Why Are Controlling People That Way? What It Means and How to Deal With Them

To all the wannabe puppeteers in your life…

Brooke Meredith
Mind Cafe


image by Evan Fitzer from Unsplash.com

Controlling people are those who tend to try and take the lead, as well as, control situations and the behavior of people in their lives.

For some people, attempting to control situations or events is a way of coping with anxiety. For example, a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, may need to have control over their environment or routine due to intense fears of contamination or crime. Treating the underlying anxiety may improve a person’s symptoms.

Other reasons people might act in a controlling way:

  • Insecurity — Controlling behavior is often the result of fear or insecurity on the part of the controller, despite the image of strength and confidence he or she often projects.
  • High-functioning anxiety — What might seem on the outside to be the pinnacle of organization, preparedness, or leadership — he or she has the day planned down to the minute — could actually be the symptoms of high-functioning anxiety. “They may use control as a coping mechanism to create safety for their own spiraling worries and concerns,” said licensed psychotherapist Christine Scott-Hudson. “Being the one in charge serves them by allowing them more…