Refusing to communicate. Acting passive-aggressively. Refusing to do a fair share in chores, earning, or other responsibilities that affect you both. Withholding affection or sex. Giving you the silent treatment for hours or days. Refusing to answer your questions.Relationships Relationships Relationships Relationships Relationships
Lying. Cheating. False flattery. Pretending to be on your side. Telling you to just trust them. “Forgetting” to give you important messages.
Trying to make you feel guilty for your needs or desires. Threatening self-harm if you don’t comply with their wishes. Being overly jealous or suspicious. Falsely accusing you of being dishonest.
Controlling people do not value treating others with respect or dignity. Rather, they seek power at your expense. They believe that their stature increases as your power and stature diminishes. They know that:Relationships Relationships Relationships Relationships Relationships
- Coercing, demeaning and handicapping you can make you doubt yourself and feel less able or entitled to set healthy boundaries
- Confusing and badgering can overwhelm or exhaust you and make you more likely to tolerate unhealthy behavior
- Intimidation can make you less likely to protest unhealthy control or exert your will
- Denying, withholding, deceiving and manipulating can keep you from viewing the relationship and your partner clearly, which leaves you more likely to question or doubt yourself, not the controller.
If you recognize some of these signs of toxic control in an important relationship, you owe it to yourself to evaluate whether the relationship is right for you. You may wish to call attention to these behaviors and stand firm that they need to change.Relationships Relationships Relationships Relationships Relationships
If unhealthy controlling behaviors persist after you have called attention to them, the controlling person is giving you a message about his or her priorities. This may not be a healthy relationship for you.