As I am going to class I noticed a skull and cross bones tattooed across some dude's forehead. I wondered if he had lost a bet. As I continue walking to class, the image is taking up most of my thoughts for some reason or another. Now, I am in my Expository Writing class. I notice the teacher speaking yet I am only able to concentrate on bits and pieces of her lecture. Also, for reasons unknown to me, my head feels like exploding. Ahhhhhhh! Finally, the class bell rings( a.k.a. my alarm clock ). As I am reaching for some bathroom item, I feel a foreboding presence across the bathroom sink. I see an individual much like myself but I also feel this menagerie of pain tattooed across my forehead. I have become the person with the tattooed forehead( a.k.a. a controlling type individual ).
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." A very good idea to follow when confronted with a controlling personality. I have been frequently plagued by these so called "tension headaches". In my quest to try to rid myself of these headaches, I have paid particular attention to the types of things or people that may trigger such a reaction. One type of re-occurring personality that seems to give me pain are people with controlling attitudes.
I notice at times how one lets the other person finish his or her statements in an unrushed manner and also genuinely interested in what the person has to say. However, there are others who make you feel rushed( i.e. competing for "air time" ), may cut you off in midstream( the "dali lama" of insults ) before you can express your ideas fully. Scarier yet, if the person is somewhat violent and the question or statement imposed upon them seems threatening to them, then you better run for the hills( the tree tops if you live in Florida ).
Another characteristic I find prevalent in a controlling personality is on their take of life. Their mindset seems more confined, having a hard time accepting people as they are. They need to somehow coerce people to their point of view through some type of manipulation. Once the controller has the other person accept their point of view through some type of coercion, the person being controlled may find themselves used, fearful, disappointed in themselves for not being steadfast for their ideals. A feeling of never wanting to be a part of this controller's life, wanting to not live in the same area code as the controller does. This is different from where a normal person may at least try to understand the other person's point of view if any discrepancies arise between the parties. The normal person is usually open to ideas not thought of before and through some discussion the two parties may find some middle ground from which to agree upon, allowing room for future negotiations.
I also notice how people close to these controllers kind of stand out from the crowd. For instance, if the controllers have kids, the kids seem quiet, pre-occupied as opposed to excitable, outgoing, devil-may care kids. I unfortunately have noticed if the controller is a husband, the wife seems also quiet, pre-occupied, and distant. The wife's attitude may be due to something else entirely, yet her lack of enthusiasm was very noticeable. As the controller ages so does their parents. The aging parents seem agreeable to everything the controller says. Thus the controller is gaining momentum or more positive feedback on the way that they may think.
Heaven forbid if the controller is ever upset when confronted with any type of statement that may question their ideals. The aging parents seem to bend over backwards to appease the violent nature of their son's or daughter's inability to see where other people are coming from. This may be due to the possible fear of themselves, the parents, being inadvertently in the path of the controller's violent backlash.
The person with a controlling disposition is a personality most undesired by others. The controller may feel that people "should" do what they are expected. There is no other reality but the controller's. No possible compromise exists. The controller is unable or unwilling to see the person's, who is being controlled, point of view. Usually one would use some sort of manipulation like black mail or intimidation to strive for its end. It can be quite unnerving for anyone to be the recipient of either. Unfortunately, I am more privy to the form of intimidation. I have noticed that intimidation can be played out by using some emotions such as guilt or fear.
A controller may make you feel guilty if they say something like "So you refuse to help me." This sentence implies that I absolutely refuse to help you ever, in the past, present, or future. The person being controlled may feel paralyzed just by the shear absurdity of the statement. The person being controlled may be thinking things like this statement makes no sense. I have helped this person in the past and I am willing to help this person now. Why will they not sit down and listen to my reason's for delaying. Who is this moronic, pompous "ass" before me. In the mean time, the controller may go into their quiet zone awaiting your response. Finally after some of the paralyzes has subsided, you want to respond yet you are unable to make eye contact since they have looked away, about 70 to 90 degrees clockwise( CW ) or counter-clockwise( CCW ) with what I can make out is a look of I am always right and you are always wrong. Well you respond. If the response is not to the controller's liking, you might here ramblings like "what did I do to deserve kids like this" or they would just respond in some kind of condescending tone. This is then followed by some look of disgust. Roughly ninety percent of the time I may have a valid excuse like "I am watching TV. Just give me five more minutes." The other ten percent of the time I may have just forgotten the task.
The other emotion provoked, fear, is a strong emotion indeed. If some one use fear as a way to intimidate, then the person being controlled most likely may never deal with this controller again, if possible. There are other possible negative attributes the controller may have when invoking fear. This list may include one who is easily angered, some kind of monstrosity, and/or one who is unable to take responsibility and unable to be accountable for their actions.
The origins of this personality may revert back to one being controlled by another controller, who himself may have been controlled by another controller, and so on. It seems once the person being controlled has finished being controlled and enormous amount of anger, rage, and disbelief may flood his/her emotions. However, children at such a young age may not have the coping skills to handle such emotions. Since they really have no way to diffuse or dissipate these thoughts when growing up, these thoughts of turmoil may continue to hang around making the kids pre-occupied. Thus, there may be little room for absorbing what life has to offer and as they are growing up they may feel distant from themselves as well as from others.
Recently, I had the misfortunate of meeting this type of person when selling my 1975 BMW 2002. This guy, the controller, with his four kids and his wife arrived in a mini-van. They were waiting in the car for him to finish some business with me. The kids were very quiet and the look on their face seemed to be missing some enthusiasm found in most kids of their age and all five including the Mrs. seemed pre-occupied. She just looked forward, hands on the steering wheel with a disgruntle look on her face. Well, he and I got down to business. He was looking the car over and saw an oil can. He asked me "why do you have oil here? You told me the engine takes no oil." True the engine does not take oil now but it may in the future. As I was trying to explain, he had his head at about a 75 degree angle CW to me. It also was not only what he said but how he said it with like a why did you lie to me type of tone. Right at that time, I was about to ask him to leave because I really did not want to do any type of business with type of person. Business is business but with no lawyers in sight, it was just him and me. I would rather talk with someone who is not so closed minded and not to mention so negative. Anyway, I sold the car but I felt very manipulated in so doing. As he left, I noticed his wife still kept the driver side company just as she did when she drove in. She was there looking straight ahead with a kind of sulky/angry type of look. Not a smile, nor a hello was to be found in her presence. I was not introduced to anyone in the family, nor were they introduced to me. As they departed he got in the passenger side and without a word to me( to say goodbye) nor to any others amongst themselves in the mini-van. The wife never acknowledged him by like turning her head or asking if everything is okay. She was still soaking in whatever she was soaking in before. She was at about a 90 CCW angle from him. They then drove away.
I have noticed that a controlling nature has found its way into part of me. That may be since I have been so immersed in its presence for a long time. However, I also notice and can empathize how people react when controlled. I only have to look back to as far as how I felt when I was younger. For me it has always been easier to know what you do not want to become then want you want to become. However, there are people who turn a blind's eye when it comes to genuinely listening to other people. The controller may have a low threshold for tolerating any type, in their mind, insubordination.
I have found most people with a controlling type of attitude seemingly more like absolutists. They have trouble listening to any reasonable argument. They expect the world to conform to their way of thinking especially if the world is their own family. If they do not like what they are hearing, they can become very manipulative.
If for some unknown, unprovoked, unforeseen, unfathomable, repressing situation arises between you and another party, just remember you can always walk away.