How To Overcome Fear: The Need To Control Others

(A Woman’s Guide To Reclaiming Wholeness After Sexual Abuse)

Blog and Podcast Show notes


By Simone N


For a more in depth discussion, check out the podcast episode for this blog, to listen.


Episode #20

 Do you suspect you are a controlling person? In your relationships?

What can cause one to have controlling behaviors?

What can be done to help overcome these controlling tendencies?


This is another way that we exhibit fear in our relationships and interactions with other people. We all have at one time or the other have done this (or presently doing) in our relationships on some level.

Fear, as I said in the last article, is the basis of many of the things we do that create problems for ourselves, as well as others. Fear is the root of wanting to be in control; we are better able to manage or feelings of safety, and certainty of circumstances and life, by another’s actions and behaviors. The fear we are trying to manage by controlling another’s actions, is really just a projection or manifestation, of our feelings of powerlessness, helplessness, and uncertainty/insecurity within ourselves ( about our decisions/choices, the things we are unable to change, weaknesses, stress/stressful circumstances, etc.)

In human behavior, it is just easier for us to manipulate that which is external (what we can see), then that which is internal (unseen, within us). Sometimes we believe that what we see is more real that what we cannot. It is easier to change, or “fix” others, than to work, change or “fix” ourselves. This is the function of the fragile ego, that wants to dominate, feel powerful (wanting control) when it’s threatened.

Times of stress, change, trauma/pain, and loss can trigger this tendency within us. The more out of control, powerless, and fearful of a state we’re in, the more we want to overcompensate by trying to control circumstances, as well as other people.

Some personality types have more of a propensity to be more controlling naturally. There are another group of us, who have experienced trauma, extreme feelings of powerlessness, and a heightened sense of fear, that impacted us deeply. We may have resolved to never feel that way again, and it played a major role in our desire of wanting to be in control. Or it may be something  that developed within us subconsciously; a deeply imprinted protective mechanism after the trauma. If this is the cause, it may be hard to recognize and kick.

I’ll give you a few ways to determine if you are controlling of others (or controlling tendencies):

  • You get angry/irate/irritated when don’t get what you want, or how you’d planned. It’s a disaster, catastrophe, it’s so upsetting, etc. You may become physically and or emotionally abusive.
  • Many times you have a  need to check (on), see, supervise (on someone), in case something is “amiss” , not done to your liking, “in case something happens.” Others “need” you (in your mind).
  • You feel as though you are the only one that knows how things should be done or be. You have the right ideas, opinions, choices, plans, methods, etc.
  • Those connected/related to you are uncomfortable/apprehensive speaking to you; telling you what they want to do, as it may oppose what they know your agenda and/or expectations are.
  • You use manipulation tactics, projection, bribery, blackmail, using the persons weakness against them, having the last word, physically and/or emotionally abusive, etc.
  • People tell you. Sometimes it’s really as simple as that.


Why is it not good to control others? What are the negative effects on controller and the relationship:

  • People around you feel uncomfortable in their presence; tense, stressed, or even afraid. They may not feel trusted by you, and can result in them feeling insecure, or unsure of themselves; feeling inadequate because there is always something that needs to be adjusted, corrected, or reprimanded.
  • Control can be form of abuse; it varies with the kind, from mild to extreme.
  • It is stressful, worrisome, anxiety producing for the controlling person to constantly be controlling others and situations, and is nearly impossible to maintain a state of peace within.
  • You cannot be in the present moment, your mins is busy with what needs to be done your way. It robs happiness, and peace.
  • You can obstruct he flow of what is meant to happen. You can delay your good from happening, by being in resistance of all that is.
  • A relationship with a controlling person, can be unbearable, eventually it will suffer, and most likely end at some point in time.

A few ways to help overcoming controlling tendencies:

  • Therapy may be a good option. This is very effective help for some people. All you need is willingness.
  • Work on your fear. Dis empowering the ego (which causes the fear and need to control) through meditation, and/or deep breathing. Once you realize that it is your false self  that is need of control, then it is easier to observe it, and for it not take you over as readily.
  • Develop trust in the flow of life. Trust that whatever happens naturally, is perfect. It happens the way it’s supposed to. People included.
  • The next time you have the urge to control, ask yourself what are you really afraid of? What is the worst that can happen if you allow what it is ,to be? What is the threat? Lack? Loss? Abandonment? Neglect? What do you fear?
  • Force yourself to do nothing. Only do what is necessary to you, and requested by others. Other than that, observe and be still. Notice the emotions that come up within you. It can be tempting to give into your impulses, but try to resist. You will be surprised how well things work out (and other people function) with little interference from you. When in resistance, we block the flow of good.  This is the power of surrender.
  • Know that you cannot stop the inevitable from happening. What is meant to happen it will. Some things are just meant to be. When you know that you are not in control, it humbles you, and gives you peace.


Hopefully that helped you on some level. It can be hard to reverse habit of control and fear; but it can be done with patience, trust and effort. As you grow with the knowledge that all is well, you can know that there is nothing to fear.

Check out the next article: How To Overcome Fear: Envy