yes, therapy helps!
Controlling people: 7 characteristics that give them away

Controlling people: 7 characteristics that give them away

September 19, 2022

Much of the human personality is defined by the way in which we relate to each other. The controlling people, in particular, express one of the most problematic facets of their way of behaving from attitudes that limit the freedom of the rest.

In this article we will see what are the fundamental aspects that characterize the controlling people , as well as different ways of recognizing the different variants of this style of behavior.

  • Related article: "The 6 main types of toxic relationships"

7 typical features of controlling people

Each person is unique, and of course, to understand well the logic that is behind the way of acting of an individual, it is necessary to pay attention to him instead of starting from prejudices and generalities. However, a good starting point is to see if your behavioral style corresponds to certain categories described from psychology.


In the case of people with a tendency to want to control the rest, attending to these signals is especially important, since the welfare of another person may be affected by the lack of resources to protect themselves from the first .

1. They handle mental frames well

When we communicate, we not only emit words: we also make the conversation turn around a mental framework in which what we say and what the other says to answer us makes sense. For example, if we talk about "the children of Spain" we express a mental framework by which a country is a practically human entity, with some interests and a way of being defined, whereas if we speak of "the Spaniards", we only we refer to a group of inhabitants of a region.


Controlling people know that they need to hide their true motivations at the time of trying in a certain way those who want to submit, and therefore use the language to create a moral alibi. For example, in relationships, it is very common for these people to talk about the affective bond that binds them to their lover or in love as if it were a relationship in which one protects the other.

  • Maybe you're interested: "Cognitive schemes: how is our thinking organized?"

2. Act as if they knew the essence of the controlled person

The controlling people tend to base the justification of their way of behaving in a supposed ability to "see" the essence of people and decide what is best for them. Of course, this is not expressed literally, but it is glimpsed in what they say.


For example, they talk about the almost innate and immutable weaknesses of the other person to try to "compensate" those limitations by controlling that aspect of their life, while doing everything possible to make the limits of that supposed area of ​​life very diffuse. .

3. Act with paternalism

In controlling people who try to hide the way in which they exercise their power over the other, they often resort to a paternalistic tone. This can be done by being conciliatory (for example, offering to make a decision on the other) or more directly dominating (For example, they criticize the "lack of personality" or the criteria of the other to try to make those who have been criticized submit to the decisions that are imposed from outside).

4. They seek to isolate the other socially

As more social contacts tanga the person dominated, more likely to be rid of that toxic relationship. That is why the controlling people try to make their victim run out of contacts, without friendships or, in the most extreme cases, without frequent encounters with the family .

This is very noticeable in the relationship of couples, an area in which it is very likely that controlling people try to exercise that control they want by taking advantage of the intimacy that this type of relational relationship confers.

5. They do not seek to cooperate, seek unconditional support

Normally, the controlling people prepare the ground to manipulate others not at the moment in which it is very important to have the unconditional support of these, but much earlier, in minor situations.

Thus, for example, at the least sign of sympathy for someone with whom the controlling person is at least a bit estranged, it is easy to show outrage or frustration. The message is clear: it is the controlling person that defines what are the limits of empathy and sympathy (not to mention friendship) that the other can have, the one that is submitted.

In this way, when the resounding support of the other is needed, this will be practically guaranteed, since not providing the required help would break the history of unconditional support in unimportant situations, and cognitive dissonance would appear.

6. They believe they have the right to interfere in everything

For controlling people, the right to be alone can be put in question if you are looking for an adequate excuse to do so. It is not always because they want to be controlling the other person 24 hours a day; Sometimes, it is simply because they do not take into account the needs of this.

7. They speak of a "common good" to make decisions on the other

It is very common for controlling people to act as if it is totally normal to anticipate the other person's decisions and take them for the other person. The excuse can be "do not waste time", "do the right thing for everyone", etc.


3 Warning Signs You're Dealing With A Manipulator (September 2022).


Similar Articles