Ernie the Gambler, Neil and I were having an interesting talk about control freaks the other day. We were trying to figure out what their problem is in the first place, and how to disarm them.
Remember when I did that piece about manipulation and being manipulated? Well, the control freak is worse. Everyone wants to have some control of their lives, their destiny, their workplace, their front porch, whatever. And mentally healthy people don't want to be controlled, they want at least some say in their relationships.
These people are so weak minded that they are in so much fear and anxiety in their own lives, they want to control your life as well. You don't have much say when you're in a relationship with a control freak: Do what you're told. The problem is, when a control freak is a raving psychotic, there is no pleasing them; the rules constantly change. When you do what you're told or forced to do, this worst of controllers is still not pleased.
Control freaks are often like verbal machine guns. They use manipulation techniques that are blatant, and you feel like you've been machine gunned. You may or may not know what happened when the control freak is done with you, but you know that you feel lousy.
Other times, control freaks can be more subtle, but they still exert tremendous pressure until they get their way. This is a dreadful way to live. You can be controlled and manipulated, but you really don't know it until it's too late. And you can wind up learning their evil ways and using them to control and manipulate good people in your life.
Also, watch out for passive-aggressive traits, that's a vicious control and manipulation that sick people utilize.
I promise you from experience, you are damaged by long-term exposure to control freaks. They bring you down and they damage your self-esteem. In fact, you can end up being dependent on their control, because you've lost your own will and "need" to be controlled. God help you. Your best bet is to get away from control freaks. They do not know how to give or receive genuine love. All they know is how to take away. There is no pleasing them. So, if you're in a relationship with one, get the hell out! It's not true friendship or love. Take a good, long, honest look at it and see. If they want to get professional help, fine. After that, maybe then you can see about starting over in a relationship with them. But be very careful! Not that they'll admit to needing help in the first place, so they'll never seek it out. Capice?
For those of you who are confined with a control freak through living arrangements, a relative, a spouse: Get help. You'll need a therapist with good skills to help you deal with this kind of monstrosity if you can't get away from it.
Here is an interesting article on control freaks, if you want more information. And God help Neil and others who have to live with this kind of garbage that ruins their lives.