I often hear people talk about "control freaks", "controllers", and "manipulators". Isn't trying not to be controlled a type of control? Controlling is for the most part a learned behavior unless there are biological factors involved.
I believe all of us try to maintain a certain level of control over different areas of our life's. Indeed some people are more extreme than others. Individuals are only half of any interaction so how can we accuse the other person of being the controller? Where do you fit in on a scale of 0 - 10?
I found this interesting scale to help find how out of control a person may or may not be.
0. No anger, no need to control anything. Doormat. Not socially nor occupationally functional. Probably lots of "insecurity" going on here too, maybe fear. Possible history of abuse with no clue on
how to be assertive. Very good partner of choice for Level 9 in a
totally dependent relationship, until he/she either gets treatment
by external referral or finally asks for help.
1. Very mild irritation at appropriate situations, no interest in
resolving the problem with the irritant. Passive. Issue of whether
this is pathological is subjective with individual. If confronted,
will accept all blame. May include some untreated mentally ill
2. Able to verbalize anger and able to sometimes identify the
source. Some interest sometimes in resolving some irritations. Will
get up if sitting on a tack, for instance.
3. Mixed ability to identify irritation, anger, pain, and their
sources. Family history of not much talk on these issues, or low
educational level, cultural deprivation, learned cultural
expectations, or slower intellectual level.
4. Coming closer to the norm, will sometimes disagree about "fault" issues, may engage in arguments if their own perception is
sufficiently formulated, may seek out others to agree with
perceived issues, will often want resolution of arguments.
5. Aha--wherein lies the mysterious norm? We'll all disagree
depending on where we each fall, but generally needing to feel more than a sense of chaos, "luck" and "others" as controlling one's life. Has some curiosity to seek out root causes of pain and to identify and distance oneself from them or change them. Open to therapeutic intervention if pain is sufficient. Able to ask for
help as well as to verbalize the nature of the pain and probably
its source. Ideally, with coaching, may learn negotiation skills.
6. Increasingly able to conceptualize "fault" as lying outside
oneself. Not above name-calling, potshots, or occasional denial.
More vocal in identifying pain, asking for support, and asking for
help. At the higher end of "normal" hormonal levels. May still be
subject to successful outside negotiation or able to self-help.
7. Irritable enough to seek various crutches for anger-decreasing,
such as alcohol, tobacco, vicarious violence in movies, etc. May
pick verbal arguments, less able to see own faults, less subject to
suggestion of needing to change oneself, less aware of feelings &
motives of others. Will figuratively climb over others to get
his/her way to the perceived top of the heap. Considered
"aggressive" or "competitive" by others. Hyperactive energy level.
May supplement normal hormonal levels by exercise or injection.
Ideal soldier, may be ideal athlete according to some values. Low
capability of building deep interpersonal relationships. Seeks
8. "Sixteen Tons" mentality: "If ya see me comin,' better step
aside." Prone to physical fighting, rarely sees own faults or
agrees to negotiate unless outnumbered or out-sized. Still may be
partially functional, most likely in manual jobs. Need to rule out
possibility of existing real physical pain at this point. May have
social history of warring ethnic clashes or gang participation.
Probably low verbal skills, and lessening mental sharpness is
likely. Only able to ask for physical help, only able to see
physical irritants, as opposed to situational stressors. Will
accept short, directive, authoritative, concrete orders. May
include persons with advanced Alzheimer's disease. Sometimes seen as heroic by small boys or inebriate women. Often comprises prison population.
9. Borderline functional, usually not around others unless in packs
or gangs where a set pecking order is already established. Almost
totally unable to consider the possibility of own "faults," needs
to be Right and needs to be In Control. Does not include military
operatives nor certain others trained to function occupationally in
10. Not socially nor occupationally functional. May have
severe-level biochemical disorder or history of severe or multiple
head trauma. Capable of accepting treatment or making accommodation
in some cases, but usually relates to others by screaming. Has no
tolerance for opinions outside his or her own, but may still be
able to formulate own arguments verbally. May be recent victim of
combat-level trauma. May have a social history or ongoing severe
physical abuse. Needs either institutionalization or immediate treatment or isolation to prevent harm to others.