About the Controller Personality Subself
Adults and kids who are "very controlling" are often dominated by a well-meaning personality subself whose goal is to use or manipulate other people into doing what s/he wants. This Controller subself believes that persuading or for-cing others is the best way to protect one or more vulnerable Inner Kids from feeling overwhelmed, scorned, rejected, terrified, or exposed. The Controller (or Manipulator) usually focuses on filling immediate surface needs. S/He distrusts the resident true Self and other Manager subselves to guard or soothe the young ones, and sees no alternative to being aggressive, sly, indirect, and/or threatening to get other people to act "right."
The Controller usually evolves when a young child has to manipulate other distracted or unempathic family members and competitive peers to get her or his needs met. The Controller may work closely with other Guardians like the Magi-cian or Rationalizer; the Catastrophizer, the Judge, and the Cynic/Doubter.
The Controller may also team up with an aggressive Competitor subself, who views all other people as opponents to be defeated ("Winning is everything!") and/or the Narcissist / Egotist ("My needs are more important than yours.")
self-improvement Lesson 1 in this site provides an effective way to free a disabled true Self (capital "S") to (a) protect the Inner Kids; (b) invite over-focused sub-selves like the Controller to work as teammates toward common goals under the Self's far-seeing guidance; and to (c) reassign this subself to a more useful per-sonality role. When this happens, "controlling behavior" shifts into respectful assertion and cooperation over time! More detail / close