How to Deal with a Control Freak in a Relationship
Who are Control Freaks?
You've definitely heard the term “control freak” at least once in your life. And if you never bothered checking it out, it's time for you to learn what is a control freak. While you may have thought that a control freak is just a certain manner of behavior, in reality, it has much more to do with psychology and disorders. Oops, guess you've never heard of control freak personality disorder. Well, the term that describes a person who attempts to dictate how everything should be done is actually a psychology-related slang. Don't worry, control freak is not a clinical term. Thus, being a control freak doesn't mean being insane.
Okay, now you know that being a control freak doesn't mean being a cuckoo, unless the control freak exhibits antisocial behavior. Still, if you ever worked or lived with a control freak, you sure know that it's not the most pleasant experience. So, let's find out what kind of disorder is it by digging into the psychology of control freak.
They need to control everything. They correct you if you've said or done something wrong. They feel the constant need to control everything. A lot of people working or being in a relationship with control freaks complain that they feel like they don't have enough air to breathe when their working or romantic partners are around. To find out the reasons behind their behavior, we first need to check out the four types of personality disorders that can be linked to being a control freak.
Types of Personality Disorders Behind Control Freak-ness
1. Antisocial Personality Disorder
Control freaks with the antisocial personality disorder display an enormous sense of self-worth. This type of control freaks often has a very shallow personality, and the sense of self-worth comes from their glibness. They mostly lack feelings of remorse and empathy, and as a result, they tend to pull others into fulfilling their desires.
2. Histrionic Personality Disorder
The main purpose of this kind of control freaks is being the center of attention. Control freaks with histrionic personality disorder draw people in, and as a result, use them to their own advantage. Romantic partners of these control freaks often suffer, as being in a relationship with a person with histrionic personality disorder requires following all the rules of the partner and acting like you are in a relationship with the best person in the world.
3. Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Those with the narcissistic personality disorder have a deep sense of self-importance. They often display hypersensitivity to criticism. Don't you dare tell a control freak with a narcissistic personality disorder that they are wrong or deserve less than they think, as their sense of entitlement makes them think that they deserve only the best. And if they cannot control you, you are unlikely to hang with them for a quite long time.
Sings of Control Freak in a Relationship
Everything mentioned above clearly shows that control freaks are unlikely those people you would be happy to meet. Maybe while reading about control freaks, you might have recognized your boss or, even worse, your partner. In the case you are still unsure whether your partner is a control freak or not, look no further, as we've collected signs of a control freak in a relationship.
1. Correcting You When You Are Wrong
At first, you may think that it's quite cool when your partner is correcting you when you are saying something wrong. It can be your spelling, your pronunciation. While at the party you are saying that something had happened a year ago, and your partner is correcting you publicly that it had happened two years ago. Quite cute, right? Your partner doesn't want you to make mistakes. Although he could do that in private, right? Especially, when your partner gets publicly hysterical about your manners. Unfortunately, these are the warning signs of a control freak. Most likely your partner has a histrionic personality disorder, which means that public opinion is much more important to him or her, as he or she needs to be a centre of attention. How can your partner be a centre of attention if you have bad manners or you don't remember the details of your last date as perfectly as he or she does?
2. When You're Having An Argument Your Partner Always Tries To Win
When you are having an argument, your partner always tries to win or have the last word? Your partner is the smartest and the most logical, so how can you argue with him or her? But every time you have an argument, your partner must have the last word. In trying to win over the argument, your partner may become absolutely illogical. Your partner gets highly upset when lacking arguments against you? Congratulations, this is one of the signs that your girlfriend or boyfriend is a control freak.
3. Refusing To Admit That He/She Is Wrong
Your partner is getting upset when you win the argument, as it means that he or she is wrong. That's one of the control freak symptoms. Mind that you can't be both wrong or both right. Ideally, your partner is always right, and you are always wrong. But whenever things go otherwise, your partner will do everything possible to omit to admit that he or she is wrong.
4. Criticizing Others
One of the most typical signs of a control freak is constantly judging others. Yep, your partner may not clearly see how to change something in his or her life, but they clearly see when other do something wrong in their lives. Your partner doesn't like his or her work and does not attempt to change it, but he or she will dwell on how others should change their job immediately after feeling bored with it.
That's only a tip of the iceberg of signs and symptoms of a control freak, but that's quite enough to tell whether your partner is one or not. One thing you need to understand, that control freaks are behaving that way not because they are evil or something. The main reason behind their behavior is their vulnerability. Most of the control freaks are perfectionists who survived the angst in their childhood. As a result, they feel the need to control everything, as they believe that otherwise, they will experience their childhood angst once again.
How to Deal with a Control Freak in a Relationship
Perhaps without our explanation of the main reason behind control freaks' behavior, you might have already left your partner. Basically, it goes like take it or leave it. But when it comes to relationships, we often think that we can save our partner from their anxiety. If you want to keep a relationship with a control freak boyfriend or girlfriend, you need to know how to deal with them. So, if you think that you are strong, check out our tips on how to deal with a control freak.
1. Realize It's All About Anxiety
Dating a control freak can be exhausting. Most often that kind of romantic relationship ends up in a breakup. If you want to change something and save your relationship, you can't take any further steps without realizing that your partner's behavior is predetermined by anxiety. Otherwise, you are going to be offended all the time by your partner's actions, and all of your attempts to deal with it will fall flat on their face.
2. Talk about Your Parent's Anxiety
Instead of getting annoyed with your partner's actions, ask him what he or she is worried about. That's why you need to realize that it's all about the anxiety when dealing with a control freak. Of course, at first your partner will try to reject the fact that he or she is worried about something (remember, they are mostly perfectionists), but in the end, you will have a straightforward talk about his or her anxiety. And your relationship will only benefit from it, as your partner will stop thinking about you as of someone inferior to him or her. And your relationship is going to get better as soon as your partner starts thinking of you as of someone on the same level as he or she is.
3. Give Them Your Opinion on What You Partner Should Change
Once again, your partner is unlikely going to listen to your advice at first. Mind that your advice should be as logical as possible. In the end, your partner will accept your advice, and if his or her life is going to get better after following your advice, they will be extremely grateful, and your relationship is most likely to change forever.
4. Tell Your Partner What You Don't Like About Your Relationship
When you are living with a control freak, there is no place for hints. You need to be as straightforward as possible. So, when you don't like something about your relationship, tell it in right away. You don't like your boyfriend or your girlfriend discussing you with his or her friends and then bringing their opinions to you? Let your partner know it right away. If you keep silent, it would mean that you've accepted the rules of your partner's game and you agree with everything.
5. Set Your Own Limits
If you decided to stay in a relationship with a control freak, you need to set your own limits. If you want to build a normal partnership, stop tossing and turning the way your partner wants you. You need to decide for yourself what is acceptable and what is not. As soon as you've decided, you need to settle the matter straight with your partner.