How often do we come across people who have a compulsive need to take control of everything around them? Well, there is a clinical term for such people and it is “control freak” which means that these people have a problem. The need for control can be so extreme that such individuals are seen as freakish or abnormal. Such individuals are often passively aggressive, obsessive, mood disordered, over anxious, depressed or even phobic at times. Although, these characteristics can be desirable in some professional fields (such as scientist or air traffic controller), but people largely don’t want to interact with a control freak.

Below are 9 of the signs that can help you in deciding if the person you are dealing with is a control freak.

   1. They have a tendency to correct people

A control freak is usually driven by the urge that they want everything to be done in a way that they feel is correct. These people avoid mistakes in their own life and as such have a high need to correct others in case they find anything wrong. They can correct people for an incorrect pronunciation or spelling, bad manners, details about something from the past if they see something wrong or inappropriate or an irrational argument. The underlying factor for such behaviour is their belief that they are usually or always correct and as such, they have to let others know about that.

    2. They are judgmental and critical about other people  

The control freaks are usually very judgemental and this comes to them very naturally. Consequently, they tend to judge people based on their errors or mistakes. It is like a reflex action to them because they are highly opinionated about everything surrounding them and have a set of few strict rules and principles. They can have an opinion for things like- how people should lead their lives, how someone should go about his/her career etc. They see themselves as some kind of self-righteous superior being who doesn’t fit among their friends and family.

    3. They are not at all team players

When we use the term “team”, we basically refer to decentralization of powers and responsibilities among a group of people. However, a control freak doesn’t believe in this term because they like to dictate terms to their team members. They try to lead or micromanage the team by exerting their rules and methods over the rest of the team. As a result, their attitude is that of a micromanager rather than that of a team player.

     4. They do not like to share credit for their success

It is so obvious that such a self-obsessed person will seldom share the credit for their success with others. According to them, the success of their team is only possible if they take over control of the entire team. This fact again emphasizes the need for a control freak to micromanage rather than allowing the team to get involved. They will never appreciate the possibility of a better and more effective way to achieve success other than their own way.

     5. They refuse to admit when they are wrong

One of the most astonishing characteristics of a control freak that annoys most of their friends, relatives or acquaintances is their audacity to refuse to accept that they can be or are wrong about something. It can be for the smallest and stupidest of things, but a control freak doesn’t care or bother about that because the only thing that they believe is that they can do no wrong. Further, their thought process becomes so distorted that they start believing that others may utilize the acceptance of their mistake against them, or may perceive them as foolish or incompetent because of such mistakes or errors.

     6. They believe that they know what is best for any situation

The control freaks inherently think that they are the only ones know on the planet who know what is best for everyone under any circumstances. Such people even try to manipulate others’ behaviour to act in such a way that suits their agenda. It is out of their superiority complex that they feel they have the duty to convince others to change their behaviour either through aggressive tactics, piling pressure or manipulating them.

     7. They act like the messiah who prevents bad things from occurring

If you come across any of the control freaks then you will be able to notice that they are very much worried about the future. With that kind of backdrop, they just can’t help themselves but act like the Messiah and try to ensure that they prepare themselves for anything bad that is coming their way. In that process, they end up wasting much of their time by concentrating on events that might not even happen.

     8. They hold onto grudges

Beware of the control freaks because they can hold onto grudges against you for the rest of their life. Generally, a control freak likes to see the things in their own way and if he/she is not allowed to dictate terms then they’ll simply start to develop grudges against you. Further, in case if the things don’t go well with your ways too then you are up for some real criticism from them and then they will make sure that you are reminded of your failures every now and then. What hurts more is that these control freaks try to insult you in public.In short, try avoiding any mistakes if your boss is a control freak or otherwise you will regret the mistake for the rest of your life.

       9. They want to win all the arguments

Irrespective of the topic of discussion, a control freak simply wants to win all the arguments and as such he/she can’t let anyone else have the last say in an argument. The control freaks think that they hold the right to have the final word to finish off any discussion. In situations where they are not allowed to have the last word, they feel that the discussion has remained unresolved and hanging and that is a kind of mental agony for them. As already said, they believe that they are the most practical, logical, and intelligent one in any crowd and that needs to be shown to everyone.

A control freak will never empathize for someone who has committed a mistake and as such you will never hear them say to someone else “Don’t worry, we all make mistakes”. According to a control freak, if someone makes a continual mistake then he/she must either be too lazy or just plain stupid.


From the above points, it can be said that control freaks act in such a way that it ends up frustrating and causing resentment in others. Such individuals operate this way because they feel that they need to keep everything under control in order to achieve their own goals. So, if any of the above-mentioned qualities are exhibited by your boss, friend, partner etc. then chances are that you are actually dealing with a control freak.