My college roommate, already in her mid-20s, recently moved to share a flat with an old friend from high school, but things did not go so well as expected.
He scolded her when she was late home, lectured her about her diet and, worst of all, he told her if a new guy she brought back was right for her. But not only that, if she went against his wishes, well, a silent treatment was almost inevitable.
In this case, the man might indeed have his flatmate’s best interests at heart, but that did not justify his attempt to manipulate her. Luckily, she realized this early enough, and their friendship went back to normal after a heart-to-heart talk.
Therefore, it’s important to recognize the key behaviors of a controlling friend so that you can fix the problem together before it’s too late, or end the relationship, if necessary. Here are some signs of an overbearing person.
Making decisions for you
If you feel like you are not in control of your own decisions in a friendship, beware. A controlling person would typically try to control what you wear, what you eat, and who you date.
In healthy friendships, on the other hand, a friend respects your right to make your own choices, even if they disagree with you.
Always being superior to you
Another red flag signaling an unhealthy relationship is when the person uses sarcasm while speaking with you, as if they are always right, and know what is best for you.
Abusive friends also have a tendency to exaggerate your flaws, laugh at your opinions or even accuse you of your feelings.
Meanwhile, true friends treat one another as equals and value their differences. Never will they view the other person as being inferior in some way.
Using your own feelings against you
Manipulative people use your sympathy, fears, or other hot buttons in order to get you to do what they want.
Sometimes they may even blame you for being selfish if you communicate what you really want or need, especially when it does not meet their agenda.
This is of ten a tactic used to keep you off balance and feeling insecure in the relationship. Once your confidence is destroyed, it will be much easier for them to wrest further control over your life.
Pushing your other friends away
Controlling friend are usually insecure and thus would feel threatened when they learn about your other friends.
As a result, they will seek to gain complete control over who you spend time with by, typically, taking your phone or reading your texts.
Some may even enjoy rumor spreading and gossiping as a way to play you and your friends off against each other.
To cope with those controlling friends, the way you express yourself is of vital importance.
Not all manipulators set out to hurt people, so be sure to hold your ground, and not blame them for their actions when you sit down to talk about your feelings.
Mostly speaking, if you suspect that this person has no idea how they are treating you, and tell them what you really feel, it can probably go a long way in reopening the relationship.
But if your so-called friend is actually a bully pretending to be your friend, get angry when you must. Say “no” to them, and make your rage a productive force that tells them you are the boss.