Controlling and possessive personalities: When the only path is imposition

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Louise Hay
@louisehay
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wikipedia.org

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Controlling personalities are easy to recognize when they resort to coercion, but if they use more complex manipulation techniques, things get complicated. Sometimes the control can be very subtle and hides behind a joke, a tip, a tip or even a request for help. It is also difficult to spot the signs that we are falling into possessive relationships.

Control, however, is a double-edged sword. It takes away the psychological oxygen from those who are controlled and becomes a mad obsession for those who control.



What is the controlling personality like?

Controlling personalities are those who need the people around them to behave in a certain way. They do not respect the individuality and psychological barriers that all of us set up because they think there is only one correct way to do things: theirs.

  1. Dichotomous thinking

For controlling personalities, those who don't think or act like them are simply wrong. These people usually think in terms of "all or nothing", things are good or bad, they are right or wrong, with no in-between terms. As a result, they often harshly judge and criticize anything that doesn't match their worldview.

  1. Mental rigidity

Due to dichotomous thinking, people who control do not accept that others may have different opinions and ways of doing things. These people have a limited, deeply self-centered perspective that prevents them from seeing situations from a different perspective. It is as if they are always moving with blinders, with their eyes fixed on one point without taking note of the enormous variety that exists in the world around them.

  1. Inflexible rules

Controlling personalities usually have many rules, which give meaning and order to their world, giving them a sense of security. But the problem is that they expect others to follow those same rules. They insist that others follow their rules and that their priorities become those of others.



  1. Poor emotional intelligence

Possessive people have not developed their emotional intelligence. As a result, when someone doesn't do things their way, they tend to get annoyed, frustrated, or angry. They often express those emotions without any restraint, complaining and blaming the other.

  1. Paternalistic attitude

Many controlling personalities are convinced that they are doing good to the other. They take a paternalistic attitude, offering to make the decision for him or tell him what to do. If the person does not follow their rules, it is normal for them to blame him and make him feel bad, a strategy to reassert himself as a point of reference and create an addictive relationship, so that the next time the person pays attention to him.

  1. Thought reading

Dominant people often "read the minds" of others. They believe they can know the essence of the other better than the person themselves and they know what is best for them. They think they can make the best decisions for each other, even if they are unable to put themselves in his place. In fact, it is normal that when a person tries to communicate a problem to them, they interrupt him to explain what his "real" problem is and thus offer him the only solution.

  1. Poor perception of the control exercised

Perhaps one of the most interesting details of the psychology of the controlling person is that they are usually not aware of how much control they try to exert over others. Since this person does not accept that things can be done differently, he does not even conceive of dissent and, therefore, does not consider that he is controlling, but that he is only directing the person on the right path.


Why does the controlling personality develop?

Some parenting styles tend to encourage a controlling personality. At the heart of these possessive relationships between parents and children is a profound lack of harmony. The possessive personality develops when:


- The love received in childhood was conditioned on the results. As children, these people weren't loved until they met their parents' expectations, a form of subtle control they continue to apply in their relationships as they grow up.

- Results were more important than effort and relationships. These people grew up with the message that what they accomplished and produced was more important than who they were or the relationships they established with others. As a result, they have learned to focus on efficiency, even if it means trampling on the rights of others.

- An insecure attachment has been generated, in such a way that the person feels a deep need for attention and affection, but also a deep fear of losing them both, so he exercises control as a way to bond that love to himself.

In a general sense, the fear of uncertainty often hides behind the controlling personality. This person seeks security through the rules and control they seek to impose. He does not willingly accept changes and uncertainty in life, but rather they generate anxiety and she tries to mitigate it by controlling everything she can. So he has an illusory sense of control that gives him calm and tranquility.

That obsession with control may also be due to low self-esteem. In these cases, the controlling person tries to disguise it by exercising control over others. And since he doesn't accept that he has no control over his life, he transfers that frustration onto others, becoming dominant and controlling.


But the controlling personality can also be the result of a severe loss in the past. It usually happens when parents lose a child and blame each other for what happened, so to keep the tragedy from happening again, they become over-controlling with the other child. It also occurs when there is infidelity in the couple relationship, in which case possessive relationships usually develop, due to the fear of losing the new partner.


The problem is that controlling people do not realize that possessive love ends by psychologically asphyxiating those around them, obtaining the opposite result to the desired one: abandonment.

How to soften a controlling personality?

Possessive and controlling people often have many problems in their relationships, both romantic and family, professional and friendship. It is important to keep in mind that a possessive relationship is not a healthy and balanced relationship, but it degenerates into addiction. Genuine love is that which respects the other and leaves him free to make his own decisions.

If you have a controlling personality, it is important that you remember this phrase of Giogio Nardone: "excess of control leads to loss of control". Learn to:

- Relax your concentration. Do not make excessive demands and do not expect to decide for the other. Use the imperative less and only give advice when asked. This approach will enrich the relationship by showing the other person that you respect them.

- Encourage cooperation. Relationships are give and take, a collaboration in which the two parties have something to say and contribute. When you try to impose your points of view and your ways of doing, you cancel the wealth and potential of the person next to you.

- Find the source of your insecurity. To stop checking, it's important to understand where this need comes from. Maybe you are projecting your insecurity onto others? A past trauma generated by a loss? An overly controlling parent or emotionally negligent parents?

How to deal with controlling people?

Dealing with a controlling person isn't easy, especially when it comes to intimate relationships. However, we must keep in mind that no one can control us without our permission, this means that, in a certain way, we are "complicit" in such manipulation. Maya Angelou wrote: "You cannot control everything that happens to you, but you can choose that it does not weaken you".

Therefore, it is important to be aware that control is not love. When people control us, they “make up” our reality so that we can see the world through their eyes. They don't respect us as we are. They want to change us, make us different, more like themselves or their image of you. Controlling people want us to adapt to their reality, regardless that this reality may be wrong or just not be the most appropriate for us.

You must set limits and not allow controlling persons to exceed them. Thank them for their "advice" and tell them that you will do what is best for you. Don't let them put pressure on your sensitive spots to make you feel guilty. Remember that mistakes are part of learning. Maybe your way of doing things isn't perfect, but it's yours and you can improve it as you mature. Don't let others decide for you.

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