What Is Another Word For
Controlling Person?

On searching for another word for controlling person it's useful to keep in mind that most people don't recognize that there are people who control others for the sake of controlling them. Of course, people know that dictators, despots and tyrants are controlling in nature. But they don't consider that a co-worker, a neighbor, a friend or even their own family members may have the same personality type as some of the most infamous characters in history.

Humans like to have reasons and justifications to explain unexpected events as well as other people's behavior. This allows us to feel that we understand what is going on around us. So when people see someone who is overly controlling they come up with a justification to explain that person's behavior. However, the justification they use is something that fits with their understanding of how the world works (more about this later). So you will hear descriptions of a controlling person such as:

  • that therapist is very strict with his clients
  • her husband is very stubborn
  • she is very strong willed
  • my mother always wants things her own way
  • she never does anything she doesn't want to do
  • he is a forceful character
  • you don't want to get on the wrong side of him
  • he has no filters, he says whatever he likes
  • he is very self-centered
  • he is a powerful character
  • he has issues
  • she tends to micromanage everything
  • he has a strong personality
  • he has an imposing personality
  • he is very defiant, contrary
  • he is very protective 
  • you just cant please her
  • Well, you know what he is like, that's just the way he is

These expressions are used when there are signs of a controlling person and serve to explain away or excuse even actions that are nasty and unacceptable.


Another word for controlling person - synonyms

A controlling person might also be called a despotic person or a tyrannical person. Other words that have similar meanings are

  • dominant
  • domineering
  • autocratic
  • coercive
  • authoritarian
  • overbearing
  • manipulative
  • toxic
  • abusive
  • exploitative
  • demanding
  • jealous
  • overprotective
  • possessive
  • bossy
  • dictating
  • oppressive


Different levels of control

There is a spectrum of controlling people, from those who control because they like rules and order in their lives to those whose relationships are based on coercion and exploitation. It is one thing to be involved with someone who has their personal oddities but their nature and their dealings with others are within the 'normal range'. It is quite another to be involved with a controlling person whose nature is to dominate and control others.

What is a toxic person?

I mentioned above about people liking to have reasons and justifications for other people's behavior. One major problem with this is that if these reasons and justifications are wrong, they can cause a lot of problems.

For example, if you think that the controlling person in your life is doing this because they are strong willed or because they have a strong personality, then it means that there is little you can do about it, and if you want to continue in this relationship they you are simply going to have to put up with things as they are. But what if this idea is wrong? What if the person is deliberately and willfully manipulating you?

"Who would do such a thing?" you might ask...


Another word for controlling person - psychopaths

A psychopath is a person who has no emotions and also a huge sense of entitlement. They believe themselves to be superior to others, they expect special treatment and they don't care what they have to do or who they have to use to get what they want. Their relationships are based on dominating and taking advantage of others for their own personal benefit.

If you are dealing with a psychopath then you really need to know it, because the rules you need to use are different with these types. If you use the usual rules of society, you will lose out.

So how you think about the controlling person in your life is important. Just as important are the excuses and justifications you use to explain their behavior.

If you are in a relationship with a psychopath, thinking that this person treats you this way because they were cheated on in a previous relationship or that they had a very difficult childhood, is going to cause you a lot of pain and heartache. You will not be able to make sense of what is going on until you see and accept that those justifications have nothing to do with reality. This person is abusing you because that's the way they treat everyone.

If you are not sure if the person you have in mind is a psychopath or not, then it's worth the effort to figure this out. It will make a huge difference in how you deal with your situation.

What makes someone a psychopath?


Another word for controlling person - more reading

You can read more about psychopaths, sociopaths and narcissists, signs of a manipulative man, controlling people and controlling relationships.

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