Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

Surprisingly, not all controlling behavior is overtly obvious.

Control comes in all shapes and sizes. Thus, so does ‘being controlled.’

It’s important to identify the various differences because too often, a person may not realize they are actually being controlled.

This may sound hard to believe, yet passive and subtle control linger quietly in the background of a relationship. It can present without the prerequisite demanding, yelling or confrontational type behavior of the obviously controlling individual. Additionally, badly behaving persons can snare an enabler without the caring personality recognizing another person is pushing their buttons.

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1. Controlled by The Obviously Controlling Personality:

In some ways, believe it or not, the overtly controlling personality may be the most predictable. At least what you see is what you get. This is a domineering individual who puppets home and work routines because they are used to being in charge and getting their way.

They may bark orders, such as, “don’t order that,” “You didn’t do that correctly,” “Do this now,” “We are eating at this restaurant,’ etc. They will delegate their wishes and will ask for things to be performed exactly as they would do it. They will be strong in preferences towards where to eat, where to vacation, where to work, etc.

This type of person will complain loudly when things are done ‘improperly’ as they believe they have mastered the correct way to maneuver daily life.

Conversely, this person may also have difficulty delegating and letting go. Why? Because they believe they know how to do a task the best and because letting go of control is frightening for them.

Nonetheless, this type of controlling personality is generally the easiest to spot. They are so outspoken in their need to be in control that it can’t be masked.

2. Controlled by The Passive-Aggressive Personality:

A person may initially observe a passive-aggressive personality as laid back and quite the opposite of someone who needs to be in control. Do not be fooled. This type of controlling behavior is equally as destructive if not more harmful than being opening controlling.

The passive-aggressive individual avoids conflict and instead, maintains control by their actions. They will often agree to something which they have no intention of doing. When the time comes they will sabotage the very thing which they agreed to do.

Perhaps it was dinner out – they will show up late or not at all.
Perhaps they agree with a major decision such as selling a house – and then neglect to do repairs and get it ready.
Perhaps they agree to go out with your friends – then they sit quietly and make others uncomfortable.

These are just a few examples but this type of controller will essentially say yes to avoid all conflict. They will then ultimately ruin what is important to their significant other IF they disagree with it.

This is a confusing and unpredictable individual for the spouse who loves them. Why? Because when the passive-aggressive person is happy and in control they can be extremely affable. They may also sound believable when they say ‘yes’ and mean ‘no.’ Therefore, it can be hard to determine when they will turn their spouse’s world upside down with the need to assert control.
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3. Controlled by The Manipulative Personality:

The manipulative personality is a clever conspirator. They understand how to orchestrate the outcome which they desire. They are plotters. They develop a plan to make people and outcomes work in their favor.

This type of individual has the ability to control you by getting you to do what they want. They also have the ability to send your life out of control by said manipulation.

For instance, a caring spouse could keep giving into a manipulative spouse because they feel bad for them, feel that they need their help, their resources, etc. The manipulator is skilled in presenting a ‘coy’ like facade to entice the help and subsequent outcome they are seeking. A spouse of this type of controlling individual can end up living their entire existence in order to make their spouse’s life better.

A manipulative person can also send their partner’s world out of control if they sense they are losing the ability to control them. They might retaliate by orchestrating negative consequences, such as punishing them via finances, isolating them, and other methods that try and regain the ability to coerce the outcome they want.

4. Controlled by The Badly Behaving Personality:

An overly caring person who puts up with repeated bad behavior from a spouse is an enabler. An enabler does not generally identify themselves as being controlled. Instead, they believe they are saving or rescuing the person they love. They convince themselves that the narcissist, the abuser, the gambler, the addict wouldn’t survive without them.

In fact, they are not the one in control helping the spouse they believe needs it. On the contrary, they are being controlled by an individual who is making their world out of control. The control is difficult to extinguish because it’s not necessarily coming from a difficult and controlling personality. It is the result of an illness that has taken over control of one individual and ultimately then controls the one that loves them.

Control is natural to the person who craves it. It is depleting to the one being controlled. In essence, it is surrendering your life for the life of another. It is giving up most of yourself to please another person.

It is the extreme taker and the extreme giver.

(Photos courtesy of Pexels)
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