You might know someone with a controlling personality. It seems like they always make the plans, choose what everyone is going to do or what they’re going to eat. They’re often giving you unsolicited advice, telling you to do something “Because I want you to,” or not to do something because “I don’t want you to do that.”

People with controlling personalities often have codependency issues. They rely on their ability to control others, to make themselves feel more confident and secure. Once a controlling person has you under their spell, it can be difficult to get out.

Here are seven things controlling personalities do to keep you beneath them:

1. They Constantly Criticize You

A controlling person is never satisfied with what others are doing. They believe their way is the right way and they know best. They will constantly criticize everything about you to let you know you’re wrong. It might be the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the music you listen to or even the place where you work. Nothing is ever good enough for them.


2. They Become Close To You, Then Create Distance

This is a manipulation tactic used to gain ultimate control. Once you meet a controllign person, your relationship may move quickly. You start talking constantly and spending a lot of time together. You start to rely on their affection. When a controlling person believes you have feelings for them, they start to distance themselves, just to make your head spin, and to make you realize you need them.

3. They Get Angry When You Ask Questions

A controlling person doesn’t like to be questioned. They believe that they are always right and what they say goes. If you ask them to explain their opinions, reasons or motives, they will instantly become defensive and upset. The truth is, they don’t have a good answer for you. They simply want you to follow their word without question.

4. They Use Guilt To Manipulate You

Controlling personalities are skilled manipulators. They use phrases like, “If you love me, you will…” or “I will be hurt if you don’t…” They try to guilt you into following their orders and doing things their way. This is a sign of a toxic relationship that can end in emotional damage.

5. They Don’t Tolerate Any One Else’s Ideas Or Opinions

Controlling people are extremely close-minded. They think they are always right, so there is no need for other ideas, beliefs or opinions. They lack tolerance for other people, especially those who stand up for their beliefs, share their opinions or disagree with them. If you disagree with them, you are wrong and that’s that. Their inability to tolerate others causes them to have few friends or people they care about.

6. They Make Rules About Your Life

Since they insist they know what’s best for you, a controlling person will impose rules on your life. They might demand to know where you are and who you’re with at all times. They might forbid you from hanging out with coworkers or certain friends, or set a rule that you must respond immediately when they call or text you. If any of these “rules” sound familiar, there’s a good chance you have a controlling person in your life.

7. They Make You Feel Bad For Being Yourself

Once you finally begin to recognize a controlling person’s behaviors and refuse to follow their rules or make decisions based on their opinions, they’ll become angry. They’ll tell you that you’ve changed and they don’t like the person you’ve become. They’ll say you’re ungrateful. Once they feel their power slipping away, they’ll say anything and everything to make you feel guilty. The truth is, you should never let anyone tell you who you are or who you should be. You are in control of your life and your happiness.

I Heart Intelligence