SELF-CARE around Controllers (Part 3)


PREVIOUS: Self-care, Internally & Externally – #2




If you HAVE to deal with a Controller:

2. EXTERNALLY – With THEM (cont)
• Observe a controller’s repeated patterns in their actions & communications, especially when the 2 don’t match up!
Always go by their ACTIONS rather than what they say – especially when you’ve been the recipient of long-standing patterns of abuse &/or neglect. What’s behind their mask of charm, fake concern, grand gestured, high positions….. is the ugly truth. You can’t afford to be in denial by overlooking or excusing their ‘game’ of manipulation & image control.

• Quietly notice what the C does & says, like research. Write down what you hear, & anything that set them off (their buttons), so you can be prepared when it happens again AND \ avoid setting them off as much as possible

• Imagine youmanipulationrself in their place. How might they be experiencing you? What do they want from you? What are they reacting to in you?

• When possible, don’t respond – at all. Some C. try to pick fights to get a rise out of you. They like the drama. You don’t have to participate!

• Depending on the person or situation, try applying verbal honey by complementing the C. for something they’ve done well or something you’ve learned from them. It may or may not work, but it’s worth a try. Be sincere in your comments
• Stay in the moment rather than getting caught up in their negative projections of the future

Ask yourself: “What’s the WORST that can happen to me” IF:
a. I DON’T respond at all? Depending on who you’re dealing with & the circumstances, there can be different outcomes

b. I DO respond? Consider if it will escalate the difficulty or make it better. If you do say anything, it has to come from your Inner Adult – for it to have a chance of working in your favor

✶ Use your knowledge of this person to gauge your options. Think it thru all the way to the end of the line – what has happened before when you did or didn’t comment. The more you stay present for what you know – & use it –  the better off you’ll be!

ANTIDOTEs to GETTING controlled
• Acknowledge when you are being controlled – without self-hate.  If it has happened to you again & again, it means you were trained by your family to accept bad behavior, but you can re-train yourself away from those types, by working with the WIC & developing a Loving inner Parent

• List specific ways someone’s controlling you. If you’re not sure, there are list on the internet of typical C. patterns. Measure that against what you already know but have a hard time admitting

• Identify the long-standing patterns in your own thinking & behaviors that make you vulnerable to being controlled – a careful inventory of your Toxic Rules & how you obey them (behaviors)
• Work on changing those patterns, so you can get out from under debilitating relationships, friendships, ‘spiritual’ or other groups, corporate cultures… OR leave as soon as you spot anyone trying to use C on you

• Letting someone continue to control you is a type of addiction – it means you’re as symbiotically attached to the current bossy person in your life as you have been to your parents (even if they’re far away or dead)
• If not already – get into therapy & Al-Anon, to prevent further damage to yourself (raging, getting fired, self-cutting, isolating, auto-immune illnesses …. )
• Realize that C is not only a psychological problem but a spiritual one, sibe kindnce it negates your fundamental rights & individuality. You have a right to NOT be controlled.

SITE: Dr. Judy Esmond, Ph.D. suggests that we respond – not react – when dealing with controllers, by pausing, breathing, thinking & only then speaking.  Her book “Dealing With Difficult People” offers 17 free tips that can be downloaded from her website,

USE the LISTs of Effect Responses website) and Useful & Clever Responses (post) for suggestions. Pick a couple & memorize them so they come our of your mouth easily!

NEXT : Over-controlling ourselves #1

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