take the form of temper tantrums, sweet talking, guilt trips or other behavior, and both parties will resent this form of control after a while. 

Freak out.
A controller freaks out over things most people wouldn’t care about. Spilled drink? Most people mop it out “ if a lot of screaming, drama, or other freaking out behavior follows, that’s a controller. (If that’s you “ get a grip!)

Invade others privacy.
Controlling people are invasive. They look through other people’s e-mails, snail mail, text messages, whatever. A controller can’t respect privacy because there might be something lurking there that he or she can’t control. The flip side of this is going crazy if someone touches their stuff “ a controller wants to look at everyone else’s things, but can’t stand anyone looking at theirs. If you catch your guy looking at your texts but he freaks out if you touch his phone, he may be a controller.

Stress other people out – literally.
A controller loves to stress other people out. You see, a controller is stressed out about everything “ fear of failure, of not being good enough, of letting people down and being let down. If they can get the person they are with at the time (whether at work or with a partner) to freak out, they feel better. This is not good.

Have trouble trusting people.
A controller is always worried about people’s ulterior motives, and also about being lied to or made a fool of. This contributes to the above mentioned behavior regarding telling a partner who to be friends with or not wanting them to go out alone.

Refuse to meet in the middle.
A controlling guy has trouble compromising, because he has trouble admitting he is wrong. Or even believing he is wrong.  If you and your guy have arguments that go on forever because one (or both) of you can’t concede, there’s a controller in your midst “ one of you. 

Take credit for others success. 
Because a controller can’t admit to being wrong, they also have trouble letting other people take credit for successes that they could attribute, at least in their own minds, to themselves. Take a good look at yourself or your relationship if this type of behavior is occurring.

The good news is that controllers can (no pun intended) control this behavior.
It may require counseling or therapy, depending on the severity of the problem, but you don’t have to end a relationship or go through life alone because of this. Just be aware if your guy is controlling, and address the behavior before it begins to negatively affect your life. If the controller is you, get some help. And good luck!

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