How To Stop Being Controlling (9 Ways To Curb Your Controlling Behavior)

Last updated on June 16, 2022 by April Maccario

Learning how to not be controlling is necessary if you want peace, harmony, and openness in your relationship. 

Besides, not only will it stabilize your romantic relationship, it will foster a healthy work or professional lifestyle. People with controlling behavior are notorious for blaming other people for everything; always complaining, isolating others, keeping scores, creating drama, and ignoring boundaries. 

Here’s the thing, trying to control your partner will either make them rebellious, afraid, or unexpressive. This is true for introverts and people who don’t like confrontations. You may feel you’re doing the right thing, but when trying to control things in other people’s lives, you may end up pushing them away.

You’ve probably already noticed it and want to know how to stop being controlling. You’re in luck because I’ve outlined some useful tips below. 

How To Stop Being Controlling: 9 Effective Ways To Stop

1. Identify the problem

In a relationship, it is normal for two people to have different characteristics and attitudes. And most times, there’s the partner that is more domineering and the one who’s being controlled. Before hating yourself for being the controlling one, identify that situation or problem that creates the feeling in the first place. 

As a woman, you may not be comfortable with your man making decisions on specific issues without your consent; this can be a problem. In this scenario, you should pinpoint those moments where you feel you ought to be in control and work on them. This would help your relationship with your spouse grow harmoniously

2. Change your approach

change your approach

Maybe, it’s the way you sound when you are talking, your countenance, or your choice of words that makes people around you think you are a controlling person. You should check that out, and work on it—people who raise their voice while in an argument would generally be perceived as loud and aggressive. 

The first step to letting go and not taking control all the time is to use a calm voice, that way you can hear what you’re saying and even control how demanding or imposing you sound.

3. Do not be too hard on yourself and others

Nobody is perfect, we all have our flaws; being too quiet, too loud, domineering, or even a pushover. Accepting that everyone is flawed is the first step that should help you treat people more nicely and not be self-imposing or harsh on them. 

Also, accepting that you’ll make mistakes sometimes will help you ease up and learn to live and enjoy every moment regardless of what goes wrong. Furthermore, it is necessary to use encouraging words when things do not go as planned in the workplace or at home. Don’t freak out or try to control things again, take a deep breath and try asking them for their opinions instead. 

4. Give and take some space

Being in a relationship is never a license to suffocate your significant other all in the name of love. It is necessary to give him some space every now and then, and have some room for yourself. This will enable you to think and focus on yourself and allow your partner the liberty and freedom to process things alone as well. 

If you are always with him when he is thinking or trying to make every decision, you will most likely influence that decision. 

Furthermore, it is essential to note that giving or having space in a relationship is not a gateway to cheating or flirting. Instead, it is an opportunity to focus on yourself, think about your future, make plans, and develop your personality. It could also be an opportunity to work on your weaknesses.

5. Check your insecurities

Do you feel like if things don’t go your way, they won’t work out? Or the gnawing urge to ensure no one makes a mistake? Maybe it’s the fact that you always want to know what your partner is up to, who he called, where he went, and what he uses his money for. If you keep up with this behavior, you may not have a partner to control anymore. 

I’m not trying to add salt to injury. However, maybe it’s time you address those insecurities. Learn to live with the satisfaction that you can’t always have things your way, or control how things happen. Get a therapist if you need one and don’t give up on yourself. 

6. Address your past

Many women have a terrible, dark experience behind them, which was caused by trusting a man. It’s not the past that’s the issue, but the fact that you are bringing it with you to the future; you should leave the past behind you. I know it’s easier said than done, but holding on to bad experiences may only help to ruin your future

You may end up being controlling, untrusting, and getting jealous for no good reason. So maybe it’s time to come to terms with your past, accept whatever happened and make peace with it. That’s the only way you can move on.

7. Be open to change

Some people are just too conservative that they repel any form of change coming their way. As a woman, you should be open to new ways of life. Things will not always remain the way they were, or the way you want them to be. Give change a chance and take your hands off the steering for a while. 

The moment you start acting apprehensively at every new idea your significant other brings, you present yourself as not just being controlling, but challenging.

8. Turn orders to suggestions

turn orders to suggestion

Instead of ordering your partner around, or just giving out commands like a Major General in the Army, you should consider suggesting ideas to him. Some women are so used to saying, “I want a blue dress for the party next weekend’’ “want money to make my hair’’ ‘’I don’t want your mum to visit this weekend’’. 

These are commanding sentences and will only present you as a tyrant. It would help if you normalized suggesting ideas to your significant other, rather than issuing commands.

9. Be submissive

Being submissive to your partner is an essential step to becoming less controlling. Submitting to your partner does not necessarily mean you will be relegated to the background; neither does it mean you won’t have a say on issues. It simply means to be ready to compromise rather than try to take control all the time.

It means that you will respect his decisions, seek his approval on matters, and not try to exercise power over him. Furthermore, submission is not limited to a particular gender, both parties should submit to, and understand each other. However, the emphasis is on you, in this case, to advance and not control or self-impose. 


How do I stop being controlling in a relationship?

Among the most effective ways to stop being controlling in a relationship, you have to learn how to get your needs met by yourself, be submissive, open to change, turn those orders into suggestions, and check your insecurities. 

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What causes a person to be controlling? 

Some potential causes of controlling behavior can include but are not limited to low self-esteem, past traumatic experiences, a need to feel in control, or a desire to feel above someone else. Also, pride and jealousy can cause this behavior. 

How do I stop being a controlling person? 

You can start by educating yourself about anxiety and how to manage it. Check whether your efforts of controlling others are working, and change your tone or and delivery while speaking. Also, identifying those problems or situations that trigger your desire to be controlling could also help curb the need to control others.

What are the signs of a controlling person?

Controlling people blame others for everything, they’re always complaining, isolating themselves, criticizing others, and being dramatic. Sometimes, they are self-imposing, unreasonably jealous, may resort to using abusive words if their needs are not met, and are too insecure. 

Can a control freak change? 

As much as I know, people who have controlling behaviors in a workplace are totally toxic, confident, and killjoys; the distraction no one needs. Trying to change a control freak to make them respect you, or even just stop being such a nuisance, is a total waste of time and energy. 

They always have a defensive opinion about their actions. They have to realize the weight of their actions and decide to tone things down a bit. So yes, they can change, but it will take conscious efforts.

In Conclusion

This article centers on how to be less controlling in relationships. People who are controlling certainly make things unbearable for their spouses. I know it’s hard to let go, especially when you’re trying to control them ‘for their own good.’ Letting go of the reigns would be the first step to easing things up realizing that you can’t control everything.

If you find this helpful, please feel free to like and share it with family and friends.

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April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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