Separation Support Blog

How to recognise a controlling person in yourself and others

Charlotte Lingard - Wednesday, March 22, 2017
How to recognise the signs of a controlling person


An unhealthy relationship almost always contains one lethal component;

• a controlling or dominating personality.


This causes an imbalance of power within the relationship.

Power within a relationship should be apportioned out in equal measure.

Whether it concerns finance, parenting issues or simply what film to watch on television.

Problems begin to occur when one party begins to make the majority or the entirety of all the decisions.

This then forms the essence of the relationship.


Here are some vital indications of a person with a controlling personality: -

• Not accepting responsibility in difficult situations. Finding creative ways to shift the blame back onto you the normal person.

• Persons who wear several different masks such as home, work and family masks. Very different sides of behaviour.

• Often distorting reality of situations to suit their objectives and desired outcomes using manipulative methods.

• Multiple personalities in one body.

• Controlling persons often play the victim. Any flaws associated with themselves are often justified by some sort of suffering.

• Pathological lying. Unable to tell the truth. They lie their way out of trouble.

• Spot and play on your weaknesses. Automatically you experience some form of guilt tripping, believing it was all your fault.

• Due to their manipulative methods, they intentionally pretend to love and help you. In reality they are creating a debt, so you will eventually become beholden to them to satisfy their needs.

• Constant interruptions during decision making conversations with you. Indifference and dismissal of your opinion over matters whether big and small.

• Evading issues that concern their own faults and changing the truth to suit their needs.

• Seldom answering questions directly causing you cognitive dissonance.


These behavioural signs can be at varying degrees of intensity and not an exhaustive list.

Manipulative and controlling persons are experts in psychological behaviour because of their own lack of feelings.

They learn how to behave by studying others and become experts in the role of manipulation.

You may be able to live in blissful ignorance of these behaviour traits if they are indeed that subtle.

Having an understanding and awareness of these characteristics is one step towards solving the problem.

Nevertheless, understanding the issues alone will not abolish the complexity of the predatory mind-set.

This is a unique kind of traumatic relationship with a person who has a psychological personality dichotomy disorder.

These persons are experts in using manipulative behaviour to achieve their own desired outcome.

The purpose of this type of behaviour is to change the perception of the reality of the situation.

These personality signs described above could be the catalyst that tears you apart.

The controlling person can become a wounded animal due to their predator mind-set.

The purpose being to make you disbelieve the truth and change the situation to suit their needs and objective.

This can escalate to violent or abusive behaviour towards you.


This can then become the beginning of the end.


The normal person subjected to the dissonant mental behaviour starts to understand the reality of the situation.

The normal person needs to find the strength to leave the relationship, become stronger, or live with the behavioural characteristics traits of a predator.


You are not mad; your partner is not mad. The dysfunctional behaviour traits associated with living with someone who has a controlling and manipulative personality disorder is extremely mentally exhausting, if you are the normal person.


We as individuals are not mentally prepared to hold two differing belief systems at the same time. It creates internal conflict.

A normal mind-set wants to be in a harmonious and balanced relationship. Living with a person with two personae

(split personality characteristics) is extremely difficult and challenging.


It is an optical illusion.


Some normal persons in this kind of relationship delay the inevitable by trying to understand and probably blaming themselves.

This of course is playing into the hands of the person with the personality disorder.

At the end of the relationship the person with the split personality often escalates their behaviour and violence towards the normal person.


So, the game is up and we move on.


Specialist trained counsellors in this area who understands the needs and sensitivity of the situation is advisable.

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