The colloquialism control freak usually describes a person with an obsession with getting things done a certain way. A control freak can become distressed when someone causes a deviation in the way they prefer to do things.[1]

Control freak can also describe a person who tries to make others do things the way that they want, even if the other people prefer to do it another way, and even if the initial person has no good reason for interfering.[2]

This expression first appeared around the 1970s.[3]

Characteristics

Control freaks tend to have a psychological need to be in charge of things and people - even circumstances that cannot be controlled. The need for control, in extreme cases, stem from deeper psychological issues such as obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety disorders or personality disorders.[2]

Control freaks are often perfectionists.[4] They may manipulate or pressure others to change so as to avoid having to change themselves.[5]

Control freaks sometimes have similarities to codependents, in the sense that the latters' fear of abandonment leads to attempts to control those they are dependent on.[6]

Examples

See also

References

  1. ^ "Control freak Definition & Meaning". Dictionary.com. Retrieved 2022-05-13.
  2. ^ a b "How to Deal with a Control Freak". Health Essentials. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  3. ^ Kristin Glaser, in The Radical Therapist (Penguin 1974) p. 246
  4. ^ Michelle N. Lafrance, Women and Depression (2009) p. 89
  5. ^ Robin Skynner/John Cleese, Families and how to survive them (London 1994) p. 208
  6. ^ David Stafford & Liz Hodgkinson, Codependency (London 1995) p. 131
  7. ^ Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs (2011) p. 564 and p. 513
  8. ^ Quoted in Isaacson, p. 497
  9. ^ Queen Victoria's Children BBC2 January 2013