5 Ways Being A Control Freak Sabotages Your Relationships (And The 3 Behaviors That Cause It)

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controlling woman

I know how you feel. You know about things much better than people around you. You are disciplined, you are determined, and you are knowledgeable. But they aren’t.

You wonder how they cannot see things like you do, how they cannot think as you do, and how they cannot act as you do. Because you are not perfect, but you have figured it out more than them. And that makes your piece of advice valuable.

You try to talk some sense into them because you just want to help them do the right thing. And when they don’t seem to understand, you tell them to just do what you say. 

Sometimes they don’t see it, but if they just do what you tell them, everything will be fine. In fact, you even wonder why everyone else in the world doesn’t follow your pieces of advice exactly! 

You expect others to be grateful for receiving your valuable wisdom. But no! In contrast, they even seem to be annoyed and offensive and they start to call you a control freak.

Are you guilty of being a control freak in your relationship? Though you may not realize it, there are a few surprising reasons why we have a tendency to become controlling.

1. You are afraid of being hurt or failing.

Control freaks are strong. You are strong. And you seem to be fearless when you always appear determined, ambitious, and responsible. But deep down, you are not. In fact, you feel that you are one the people who are scared the most.

You are scared of getting hurt or failing all the time. Why? Because everyone else depends on you. You carry the burden and have the biggest responsibility for everything around you. If you fail, they will fail.

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2. You're a perfectionist.

You have high expectations of yourself and others, but feel that if you don’t manage everything, the outcome won’t be guaranteed. You want things to be smooth and perfect. You work hard, you study hard, and you do whatever it takes to prevent life from going wrong.

If you want things to be done right, you’d better do it yourself. If you let other people do it, you will have to fix their mistakes and clean up their mess eventually. This behavior makes you feel safe, content, and in charge when everything in your life is perfect.

3. You have a fear of abandonment.

We are social creatures. We love the sense of belonging and we don’t want to be a lone wolf. That’s normal. But when it reaches a higher level, it turns out to be a fear — the fear of being abandoned.

To fight this fear, you try to keep people under control so they will not leave you. And ironically, the more you try to keep them close, the further they try to stay away from you.

If this sounds like you, you may be putting your relationship in serious trouble. Your fear of failure, abandonment and perfectionist tendencies can eventually overwhelm your partner and cause them to leave.

To avoid being a control freak, it will help to know how your behavior can ruin relationships, and how you can change your ways to have a happy, healthy relationship.

1. Control kills intimacy.

Imagine this: You try to micromanage everything that your partners do. Your partner loves you for helping out with everything they try to do. They appreciate you and thank you for all of your hard work. They share their deepest thoughts with you, just to see what valuable advice you have to give them.

Sounds exactly what you expect? Good. In reality? Not a chance. 

Here’s the thing: No one likes your unsolicited advice. They will never share their thoughts with you if you constantly tell them what to do. What they really want is someone to listen to them, allow them to be vulnerable, and make them feel safe. What you are trying to do is the exact opposite.

2. Your partners can become defensive.

Remember when you tried to explain to your partner what they had done wrong in the hopes they would learn their lessons and avoid making the same mistakes in the future? You hoped they would see your good heart and thank you for it. 

Instead, they got defensive and started to defend their actions. How ironic it is that they were angry with themselves just a couple of minutes ago. But that’s how it is. Once they expose themselves to you, the least they expect is your attack.

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3. Your partner feels resentful.

Ever feel like the more you try to help, the more they want to act out? Because they do. They feel like no matter how hard they try, they will never be able to please you, to make you happy. They see you as a bossy person who doesn’t appreciate their effort.

Your partner wants to surprise you with a romantic dinner. He comes home early and starts cooking. Of course, he doesn’t know how because you never let him do anything. The outcome is not so great. When you eat, you start explaining to him how to cook this, how to chop that.

Now, does it sound romantic to you? When you try to control other people, they no longer feel needed and they want to act the opposite way.

4. You don’t trust anyone.

A strong and honest relationship is built on trust, isn’t it? But what would happen if you can't trust anyone? You are afraid of failing, you try to control everything around you and everything must be perfect. How can you be so sure that things will be perfect if you don’t do it yourself?

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Once you become controlling, you are falling into your own trap. You want to have a strong relationship that is built on trust. You want them to trust you. You try so hard to do things perfectly to earn their trust. But in return, you are unable to trust anyone.

5. You feel lonely.

A control freak is lonesome. You dedicate your time, your energy, and your life to helping people around you. But what do you get in return? They don’t appreciate you. They take you for granted. They find you annoying. And they don’t like sharing their thoughts with you.

Why are you trying so hard? It’s not worth it. You get mad at them for feeling that way. You think it’s unfair and you feel resentful. It’s like you are the only one that tries to keep your relationship afloat.

Even though we all love to have our lives under control, we cannot have other people under our control. Because sooner or later, you will lose them. 

You meet so many people in your life, doing things in a way that you know is not the best solution. They even come to you to talk about it. But be aware: They just want to talk, they don’t need your advice. And they certainly don’t need your order.

You know what to do this time. You listen to them. Let them be. Let them do things their way. And let them learn their lessons themselves. Do you think that when they mess up, they will resent you for not giving your best piece of advice? No. They will see you as an understanding partner, a person who trusts them.

You can have a great life, healthy relationships, and enjoy your moments by letting go of your need to be a control freak. It doesn’t mean that you don’t care about them anymore. It’s just you realizing that the only person you have full control over is yourself.

It takes hard work, it takes strength, and it takes courage to let go. And you know what? You can do it. And so can they.

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