The 7 best ways to stop being controlling

This article will show you what are the 7 best ways to stop being controlling. Aside from that, the article will show what being controlling means, and why that is often seen as a bad thing.

The 7 best ways to stop being controlling 

If you are trying to be less controlling, here are the best 7 ways to do that.

Become aware of your condition 

First of all, to deal with being controlling you need to identify your controlling behaviors, and what triggers them. For that, you can begin a journal, so you can write out all the moments in which you feel that you are behaving like that. 

Becoming aware of your pattern will allow you to reflect on other possibilities, so you can determine other ways to behave whenever you run into those situations in which you would have been controlling before.

Understand what is driving you 

The need for control is usually driven by other emotions. In most cases, it can be fear. To help you not be so controlling you may want to ask yourself what will happen if you just let things happen without any control.

You may also need to work towards differentiating what is the reality of your situation, what is the catastrophe that is inside your head, and what you are fantasizing about that will come to reality if you let go of control.

Challenge your fear 

Once you understand that fear is the driving force of your need for control, you may want to begin to work towards challenging this fear. For that, you can often lead yourself through an array of questions that will help you identify what is the fear that is in your mind, and what are the matters that you need to care for.

For that you can, for example, ask how likely the thing that is in your head likely to happen. Asking yourself if you have any evidence to support this fear, and if they are just clouding your thoughts can also help set them apart. 

Aside from that, you may want to determine how helpful this line of thought is to you, and how many times things turn out as bad as your mind has told you it would. Chances are there is a big difference in that, which may help you let go, even if just for a little bit, of your need for control.

Try to differentiate what is under your control, and what is not 

A key situation to learning how to deal with being controlling is to set apart what is under your control, and what is not. You may often rationally know that you are unable to control a lot of things in your life, but when you are controlling you may take your need for it seriously, and try to control whatever you can.

It is better to learn how to set them apart than to push things to be in the way you wanted them to be, which can only lead to more trouble. Instead, learn to embrace what is out of your control, and let things happen as they may.

Learn to accept your shortcomings 

When we are controlling, it can be that we constantly want things to be perfect. And this isn’t the standard of perfection that is brought in by others, but you may want to always be perfect by your standards, and evaluate yourself, and others by that ruler.

Having in mind that neither of us is perfect and that we are all trying our best to deal with our shortcomings. Expect and learn to accept that things will not always work as you want them to, and if you try to control people, likely, you will just push them away.

Deal with your anxiety 

Thinking of having to deal with uncertainty, and the unknown can easily cause a person to become anxious, and even stressed. Learning ways to cope with that, and embracing the unknown to a point you can tolerate it can bring you peace of mind.

Learn that not everything unexpected is bad

We may often have catastrophic thoughts when we are too controlling. But having in mind that not everything will go according to that idea can help you see that it is not all that bad. Positive things can also come from the unexpected.

What does it mean to be controlling? 

Being controlling, or being what is popularly called a control freak means that you are a person that will always want things to go according to what you have planned. And when they don’t it can lead you to intense anxiety, and even suffering.

When you are controlling, you will often want to have a predictable routine, you may also be a perfectionist, and enjoy creating a system for things. Being controlling usually implies that you get stuck in an all-or-nothing line of thought, and tend to think the worst will happen when things don’t go your way.

When you are controlling, you may also demand too much of yourself, and others, and be extremely critical. It may also be difficult for you to delegate things, you give others suggestions on how they should act, and it can be difficult for you to relax. The biggest fear of a controlling person is that things will change, and they will be in a situation in which they don’t know what will happen.

Why is being controlled bad? 

Being controlling can often be seen as negative by others. But it is important to keep in mind that it is perfectly normal to want to have things under your control. It often is something that can give people a sense of safety, and reassurance in what they are doing with their lives.

Having this sense of predictability allows you to plan, and think of the paths you want to go through. But it all turns into a problem when dealing with the uncontrollable, and unexpected brings intense suffering to you.

Not everything in our life can be thought out or planned. A lot will happen that you will not be able to plan, and you may want to try to learn how to deal with it. That is because expecting everything to be perfect, or according to plan can lead you to a lot of stress, anxiety, and heartache, which with time can take a toll not only on your physical health but also on your mental health as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): What are the 7 best ways to stop being controlling? 

What causes people to be controlling?

Many things can lead a person to develop controlling behavior, but it often is something associated with anxiety or even a personality disorder. For people with anxiety, it feels that not knowing what is going to happen is too difficult. It can put them through a lot of suffering, and cause them to constantly imagine the worst is just around the corner.

Because of that, the person with anxiety will often make a point of controlling everything they can in their surroundings, so they are never caught off guard by a negative event. As for people with personality disorders, such as a person with narcissistic personality disorder being controlling can be used as a way to protect themselves, but also as a way to manipulate others.

They may need to be in control of everything to make sure they will get out of their relationships exactly what they need. And by having control, and the ability to manipulate people, they know the person won’t just walk away from them at any given moment.

How can I stop being bossy?

To stop being bossy there are some things you can do. First of all, you need to accept the idea that you are part of a team, and if it is possible, be grateful for that. Show the people around you how all of you can benefit by doing teamwork.

It is also important, to not be so bossy, and to know when to step back. Taking yourself out of the situations when you are not needed, and your team can handle what is happening is extremely important. But leave the door open so they can talk to you at any time if they feel they need your help or even your support.

Aside from that, to deal with the impulse of being bossy, you may want to look inside yourself to identify what is causing you to behave like that. This means that you should make a point of working more on feeling safe with others, and dealing with the unknown, so you can be less controlling.

Is it possible for a controlling person to change?

Yes, a controlling person can change. But this is not an easy process. The person needs to be open to look deep into themselves, and try to discover why they have become controlling. It is also important for them to learn what, the situation they are in, has led them to try to control everything as they are now.

For that, it can be extremely important for you to go to therapy. In this process, you may learn more about yourself, and how you have been built to control the world around you. And maybe then, little by little, you will be able to let go.

What are signs that my being controlling is ruining my relationship?

Being too controlling can be detrimental to your relationship. And it is especially bad when you realize that it has led you to impact the friendship your partner has with other people, or if it impacts on how they dress, or even on how they behave.

It is also a problem when it leads you to go through your partner’s phone, and when you want them to be close to you all the time. Being too controlling is bad when you are the one that makes all the decisions, and you are hardly ever willing to compromise. 

If you are the one defining what your partner should do with their life if you decide when to have sex, or even if you use your mood to control the relationship are all signs that being controlling may have gone too far. 

What are other words to define someone that is controlling?

Sometimes people that are too controlling can be called perfectionists, or even domineering.


This article explained the 7 best ways for you to stop being controlling. It also showed you what being controlling means, and why it is seen as a bad thing.

If you have any questions or comments about this article, feel free to write them in the section below.