Control Freaks, do [did] you know someone who NEEDs to be in control constantly?

Ah, yes, that’s my style- putting the question
in the subject header.

So, how to deal with this kind of person? How to make them happy, but most of all, how do give them control but still keep the real control yourself?

I’ve been, ah, sort of forced to be friends’ with a control freak & whenever he can’t have absolute control from me he freaks out [an ‘eppy’ in British] & takes my friend & leaves. Course, I want to spend more time with my friend but this guy has to be THERE all the time & one little off comment by me and it’s ‘we have to leave now!’

Last time he said TO ME right in the middle of my conversation with my friend, ’ you lie a lot, you lie all the time…,’ I said,
‘did you think of that all by yourself Michael?’ and there was this hushed silence & then that stupid ‘we have to go now shit.’ ack.

You don’t have to be friends with anyone if you don’t like them. If he keeps this up, sit him down and explain to him why you find his behaviour upsetting.

If he doesn’t get a clue, then tell your other friend that you don’t want to be around the freak. Don’t make it a “him or me” sort of thing-- just let them know that you don’t like how he acts and you’d rather not have to deal with him.
– Sylence

“The problem with reality is the lack of background music.” – Anon

This doesn’t sound like much of a friend. However, if you value the time with this person and want to keep in control, agree to meet in nuetral locations
( bars/restaurants/etc) and when you agree to meet say, " I have to leave in one/two hours because of …) and insert your escape clause. The best one, if you can do it is that you have to go to your mom’s house to help her move something heavy. No one will volunteer to come along.

Perhaps you can invest in a pager, even a fake one, and if the situation is really unbearable, just say …" Oh, I just got a page from the office, I have to go make a call."

It sounds like your real friend is someone going out/friendly with this control freak. Maybe he is being a jerk to you just so he can isolate your friend from everyone else. Maybe pointing this out to your real friend will help.

Sounds like that to me, too. If he IS trying to cut your friend off from other people, there’s a good chance he’ll turn abusive. (Been there.) If you want to help your friend, do NOT play his game. Don’t confront him, and whatever you do, DON’T force your friend to choose between you and him – because that’s exactly what he wants. You will lose, and you won’t be there for your friend when she / he really needs you.

Apologies if I’m reading too much into the OP. Good luck.

You all did fine, including you Fretful.

Any reason in particular that you don’t like the idea of confrontation?

Confronting a control freak lets them know that they’ve done their job. They’ve successfully manipulated you into being angry. If he/she says “we’ve got to go now,” just say “okay! see ya!” That lets them know that you have a life too, and you can live without them. Knowing that there’s someone out there who is (seemingly) unaffected by their behavior really honks them off.

That’s been my experience with “control freaks,” anyway.

handy - Did I give ypou permission to post a new thread?

Yer pal,

There is no way to “pretend” give control and still retain it. Control freaks are vampires, and they won’t be satisfied even if they HAVE total control.

Previous posters nailed it dead-on: it’s a sickly little power thing, and a control freak’s needs are bottomless. NO matter is too small to escape criticism and punishment.

Sorry, ranting, but don’t even try the appeasement strategy. It won’t work. The best way is, as suggested, to shrug at the power play and go your own way. They’re emotional bullies, and the only power they have is what’s given to them.

BTW, it’s almost impossible to rescue someone in the clutches of a control freak. And hey, they can’t be in thrall w/o their consent. It’s hard, wanting to please someone and having it used against you. But nobody said choices were easy.

Your friend may sooner or later (or never) get tired of being hostage to the CF. But as a friend, the best thing you can do is refuse to play the game and stay a friend. And be there when the friend breaks free, saying “I can’t believe I put up with…”.


Did I know one? Sure. Saw him everytime I looked in a mirror. (I feel much better now.) :wink:

The thing to remember with control freaks is that they are scared. They’re afraid of what the world will do to them if they should lose control of it. They’re so worried about this that it doesn’t even occur to them that they have no control, and never did.

What can you do to help one? Perhaps the best thing is to confront them. Of course, this will not work when you do it. However, when their world starts collapsing around them (and it will), maybe they’ll remember what you said and get some help.


Hmmm . . . well, I was gonna post to this thread, but - hey Satan, don’t we have to leave now?

Hi, I’m a control freak! But I’m pretty happy, because I often get my way… or at least I get enough control that it SEEMS like I get my way.

Here’s the thing I need to grasp: that sometimes bad things happen, and it’s nobody’s fault. But what I THINK is that as long as I’m the one in control, if things go badly I can blame only myself. If someone ELSE has control, and things go wrong, then I get mad at them and it’s silly. I would rather blame myself - so I “need” to have control.

Sucks to your assmar.

May I have permission to post another message, S?

Anyway, what kind of tipped me off about this person being a control freak [there are a lot of things really but one more tips the scale]
was that the he cleaned & organized her house & does it daily. Where usually its a regular messy house. sigh.

I know a CF very well, and there is no way to win this one. The deal is, as someone said further on up, they are scared. CF’s are notoriously insecure and you’ll find yourself biting into a power struggle without realizing it. The best way to deal with it is not usually confrontation (that’s what drives them) but to back out of the power struggle and just let it go. You don’t have to agree or disagree. Some people react by agreeing with these types, allowing them to think that every idea is their own, etc., but that doesn’t do them any favours.

Show me 100 CF’s and I’ll show you 100 different reasons why they’re the way their are, usually some unresolved childhood thing. The CF I know, for example, grew up dirt poor, family lived in a tent at one point and lived on pancakes and macaroni. Food became some weird fixation for this person, so that he’ll eat a full meat half an hour before dinner, or go without eating with everyone else, then run down to a restaurant and eat there. I guess he had no control over when or what he ate as a kid, so he’s going to have control over it now, damn it!

Somebody’s comment that they like to be in control because if something screws up, they only have themself to blame is interesting to me. My CF friend is entirely opposite, and even though he gives the illusion of controlling everything around him, when the shit hits the fan, it’s inevitably someone else’s fault. “I’m in control, but I’m not responsible” is his motto. Grrrrr.

Good luck dealing with this infantile attitude, it ain’t easy :wink:

You can’t save your face and your ass at the same time.