man showing his first as anger showing early signs of a controlling man

11 Early Signs of a Controlling Man

When we talk about a controlling man, it doesn’t mean we are only talking about a person in a romantic relationship. A controlling man can be anyone or anywhere, like co-workers, friends, family, bosses, or even strangers.

But who exactly is a controlling man?

When you imagine a controlling man, it may remind you of an aggressive person, who barely listens to people, bullies loved ones, and always commands people to work for him.

Remember that people who are sweet to you initially can also change and become the controlling ones in the end and can make your life hell. The best way to avoid these men is to look for the right signs that prove that the one you love is not good for you.

All you have to remind yourself is that nobody has the power to make you feel unloved, and you can start distancing yourself from controlling men whenever you want to.

Everyone has the right to walk away from anything that doesn’t bring happiness or peace in their life.  

Continue reading this article to know some common signs of controlling men that you need to be aware of.

These signs might help you understand that someone has a controlling personality. They make you think everything’s your fault.

Have you ever faced certain situations where people start making you feel that everything is your fault and you are the only culprit to problems? Or start saying that it would be better if you haven’t done this?

If you’re being blamed for issues you haven’t created and things you haven’t done, it is a clear sign you are surrounded by a controlling man.

These signs don’t only appear in relationships; they can show up even among co-workers, family, or friends. After noticing the signs, it’s the perfect time to distance yourself from these kinds of people.    

1. They criticize you all the time.

A controlling man always finds ways to criticize you and let your confidence down, whether in public or private places. Mentioned below are some examples of the kind of criticism you have to go through around controlling men:

  • They constantly criticize you about how you get dressed.
  • They start making insulting jokes about you in front of everyone and pretend as if it is normal.
  • They quickly get pissed off when you don’t answer your phone.
  • They never appreciate you when you do things right or better than them.
  • They criticize you about the way you speak.
  • They are always ready to highlight your flaws, like in family gatherings, at work, or in front of everyone.

2. They create drama

couple arguing trying to figure out how to fix relationships after long fight
Sad couple having the serious argument

Some people always have fun creating unnecessary drama in front of people or in private.
Even if you talk to them about something in which you have achieved great success, they will change the topic and demotivate or blame you for what you have not done well.

An example of unnecessary dramatic behavior can be taking screenshots of your personal texts and sharing them with others to create more drama in your life. Such people have no motive but to do wrong to you and create nuisance in your life.

3. They’re moody

There are several types of moody people that you meet in your life. Some cranky fellows can even change their mood in seconds. At one moment, they appreciate you for something good, and the very next second, they start degrading you for being you.

And when a person doesn’t even say sorry for their actions or mistakes, they are definitely the controlling ones. They would never take responsibility for your happiness or your efforts to stay in such a relationship.
All you should care about is you and your happiness, and if you are not getting it from that one person, just walk away from that relationship.

4. They don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

Boundaries are essential in all kinds of relationships, and both partners should feel free to make their own decisions.
A controlling man may not understand your boundaries and always try to persuade you to do uncomfortable things.

When a person starts putting pressure on you or doesn’t take ‘no’ as an answer, they are not suitable for you.
The men who start telling you what to do, when to do, what to wear, or who to meet are the ones you should altogether avoid.

5. They don’t want you to see the people you love

woman tearing photo breakup relationship ending finding motivation to move on

Controlling men show up with high authority over your life and continue to control you in every possible way.
They start staring at you aggressively when you are on a phone call with your loved ones or start groaning when you spend time with them or come home late.

They even start talking about how bad your friends or family are and ask you to stop hanging out with them. When they feel like you are under control, they won’t let you go out with other people, whether they are your family members or any friends.

6. They’re unreasonably jealous.

Being jealous when your partner hangs out with others can sometimes be cute in a relationship, but always getting angry or jealous is a toxic trait.

After getting continuously unreasonably jealous, they might start interrogating you about where you are going or whom you are seeing.

They might begin to talk rudely to you or shout every time you plan to go out with any of your friends or any family members. They might even make negative comments about you and your friends.
If they stop every time you hang out with others or have fun, it is a clear sign you are with a controlling man.

7. They try to change you.

Have you ever heard the line ‘The person who loves you will always accept you the way you are?’
Love never asks you to change, nor does the person who loves you.

So whenever a man asks you to change your beliefs or things that make you, you’re definitely in the wrong relationship with the wrong person.

If a person starts telling you to change your behavior, talking style, dressing sense or doesn’t take you out until you dress according to them, they are controlling people. All they want to do is control and change everything about you. However, you have the right to choose what you find best for yourself, do what you love, and listen to nobody in any relationship.

8. They keep score

Any relationship works well when there are equal efforts invested from both partners. But, when the efforts start coming from one side, it’s no longer a relationship. It’s just a deal—a deal where a person doesn’t invest or show efforts but keeps expecting things in return.

They can even leave you guilty if you don’t give what they demand and always keep talking about how much they do for you.  

For example, if they paid for lunch once, they’ll keep telling you until it’s you paying for the dinner and always keep an eye on the number of favors they did to you.

9. They gaslight you

couple arguing
Young couple arguing in their living room

Gaslighting is when someone manipulates you into questioning your own reality. It is an insidious type of emotional abuse where the abuser (also called a gaslighter) manipulates you into questioning your own judgments and existence. These people start pointing you out and accuse you if you have an emotional personality, are a little more sensitive, and cry more often. Gaslighters convince their victims that they are mentally unfit, when they are just being a little sensitive.

Even when you are still upset about something that happened last week, gaslighters will start denying your thoughts and will blame you for being over-sensitive. Expressing your emotions is your right, and nobody should be allowed to gaslight you. It is your own life, no matter how sensitive you are.

10. They intimidate you

Controlling people can also start intimidating you to get control over you in any kind of relationship. For example, in the office, they can begin to let down your reputation by interrupting your talks, meetings and putting their own suggestions forward by acting superior in front of everyone.

Intimidation is also an act of controlling people that can show up in any relationship, but none of this matters when you are fierce and know your self-worth.

11. They may show abusive behavior.

When a person starts abusing you mentally or physically, whether in a relationship, friendship, or any other relation is said to be under domestic violence. Nobody has the right to feel this unloved or pressured by anyone.

Always remember that you deserve none of this and should walk right away from any physically and mentally abusive relationships. You have the power to walk away and know better! You should not do so much for the wrong person and still feel like you do not deserve love.

How to get help?

If you find these controlling signs in your partner, are tired of their behavior already, and want someone to help you, you should talk to a professional that can help you get out of an abusive relationship.

Mentioned below are some resources that might help you for the following:

  • National Domestic Violence Hotline is always available for you for almost 24 hours a day with a phone number provided (800-799-7233) to ensure your safety. You can talk about your situation and regulate the actions that need to be taken.
  • Break the Cycle helps people aged 12 to 24 understand the signs of unhealthy relationships and offers tools and resources to native safe options.

How to get rid of toxic people?

Sometimes dealing with people’s toxicity can be so annoying, whether they are your partner, a friend, any annoying family member, or a co-worker at the office, or any person.
We all have at least one toxic person in our lives that is so difficult to deal with. You must remember dealing with controlling or toxic men is not your concern, and instead, you must start distancing yourself from them. So, here are some tips about how you can get rid of such toxic people and their toxicity.

Talk to them about their behavior.

When someone starts unnecessarily gossiping about you to make you feel bad, you must take some action to stop them or make them realize how bad it’s affecting you again and again.
You can talk to them and declare that you no longer want to be in the relationship or friendship if they ever comment on you again. You can say that it isn’t appropriate to make people feel uncomfortable in front of their known people.

Offer compassion, but don’t try to fix them.

When you love someone, you will definitely try to put some effort into changing them. But it can only be possible if they are willing to change for you. If not, then you will keep drowning in their toxicity until you walk away from that relationship.

It’s good to be kind and show care to people you love, but your kindness can never be enough to make them change for you. If you want, you can try and wait for them to become a good person. But if they are not putting any effort back for you, then you should stop the idea of trying to fix them and should start focusing more on yourself and your happiness.

Say no and walk away.

There comes a time in your life when you are just done with peoples’ arrogance, behaviour, and your mind starts shouting that it’s enough!

Now that’s the time when you should stop allowing their stupid behaviour and start thinking about yourself.
It may be tough to say no to the people you love, but believe me, this is going to be so satisfying for you and put you to rest. It’s okay to walk away when you aren’t comfortable with the person, but it’s not okay to stay at a place where you are not valued or loved enough.  

Remember, you aren’t at fault.

Toxic relationships can make you feel like it’s all your fault; it’s you who did it all wrong and will make you doubt your self-worth.

You need to remember that controlling people or their toxic behavior has nothing to do with you. It is challenging to deal with things like this, so take a deep breath, calm yourself, and let go of anything that can affect you.

They might start getting personal or can even say that it’s you who changed them and made them like this. But do not fall for such type of manipulation.
Instead of listening to them, just get up and leave.

Make yourself unavailable

girl working out focusing on herself

The best way to deal with people’s toxic behaviour is to disappear completely so that they will no longer have the right to manipulate you or use you.

When you are never available for them, then their arrogance might also stop trying to contact you, and when they stop, it’s so better for you.
But until they don’t stop and k

eep putting aggressive accusations on you, you need to stay calm and remind yourself that it’s enough. Even if you feel guilty, but enough is enough.
Boundaries are essential when you can no longer deal with these controlling people or can tolerate them.

Limit your time together

Distance becomes so important when things start falling apart. Distance is the solution for literally everything. If you feel unloved, distance yourself. If you feel sad, distance yourself from those, who make you unhappy.
If you ever feel that the person is no longer responsible for your happiness and is causing you stress, simply start making distance.

When you deal with a person who thinks you are responsible for all problems on Earth, always pick a fight with you, show no interest in your feelings, then it’s time you spent the least time with them. If your presence doesn’t affect them in any way, your absence will never will.

Bottom line

Most of the time, cutting toxic people out of your life can be the most challenging decision in your life, especially when it comes to the ones you’re in love with. But it can make your life so easy and calm when you don’t have to deal with any of their toxicity in your life. Instead, you get the time and space to focus on many other things that give you happiness.

Always remember that nobody has any right to make anyone feel so bad about themselves. These controlling men or their toxic behaviour is none of your responsibility to deal with. So if you ever come across such people, take your time and move right away from that person and that relationship too.



by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.

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