6 Reasons Why People Can Become Controlling and Obsessed with Controlling Others

While I am not sure of any one cause of becoming a control freak or someone who is obsessed with controlling others, I have learned a few things about what contributes to someone becoming a controlling and obsessive person.

Keep in mind that some people are inclined to be this way and may show signs of this behavior at an early age. And yes, I have to accuse young people of being any one specific way but there are a few traits that have stood out to me.


Insecurity. Everyone has things that they are insecure over but far fewer people are so insecure that they are paralyzed or lash out in any variety of bad behaviors.

Everyone has things that they are insecure over, many people have to with with their insecurities to work through them. Some people allow their insecurities to creep into their lives until something goes BOOM… Just think about how many relationships are ruined by the insecurities or emotional neediness of one person.

Yet, far fewer people are so insecure that they are paralyzed or lash out in any variety of bad behaviors. This last group can make life very difficult and that insecurity can morph into ‘new and improved’ controlling behavior and emotional habits.


Everyone deals with this to some degree and people who have more extreme levels of anxiety may look for one thing or person to create a ‘bad guy’ to externalize whatever internal issues may be eating them from the inside out.

Anxiety can lead to all kinds of mental and physical issues and in many cases physical health issues often brings the deeper mental/emotional issues of anxiety. For folks who can cope with anxiety and yet not really deal with it, anxiety is one of those issues that can morph into many different types of controlling behavior.

Addiction, and Alcoholism

I have seen this one up close and personal. When Alcoholism and/or Addiction is combined with one or a few of the other qualities found on this list it can be a bad combination. Folks with addictive issues can go to great lengths to hide addiction issues through externalizing a great deal of negativity on someone else through controlling, obsessive and abusive behavior.

Alcoholics in particular can be excellent at masking their addiction and distracting you from seeing the alcoholism when you have to deal with all kinds of controlling behavior.

A Serious Commitment to a Judgemental Attitude Towards Others

This is something I have seen with a number of these types of people I have dealt with. Everyone, and I mean everyone has some degree of judgemental tendencies or another. Everyone has a bad, day, week, month or year when it comes to being judgy to others.

What I mean about having a ‘serious commitment’ to being judgemental to others are the people who insist in nearly every interaction, relationship, role etc. on having a judgemental mode with remarkable tenacity.

When people… a judgemental person rather, fixate and obsess over a person being a certain way (without necessarily and validating any of their ideas through other people’s experiences or external validation of their perceived truths) or wanting someone to do something or any other controlling notions then you have a serious commitment to being judgemental towards others.

If this tendency goes unchecked and dealt with it, controlling behavior is a natural step in the evolution of this emotional mindset. Judgemental attitudes are an extension of attitudes that may or may not be based on truths about a person.

Emotions. Emotions. Emotions.

Some people have an emotional nature. This is perfectly fine and human. The thing is they don’t want to work themselves and their emotional nature at all. They want their feelings to run free and to not have to restrain that part of their nature.

This means if they are feeling judgemental towards someone, they want to follow that feeling wherever it takes them with little to no thought of any consequence. If they are angry at someone they want to take that anger out externally on that person with little to no thought of any consequence. You see where this is going… Basically, they are happy with their emotional nature running free without any regard for others or consequences to others.

An Aversion to Personal Responsibility.

Having a sense of personal responsibility means having other things as well (like consideration, compassion and caring for others) and often these types of people have limitations on their sense of personal responsibility. (see answer #5) This can mean when they feel they are right about something, a circumstance or someone (regardless of any proof) they may want to carry that out without any thought of what it means for others, or what someone else may end up having to live with.

However, when the shoe is on the other foot and … If however, you have hard evidence of them doing some wrongdoing (like for example, catching them on video doing something illegal, dishonest or something they should not be doing) they then expect from others and espouse the virtues of forgiveness and generosity of spirit. I have seen this again and again.

This article is a response to questions we have received about our experience with stalking, controlling behavior, posessiveness and the general darker side of human behavior