Often, people who feel the need to control others are not aware they are doing so. See if any of the following behaviors seem familiar.
Most people who try to control others have deeper issues such as selfishness, codependency and even narcissism. Most suffer from very low self-esteem. Their words and actions are typically perceived as bossy and can make others feel suffocated, less than, mistrusted, distressed and even threatened! They very often talk badly of others when not around in an attempt to isolate you from that person. There is a constant need to "one up" every situation. No matter what others have done or said, the controller has done it or said it better!
Controllers have a need to dominate a conversation, not letting others speak. They don't like to listen, they like to know they are being listened to. They don't like a lot of questions, because they don't have control of what questions are being asked. Often controllers will "cry wolf" and make claims of pain or injustice as a way of gaining attention and placing blame where it does not belong. They are very good at playing mind games. It should not surprise you to know they complain of not having many or any friends.
Trying to control others is from of manipulation. Most "control freaks" do it as a way to get attention. It is a way for them to attempt to influence others in a devious manner because they feel unable or inadequate to get what they want from an
honest more effective approach.
Many times controllers feel others around them are the controllers and can't see controlling behaviors within themselves. They can have tempers and throw hissy fits and can come across as a bully. They don't want you to challenge or disagree with them. It's the old "my way or the highway" attitude.
Most people who like to control are not real good at paying others compliments. It would take the attention away from themselves, which is exactly what they don't want to do. They may however, be very good at pointing out your flaws and weaknesses. Controllers don't usually have a lot of friends. They are jealous people who like to criticize others instead of praising them, all in an effort to make themselves look better. But keep in mind they can be very generous in an attempt to impress you; which is just another form of manipulation.
When it comes to being around controlling people, learn to trust your instincts, accept them for who they are and if you don't remove them from your life completely, establish clear boundaries. You don't have to give too much detail, which is just more ammunition for them to manipulate you with, but be cautious not to get caught up in their web of influence.
If you are the controller, like the puppeteer, I invite you to let go of your need to control others and instead worry about pulling your own strings. Allow and accept others to be who they are. What would it feel like to let go of the need to manipulate and quit causing stress to others? How wonderful it would feel to let others to live their life as they wish. You can't tell someone else how they should feel. You have no control over that.
Would you be willing to get to the source of your pain and to let go of your need to control and to stop pushing other people away? Work with a coach or a counselor to stop this behavior. Address your need to control and you will discover healthy, successful relationships are based on giving and receiving, and not who is in control.