How Do You Know When A Relationship Has Turned From Equal To Controlling?

The 7 Steps Guide

Sounds like a strange question, because surely we do things in life to please others – so why would you question a relationship if you found yourself in this situation?

Well not so strange if you find yourself CHANGING to please others.

Changing – what do I mean by changing? Here are some tell-tale signs to know whether you are in a controlling relationship:

1. Flattered to do more:

When another human pays you a compliment, tells you you’re amazing, gives praise – this is fantastic and I am in no way knocking compliments, compliments when meant in the true form are a gift but think about the “flattery” aspect – are they along these lines:

“wow – you really know how to deliver a presentation” “I could never have done that – your brilliant” they come 24/7 and with grand gestures and make you feel special, buy lunch, send emails to say thanks, texts with emoticons.

They put you at the centre of their universe

2. Over sensitive to Criticism:

When you mention that they are a little “over the top” they would respond with a wounded reply, a little like a puppy would if you shouted when they pee’d on the floor – they only did it because they where pleased to see you. This stops you from giving them feedback or picking up on things you would do different, you accept all things and in fact find yourself complimenting them on “stuff” they do.

3. Jealousy over other colleagues:

We may have left school several years ago so find it difficult to comprehend that a colleague can get jealous over another – but when you mention you had lunch with another colleague and their response is one of a jealous school friend, perhaps taken aback that you hadn’t invited them or “Sorry, I didn’t know you socialised with xx?” You then find yourself not lunching / socialising with them so much and when you do you don’t mention it so as not to cause offence. 

4. Comment on all things social media:

So you know they follow you on Twitter / Instagram / Snapchat – you’re connected on LinkedIn and Facebook. They “like” posts, comment with positive things and “lol” “love” all things others do. Next they then also bring up in conversation about things you have commented on or liked on SM, TV programmes, celebrities you follow, fashion or trends – how did they know what you said – they didn’t comment, no but they follow EVERYTHING YOU DO.

5. They worry about you:

They openly give you their opinion about others but turn all those opinions into their “Worries for your relationship” They will find fault in other colleagues, nothing that would be against company rules but things specific enough to make you question the 3rd colleague to the extent that you start to analyse them yourself and find yourself agreeing with your “controlling colleague” This then makes you socialise with the 3rd colleague less and less!

There you have it – the control has happened – they are now the colleague that you confide in and bingo – thats what they want.

6. They take control of the way you LOOK:


Are you serious?

Well it’s true, imaging you’re out, lunch, after work or looking in magazines on social media and they start to say 

Them: “oh wow – you would look amazing in that, it would suit you so well, the colour, everything about it” 

You: “Really? are you sure?”

Them “ OMG – yes, I could not carry that off but I know it would AMAZING on you!”

You: card details entered and purchase made

Next day in the office others colleagues comments and you respond with “Thanks xxxx recommended it”

7. They move company and persuade you to apply for a job too:

They have left and joined the “Most awesome company ever, the perks etc”. They make the new company sound like Top 1 company to work for in the world, so much they then tell you a few days later there is an opening and you were made for the role – they get you to meet them for lunch and show you around – see point 1. FLATTERY about how the company and role was “made for you”

Next thing you know, you’re interviewed, job offered, you’ve resigned and on DAY ONE, new job – there they are, open arms, parading you around the office saying “Look at my friend, she’s just started, joined here because of ME!!!!”

JOB DONE – colleague in CONTROL 

Now please, do not read this out of context and say “oh no that’s me because I bought the coat my colleague recommended”. It’s bigger than that, you need to have all the above and more to know you have a controlling relationship – I have used the word colleague but you may think of a friend, relative or partner that has had the above effects on you – this is a controlling relationship and until you look in the mirror and recognise the signs, this relationship can  turn toxic. Stand Up, you are YOU, people know you for being YOU, you have your own personality, your own name – say it, speak it, shout it.


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