All of us are controlling sometimes. Perhaps we take charge of a project with a tight deadline, direct a problematic child, demand that a family member respect our wishes, or take control to ensure everyone’s safety. That is understandable. But if we regularly take a controlling stance, it can cause problems in our relationships.

Insisting on having things our way is exhausting for everyone. Micromanaging every aspect of a scenario makes others feel that they must comply with our standards if we are to accept them. Perhaps they feel like there will be unpleasant consequences if they deviate from our demands or that we will reject them if they do not go along with what we want. At the same time, we drain ourselves with our need to oversee every detail and become resentful that we feel compelled to do it in the first place.

If we want happier relationships, we must understand why we have this impulse to control others and how we can overcome it. Whether this urge stems from anxiety, compulsivity, or self-righteousness, our need to regulate everything around us can cause the following problems in our relationships: