15 Powerful Replies To People Who Always Try To Control Everything

15 Powerful Replies To People Who Always Try To Control Everything

Dealing with a control freak is draining and frustrating. While you might be biting your tongue so you don’t snap at them or tell them to back off, that’s not doing your stress levels any favors. Here are 15 replies to consider the next time a control freak tries to tell you what to do.

1. “I appreciate your comment, but I’d like to express my opinion.”

provided by iStock

This sentence works well if you’re dealing with a control freak who keeps interrupting you or behaving as though their opinions are the only ones that matter. It can bring them back to the conversation and let them stop to listen to what you have to say. If they don’t want to hear you out, you don’t have to have a conversation with them at all.

2. “I value your advice, but I want to work through this in my way.”

provided by iStock

Unsolicited advice is common with control freaks who lash out if you don’t do something the way they think you should. To deal, thank them for their advice but gently mention that you’d rather work through the issue in your own way. You’re competent and capable of working through problems without their input or guidance.

3. “Thanks, but I’m fine!”

provided by iStock

If someone’s picking on you and finding fault in what you do, from the way you fold your laundry to the fact that you still eat meat and haven’t gone vegan, you can shut them down by thanking them but mentioning that you’re fine with how you’re living your life. They should spend more time paying attention to their own life.

4. “You make a good point. Here’s what I think.”

provided by iStock

This is another strategy that can work to help you get your message heard so the control freak doesn’t steamroll all over you. Make them aware that they have to stop and listen to what you have to say. They got their chance, so now it’s your turn to call the shots.

5. “Yes, I’m going with that, and it’s great!”

provided by iStock

Control freaks tend to be critical of your choices. So, when your friend mocks that you’re eating junk food for lunch or criticizes that you’re going out on a date with someone out of your league, use humor to brush it off. Mention that you’re excited about your choices to shut them down even further.

6. “Do you feel worried or nervous about this?”

provided by iStock

Anxiety usually lies behind controlling tendencies. So, if you can see that the person’s getting angry because you’re not taking their advice, you could try to be empathetic in your response. You could say something like, “Are you feeling nervous/angry/frustrated right now?” Talk through it, especially if you care about them and know that they usually mean well.

7. “Your controlling tendencies make me feel…”

provided by iStock

It can be helpful to express how the person’s controlling tendencies make you feel. For example, you could say that they make you feel like you’re not good enough or that you’re being judged. Bring the person’s behavior to light. They might not be aware of what they’re doing.

8. “No.”

provided by iStock

Sometimes, a simple “no” is a full sentence and you don’t have to explain yourself. A person with controlling tendencies might want to tell you what to do or criticize what you’re doing all the time. If it’s really upsetting you and you’re dealing with a chronic controller, just shut them down right away.

9. “I’m doing this.”

provided by iStock

Avoid giving the person options or alternatives when it comes to your decisions. They don’t have to feel okay with what you’re choosing to do. So, make it clear that you’re doing something in a certain way and they have to accept it. It’s not something that’s up for discussion, thanks.

10. “I didn’t say that. Can I explain what I meant?”

provided by iStock

If the person’s trying to control what you’re saying or speaking on your behalf, put a stop to it by stating that you didn’t say that. Calmly suggest explaining what you really meant so you can clear up any misunderstandings.

11. “I’ll figure it out.”

provided by iStock

It’s easy to let the person’s critical words put you off your goal, but don’t give them the power. If they try to tell you that you’re going to fail because you don’t know what you’re doing, tell them that you’ll figure it out — and put a big smile on your face.

12. “Wow, you’re supportive!”

man and woman talking outside

provided by iStock

A bit of humor and sarcasm can help you to get the message across that you’re not impressed by their words. But, laughing about it also shows the other person that you’re not letting their behavior negatively affect you.

13. “You know what would be cool? If we did [insert idea]. What do you think?”

two female friends at outdoor cafe

provided by iStock

Sometimes, people with controlling tendencies struggle to be open to other ways of doing things. So, make a suggestion in a polite way and use “we” so the person feels included in your idea.

14. “Are you angry about something? We can work it out if you are.”

couple having a chat with laptop

provided by iStock

If you can see the control freak is seething because they don’t agree with what you’re saying or suggesting, but they’re not expressing themselves, you can deal with the situation by targeting their emotions. Ask them about what they’re feeling so you can work it out instead of causing more tension.

15. “I’ve got that covered, but I’d appreciate your thoughts on something else.”

provided by iStock

Distracting the person away from the situation could help you to move forward. So, tell them that you don’t need their opinion on your current issue, but you’d appreciate what they have to say about a different situation.

Enjoy this piece? Give it a like and follow Bolde on MSN for more!

Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.
close-link
close-link
close-link
close-link