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Do you consider yourself controlling?

I don't see high-strung women walking around the world trying to control it. I see intelligent women trying to have a voice in the world and take care of themselves. When they are met with disappointing results -- other people not listening to them or respecting their voices -- they are turning their disappointment inward, labeling themselves "controlling" and thinking they need to change.

It's in vogue "to just let go." But there's a thin line between letting go of an unhealthy desire to control and letting go of the healthy drive within all of us to be heard, to influence, to have impact.

I'm also suspicious because controlling is a term that's rarely applied to men. It used to be I mostly heard men referring to women as controlling, but now I hear more and more women applying the term to themselves, in "personal growth/self-awareness" guise.

Men who stand again and again for their own desires and needs aren't deemed controlling. They are called bold, persistent, committed, strong. I've yet to hear a man grapple with and be hard on himself for being "so controlling." I've yet to hear a man talk about "trying to just let go" at work.


Asked by tasches at 4:46 PM on Apr. 1, 2011 in Relationships

Level 48 (298,202 Credits)
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Answers (9)
  • i agree whole heartedly. i want what i want, just like everyone else does. i bend when i need to and i put my foot down when i need to. the word controlling i could easily apply to sir H. it crosses the line when you start having high expectations or making someone go against their will to fit your needs.

    Answer by juliness at 4:48 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • I think you make really good points. There are a lot of words like controlling that seem to mostly be applied to women, by men and by other women. The term bossy comes to mind, too. I do kind of consider myself controlling though. I mean, at home I usually have a pretty formed idea of how I think things should be done, and why, and the same with finances and even at work. At work I submit to my boss on most things since he is in charge, but at home I tend to want things my way. Does that make me controlling or have I just thought out the best way to do something and therefor I want it done that way? I'm sure my DH and I would have a different answer to that question LOL!

    Answer by MaryMW at 4:52 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • Here is the thing...there IS a "line" in there somewhere, and It may very well be more in the female tendency to control...versus the male...and here is why: Women are typically the is part of our biology. Nurture + strong will OFTEN = controlling. There are plenty of other things that make a person controlling, but in my book, it's not at all about them being "strong" or's about HOW they inflict it on others. Men tend to be more self involved. If they are driven, they might strive for their goal in a different way. Sexes aside, I have experienced women to be more controlling overall...and it's NOT just perception. What makes women I know controlling is when they invade your privacy, put their nose in your business, boss you around and have an overall need to make everyone and everything around them do things THEIR way. Men I have known tend to be WAY more relaxed about things than that.

    Answer by boomamma at 4:54 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • correction: ridiculously high expectations. high expectations are good.

    Answer by juliness at 4:49 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • I don't consider myself controlling. More like in control of my family... because if I didn't, who would?? That's why they are MY family LoL

    Answer by jspenny2705 at 4:49 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • YES! i am very controlling and i really didnt think i was until about 2yrs ago i feel things should be done my way and what i say goes... I dont like this quality about my self but hey its me :p

    Answer by kylansmommy09 at 4:52 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • I didn't follow the link, but I think I agree with everything you say! There ARE women who are controlling, and I know a few who make life really difficult. But it doesn't seem like they have any specific cause or passion besides manipulating the people around them, if you know what I mean.

    Answer by Adelicious at 4:53 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • Speaking for myself, I have a tendency to slip into controlling behavior...and really it causes more damage to ones self. Needing to have things "just so" makes happiness very hard to come by...and the more I know controlling people and see them complain all day and get angry when things aren't their way, the more I learn to "let go". There is a LOT of wisdom in that idea. It doesn't mean "give up" means don't invest in something to where it ruins you...and move on to what works. That is WAY more productive than harping on something or complaining all day. By not attaching to things or ideas for your identity or your happiness, you free yourself from being miserable if those things are lost or don't work out.

    Answer by boomamma at 4:59 PM on Apr. 1, 2011

  • Sometimes I can be controlling. It really depends on the people, things, or situations involved. I tend to feel the urge to control more when it's something that is completely out of my control but affects me. At times when I actually am controlling, I don't always realize it...I tend to think that I know what I'm doing, I know what's best and so I'm going to make that happen. Someone might suggest another way, but since I've already made up my mind, I don't want to hear it.

    I'm working on changing that about myself. It's definitely not easy, but I don't want to be controlling.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 5:51 PM on Apr. 1, 2011