The desire to control others often arises from insecurity and fear. People who habitually try to control other people may be struggling with issues of trust. They may not believe in their own ability to handle a difficult situation, or they may fear that others will not live up to their expectations. Trying to control others to keep them close is likely to backfire and drive them away. Becoming aware of your own controlling behavior is the first step in learning how to deal with it.
Practice becoming more accepting. Try observing people and events around you without feeling like you have to intervene. Also try to become more accepting of your own thoughts and feelings. Learning to meditate may help.
Ask yourself if you have felt betrayed in the past, especially during childhood. Accept that those events happened and that you felt hurt by them. Understand that was then, and this is now. Talk about what happened with someone you trust, or write about it in a private journal.
Challenge your own perfectionist thinking. Instead of always trying to do the best you can, occasionally aim for 80 percent of your best. Remind yourself that it is human to make mistakes. As you become more tolerant of your own imperfections, you will become more tolerant of imperfections in others and feel less of a need to push them to work harder.
Nurture yourself. Controllers may have been insufficiently nurtured as children. Make up for it now by being kind to yourself. Become aware of when you are being harshly self-critical and take steps to reduce your self-criticism. Cognitive therapy techniques, which you can learn from self-help books, may help.
Develop new interests. Some people try to control their partners because they are overly dependent on them for all aspects of their lives. While interdependence is generally healthy, it's important to have a life outside of your relationship.