How Do You Outsmart A Controlling Person?

How Do You Outsmart A Controlling Person

Dealing with a controlling person can be challenging, especially if their behavior impacts your mental well-being or daily life.

Here are some strategies to help you manage and outsmart a controlling person while maintaining your own boundaries and peace of mind…

1. Set Clear Boundaries

  • Define Your Limits – Clearly communicate your limits to the controlling person. Let them know what behavior you will not tolerate and stick to your boundaries. Be direct but respectful in your communication.

2. Maintain Your Independence

  • Stay Self-Reliant – Work on maintaining or building your independence. The more self-reliant you are, the less control they can exert over you. This includes making your own decisions and having your own opinions.

3. Keep Your Distance When Possible

  • Limit Interaction – If the controlling behavior is detrimental to your well-being, try to limit your interactions with the person. This might not always be possible, especially if they are a family member or coworker, but minimizing contact can reduce their opportunities to control you.

4. Stay Calm and Collected

  • Don’t React Emotionally – Controlling people often thrive on emotional reactions. Staying calm and not showing frustration or anger can disarm their attempts to control you. Respond logically rather than emotionally.

5. Use Assertive Communication

  • Be Assertive, Not Aggressive – Clearly express your needs and feelings without being passive or aggressive. Use “I” statements to focus on your feelings rather than accusing them, e.g., “I feel disregarded when my opinions are not considered.”

6. Don’t Over-Share Information

  • Keep Personal Information Private – The less a controlling person knows about your life, the less they have to use against you. Be mindful of what you share with them, especially if the information pertains to your vulnerabilities or plans.

7. Seek Support

  • Build a Support System – Having a strong support system can provide you with the emotional backup you need. Friends, family, or professionals can offer advice, a different perspective, or simply a listening ear.

8. Focus on Your Well-being

  • Practice Self-Care – Prioritizing your own mental and physical well-being can help you maintain your strength and resilience against controlling behavior. Engage in activities that boost your confidence and happiness.

9. Know When to Seek Help

  • Professional Assistance – If the controlling behavior escalates or includes any form of abuse, it may be necessary to seek help from a professional or a legal authority. There are organizations and professionals who specialize in dealing with controlling and abusive relationships.

10. Plan for Independence

  • Create an Exit Strategy – If the situation becomes unbearable, having a plan for gaining independence or leaving the relationship is crucial. This might involve financial planning, seeking employment, or finding a place to live.


Outsmarting a controlling person involves a combination of maintaining your autonomy, setting and enforcing boundaries, and ensuring you have support. You have the right to make your own choices and live a life free from undue control. If you’re in a situation that’s affecting your well-being or safety, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.