We have all been there before – finding ourselves in situations of being controlled by others. You may not be aware of many subtle signs that show people in your own personal sphere that might have controlling personalities. Controlling people show up in all areas of life – co-workers, bosses, friends, family, and even strangers.
From Healthline, here’s a look at 12 signs that might suggest someone has a controlling personality – see details here.
- They make you think everything’s your fault.
- They criticize you all the time.
- They don’t want you to see the people you love.
- They keep score.
- They gaslight you.
- They create drama.
- They intimidate you.
- They’re moody.
- They don’t take “no” for an answer.
- They’re unreasonably jealous.
- They try to change you.
- They may show abusive behavior.
There are many situations where we find this controlling behavior. Here is one small situation to consider that may find you trapped – people that try or inadvertently control your agenda.
You decided to have a nice Saturday night out on the town to have a little fun – go out for a pizza, the cinema, or watch a local sporting event. So you call one of your friends and ask, “Hey, you want to do something later tonight?” Your friend responds, “Sure, let’s do something – it’s a go, but I might have to go to my mother’s house, so I will call you about an hour before to confirm.”
Now your friend may or may not be telling the truth and/or inadvertently does not realize they are now controlling your agenda. Or you might have even become plan “B” for your friend – other friends may call up and trump your plan. Your friend could have said, “Look, I can’t commit, so if you have to do something else, I understand.” Instead, you merely say, “Ok,” thinking you have your night set up.
After getting off the phone and an hour later, you finally realize the control. If your friend eventually says, “Sorry, can’t make it,” you can’t really get mad at your friend. You can’t necessarily call anyone else because you have committed, but your friend has not for the night. If your friend eventually declines the event, it will often be too late to set something else up because many of your other friends may have set up their plans for the night. You will just have to stay home and feel a bit used.
But, It was the way YOU allowed it to be set up.
It is just an unfortunate reality that people are not considerate of other people’s time and uses vagueness to control your agenda in their favor. In this article, being a “Sunday Thoughts,” we search for a little Biblical guidance on how we need to be. Consider the following.
Matthew 5:37: “Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.”
Revelation 3:15: Concerning vague, wishy-washy characters. ” I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!”
Perhaps a bit strong to say a person is “evil” for this specific small infraction we are discussing. But more serious infractions can occur if it was a conscious decision by your friend and if it becomes part of one’s character traits. People that use vagueness and wishy-washy traits to control others can lead to many other serious problems in our lives. As stated above, the point here is Biblical – no means no, and yes means yes, then following through being a respectful person.
Back to the story. The best response to your friend could have been, “Ok, I understand. Let’s just leave it an open invite. We can call an hour before the event to see if we can both be available.” This frees you to make alternative plans if desired or your friend will need to commit. This can stop others who try to control your agenda honestly and not make you feel used.
This is just one tip for one specific event where people try to control you. Perhaps in a future “#SundayThoughts” we can discuss more. If you have any further suggestions or questions you wish us to discuss on this topic, please advise in the comment section below.
See more in this series of Sunday Thoughts – click here.