Signs Of Controlling Behaviour


Controlling Behaviour is: a range of acts designed to exploit, intimidate and manipulate someone for selfish reasons.

This involves depriving them of their independence in an effort to show domination and this type of behaviour is extremely dangerous because it leads to other types or forms of of abuse.

The objective of this article is to highlight a few signs of controlling behaviour

A controlling partner might:

Make decisions without consulting you. 

Are they making any decisions or alterations that affect you without your knowledge or your say so? Consider whether or not you feel like your opinions are valuable to your partner. 

Suggest how your money is spent.

Do they always seem to keep track of how much you make and where your money is going? A controlling person might criticise your spending habits or try to take over how you spend your own money.

Try to tell you who you can and cannot hang out with.

Are they jealous or protective of you when you are around certain people? This can become controlling once they start trying to keep your away from your friends.

Consider themselves to be the boss or the dominant one in the relationship.

Controlling people are often on a power trip. They will take pride in being seen as the one who is in charge. Ask yourself how you feel about your role within the relationship.

Refuse to take your ideas or suggestions into much consideration.

Do they always seem to be in opposition about your take on certain issues? Are they doing this on purpose in order to invalidate any input you have?

Try to tell you what you can and cannot wear.

Controlling lovers will often feel threatened by the idea of their partner attracting attention from the opposite sex. Do they ever comment negatively about how you choose to present yourself?

Try to tell you where you can and cannot go. 

Similarly to the wardrobe, they will try to control where you go so they can keep a certain hold on you.

Accuse you of lying with little or no evidence.

Do you always find yourself being accused of lying about things like where you were or who you were with? They always seem paranoid that you are doing something to betray them.

Accuse you of cheating on him/her.

Does your partner repeatedly accuse you of being unfaithful? Controlling people will often be the ones with trust issues because they feel insecure.

Be unreasonably demanding.

Those who try to control others will often express their wishes in the form of an order instead of asking. Pay attention to how they are framing their suggestions. Is it a demand or a request?

Resort to threats, ultimatums, or blackmail.

With more intense situations, they will try to use tactics to instill fear and intimidation in order to get you to submit to their demands.

Rationalize that their behaviour is all because they love you.

Have you ever felt mistreated by them and then hear them say something along the lines of, “I am only doing this because I love you?” This is how they rationalise their controlling behaviour.

Make you feel like you always have something to prove to them.

Do they repeatedly manage to keep you on your toes and walking on eggshells to prove that you are worthy of them?

Constantly check up on you and might even spy on you.

Are they always calling to check in to where you are or what you are doing? Have you ever caught them looking in on you in person, on your phone, or on any of your social network accounts?

Have a way of blaming you for everything.

When you have an argument and strongly feel they are at some fault in the matter, you seem always be the only one to apologize to them, but never the other way around.

Ask or persuade you to change things about who you are, your beliefs, and values.

Most relationship require adjustments and small changes, but always be extremely cautious when your partner wants you to change major characteristics about yourself that you feel uncomfortable with.

Keep an unbalanced give and take routine.

Are you always the only one giving in the relationship, and your partner is the one doing all the taking?

Invade your privacy.

Do they take an issue with you having private phone or text conversations? Have they ever asked to have any of your passwords to any of your online accounts? Ask yourself how you feel about your privacy and do you feel your need for your space is being honoured.

Refuse to compromise.

Does your partner insist on having things their way in favor over yours? Are they stubborn or difficult in dealing with issues that require a compromise?

Get irrationally upset when they don’t get their way.

If they ever hear the word “no” or they don’t get their way, how do they act? Do they become aggressive, dramatic, or even violent?

If you are in an abusive relationship and requires an urgent response or needs in-depth support please contact the National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247, the Men’s Advice Helpline on 0808 801 0327 or The National LGBT Helpline on 0300 999 5428.

You could also find support organizations using our ONLINE DIRECTORY


Comment (1)

    So glad you’ve written this without a bias on what sex you are, I’m a woman whose had domestic abuse from a male, but have a daughter whose had abuse from a same sex partner, and a friend who suffers it from his wife. Abusers aren’t always men. Thank you for this

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