How to Deal With a Controlling Friend

A controlling friend acts as the center of your universe. They try to take charge of who you relate with, what you do, where you go, your interests/hobbies, and sometimes even interfere with your work. That’s not what friends do. This article will help you learn the signs of a control freak, how to deal with a controlling person and How to Get Out Of a Controlling Relationship.

To deal with controlling people, you need to identify the signs of a controlling person first. Open up about it to them, make up your mind to live consciously, set some boundaries, and take charge of your life. Do not make them your “everything”.

But, wait, how can I identify a controlling friend? Does it show? It sure does. But because it’s masqueraded as goodwill. It might not be obvious. Here are a few signs of controlling and manipulative friends.

Is My Friend Controlling and Manipulative?

Control is often disguised as intense love and care, or a deep desire for you to be better. For this reason, a lot of people hold on to unhealthy friendships being innocently manipulated into believing that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

1.    They intimidate you by demeaning your ideas.

2.    They mostly shift the blame to you even.

3.    They are too demanding

Controlling and Manipulative friends constantly demand to know where you are going, why, with whom, and for how long. They take offense when you don’t comply with their demands.

4.    They have a sense of entitlement and act as your superior.

5.    They exaggerate simple disagreements,

They turn simple disagreements into major conflicts, and play the victim.

6.    They isolate you

Controlling and Manipulative friends act like they are in a competition with your other relationships.

If all or most of these pointers are true, your guess is as good as mine. You have a problem. But, maybe answering these questions makes you sound judgmental – and they shouldn’t. There are other ways of knowing if you are being controlled or not. The best of them is to evaluate your emotional health.

7 Signs You Are Dealing With a Control Freak

1.    You feel like having them increases your self-worth

2.    You have lost your sense of security and privacy

You almost have no secrets

3.    You feel guilty for trying new things without consulting them

4.    You feel you need to lie

You constantly need to lie, request permission to make a decision, or you have to justify your decisions and actions

5.    You are not at liberty to say NO

6.    You always bear the blame when things go wrong

7.    You feel a sense of freedom when not with them

Well, if this describes you, here are a few ideas you can apply to improve your friendship.

5 Proven Ways to Deal with a Controlling Person

If you have been shrugging your shoulders every time a control freak says something mean or makes a lame joke, it’s time to stop. Here is how to stop a controlling person.

1.    Open up about it

A lot of people suffer in the hands of controlling friends just because they don’t say it. In fear of jeopardizing the friendship, they suffer silently.

Let not your feelings get hurt while you silently nod. When you feel like they are starting to control you, simply let them know. You can say “I feel controlled when this happens” or “I feel controlled by your words.”

2.    Make up your mind to live consciously

There is a tendency to greatly compromise when dealing with a friend. Even when they hurt us and hinder us from reaching our full potential, we want to make them feel comfortable when around us.

The challenge is, a controlling friend will use that as a weapon to hold you back. They will make you feel guilty for making decisions on your own even when they are good decisions. This saddens because in case you fail, they will not share the blame.

You have to take charge of your life and not let any friend, no matter how sweet and thoughtful they are, take the driving wheel of your life.

You can tell him/her, “I understand your concern but this decision is personal.”

3.    Don’t make them your ‘everything’

You are a whole person. You may not be as fun-loving but you are capable of having a balanced life. You need time for family, for spiritual matters, and even for yourself.

Don’t allow yourself to be carried away by the friendship and miss out on other important aspects of your life.

Having a friend should not take over the whole of your life, if it does, know that you are dealing with a ‘control freak’.

4.    Trust and be trusted

Most people who control others do so out of fear. They are afraid of losing you or your friendship. Be a trustworthy and consistent friend.

When you say something, follow it with actions. When you promise to show up, do it. Set precedence by telling them you trust them. This deals with their sense of insecurity.

5.    Set boundaries

Controlling friends want to show off with you. They want to take charge of you. These are the people who want to have your keys, your passwords, direct access to your office, and no restrictions whatsoever.

You deserve some confidentiality and you don’t owe them an apology. If they don’t get it, simply explain why you need your privacy.

How to Get Out Of a Controlling Relationship

1.    Talk about it, and resolve the differences

A friendship cannot be one way, there should be mutual understanding and each party should benefit. If that’s not the case, you and your friend should review that relationship. Maybe they also feel you are controlling, talk about it, and resolve the differences.

2.    Cultivate mutual respect and genuine love

Healthy friendships cannot be based on control. They should be based on mutual respect and genuine love.

3.    End the Relationship

You can’t keep walking away from relationships every time they turn toxic. However, ending a controlling and manipulative relationship may be the only solution if your friend is not willing to change.

A friend who genuinely cares about you and values you will be willing to listen to you and adjust their behavior for the friendship to work out. If they don’t show remorse or a desire to change, feel free to walk away.

How to Deal With a Selfish Friend

How to Deal With Liars


Am a graduate sociologist and a regular contributor to national publications such as the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Journal of Applied Social Science and the Annual Review of Sociology.

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