How to Handle Aggressive and Controlling People

5 Lessons Every Breakup Teaches

Don’t Let Aggressive and Controlling People Control You!

You know the type. They tell you what to do, talk over you, get in your face and try to own every situation. They’re aggressive and controlling people and they’re difficult to deal with. Sometimes, you can just cut them out of your life, but if you can’t you need to know how to deal with them. Try these tips and get them to back down!

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Know Their Intentions

Before you go on the attack, make sure you know their intentions. Not all aggressive and controlling people have bad intentions. Sometimes they’re just passionate about something and they get carried away. They aren’t necessarily trying to belittle or intimidate you. They just think they know what’s best. If you feel like their intentions are good, but they’re overstepping their bounds, be polite and tell them, “Thanks, but no thanks.” But if you feel like they’re being overbearing, aggressive and controlling because they enjoy feeling powerful, you need to put them in their place.

Their Way is the Right Way

Have you ever met someone who thinks if you don’t follow their directions you’ll screw up? But everyone does things their own way and you need to remind this person that there is more than one way to get to the same outcome. Sure, they’ll lie in wait, hoping and waiting for you to fail, and when you succeed, they’ll be disappointed. But you know who won’t be disappointed? You! That’s because you proved them wrong.

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They Try to Intimidate You

Is the aggressive and controlling person in your life the loudest person in the room? Do they huff, puff and make big gestures? This behavior is meant to be intimidating and just sitting there listening and watching them is exhausting. Sometimes it’s even scary.

Aggressive and controlling people rely on their ability to intimidate others as a means of getting what they want. With every person they control through intimidation, their ego gets fed a little more. But you don’t have to be part of that ego-feeding machine. Put them in their place and do it politely. Being assertive in this way is great for your self-esteem and lets others know just how strong you are.

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Don’t Surrender

When someone is talking at you and insisting on having their way, how do you react? Do you feel defeated or numb? Do you just give in? Maybe you think going “belly up” is the best way to deal with these kind of people, but it isn’t. It’s just a band-aid on a dysfunctional situation. Don’t surrender. Don’t give in. Make your point and stand your ground. It isn’t about winning. It’s about letting that aggressive and controlling person know you’re a force to be reckoned with.

Psychic Tabitha ext. 5717 can help you find the confidence your need to be comfortable making your own decisions. 

Only You Control You

You can’t make someone less controlling and aggressive. All you can do is respond appropriately to them. Be polite, but firm. You’re not a child and you know what’s good for you and your life path. You have the right to make your own decisions. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

31 thoughts on “How to Handle Aggressive and Controlling People

  1. Shobhit Mangotra

    My wife has a controlling nature.. she can not accept any change in anything she thinks she knows the best. She can not tolerate being corrected on anything even when she is wrong. She has a lot of ego and gets agitated at very small things like for example one day, some relative called me up and I picked his call and couldn’t cut the call before 20 minutes due to some serious discussion. She gets angry when someone praises me. She gets insecure if I praise someone. She gets angry if I get upset on her. She constantly keeps questioning me if I made a right decision marrying her and tells me that I can walk away anytime. She knows I love her a lot and I can never do that. I am not her priority but she can’t handle it when I say no to her on something even if it is due to my profession. I spend 8-10 hours daily helping her (dropping to office, picking up, cooking for her, treating her ailments, and every way possible to keep her at ease and comfort ). Out of which she hardly gives me 1-2 odd hours and would even keep using her phone to check on social media all the time. She keeps talking to me about her ex boyfriend who just left her without telling 5 months before our relationship and marriage, even when she knows how bad I hate him and being repeatedly told. And on that she says I thought we are friends still apart from being husband-wife. While she gets very angry on talking about my ex-girlfriend who broke up 6 years back though she brings that herself. She hates my simplicity or not being brand conscious or wear anything she doesn’t like.. she constantly doubts me as to why I am nice to her. She keeps a check on my cellphone and do not allow me to check hers.
    She never takes interest in my finances as to how much i’v spent And how much do I have. And her makes me buy useless expensive things all the time.

    I know I have cribbed a lot about her. But I truely love her and can not imagine my life without her. I can not even share my feelings with anybody else as I married her against my family and everybody’s wishes. She is 4 years elder to me but very immature . She is even mean to me almost every time and insults me anywhere even in front of her friends family or a public place.
    But I know she loves me a lot. It’s just her nature that makes her do these horrible things . She even plays mind games to trick me into some question whose answer if doesn’t match what she wants me to say, she’ll just blast over me… she wants me to do everything according to her.

    All I ask you is something which can help me deal better. And make things a little easy for both of us. I want to help her be little positive and calm. I am in the army and will have to stay away sometime. I wonder how will she handle this. I want her to be at some peace and accept me as what I am and not continuously change me to something she doesn’t even know now.

  2. LJ

    Dear Darlene: Sounds like a nightmare scenario, but look at her energy – crazed, excited, frenetic – it’s hard to live that way. I actually have pity for your sister who is living in her own personal hell by trying to be so controlling. Let it all go – your mom’s stuff, your brother’s stuff – it’s all just “stuff.” What you have already cannot be stolen – memories of better times. Let her go. It’s true that we can only pick our friends, not our family, but it doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to this one day longer. Rise above it and just be grateful that you’re not living your sister’s life. Better yet, wish her well as you say “so long.” Let it go and find a big sense of relief within you. Best of luck.

  3. LJ

    Dear Stacy: You know what will ultimately feel even better (because it’s lasting)? Dropping him in a permanent way. You’ve been in an aggressive, controlling relationship for way too long and it sounds like you’d do much better on your own. You sound like you’re well on your way to freedom and liberation – and who knows, if you remove that “bad energy” from your life, you just may make room for some good energy to come into your life. Isn’t it about time? Be strong. Now that you’ve done it once, each time you do it you’ll feel better and each time you go back, you’ll be mad at yourself – more and more until this relationship is no more. Good luck.

  4. stacy

    WOW Can I relate to this one I have a boyfriend of 9 years who no matter what I say or do wants to belittle me and put me down. Accuses me of cheating and lying when I am honestly not. Tells me how fat and lazy I am, when I work and go to school he don’t do anything. I am lucky if he cleans up the house. I pay all the bills including his phone and medication. I am sick and tired of his crap I am scared to even sleep with him because I don’t know who he’s with when I am at work and school. Finally today he was being a butthead then asked me for money for his phone I am so tired of his crap like I am suppose to let him treat me any kind of way then give him money I looked at him told him pay his own dang phone that I am not the one he isn’t going to talk to me any way he feels like and then expect me to help him. I dropped him off at home and left. It actually felt good to tell him off.

  5. LJ

    As my mother always told me, “Cooler heads prevail.” People who are aggressive and controlling who are in your life to stay (like a family member) are looking to shake things up and get you on their program. So long as you hold your hand up and tell them, “Thanks, but no thanks,” you leave them speechless (one can hope). Don’t validate someone’s aggressiveness by acknowledging it. Consider them the ranting, spoiled child who can stomp their feet all they want – you don’t have to pay attention or react or give them what they want. Another wise person once said “You are the captain of your own ship.” Don’t give someone else the wheel. Just stand your ground and show them that you’re not going anywhere, unless of course you feel like going somewhere else. Remember, you’re at the helm. Stay strong people!
    Thanks, LJ

  6. Intuitive One

    Thanks for the great article. I have many people like this in my life…some family, others are friends. Being an empath and very sensitive, people tend to think they can walk all over you. Having a good and caring heart draws these people and it’s not always healthy to be around them, that is for sure. Life is too short to be with people that are rude, aggressive and just thoughtless.

  7. Chrissi

    have a father- and a hubby though hubby thinks he isn’t controlling – very hard to be polite and nice to people especially family when this is the problem

  8. Darlene

    Sadly I have a sister who is extremely controlling within the family and does not care or respect what anyone else wishes. Example; dad passed 3 yrs. ago and even though my brother & I were listed as executors she took control and did not abide to our fathers wishes (she even stole things). Than my brother passed a year ago and she tried so hard to take control even fighting our mother that she was not entitled. Boy was she angry when she found out that mom is indeed left with everything as there was no will or wife/kids. What did sister & hubby do they went illegally into the apt. and stole items again. She also made sure that he was buried before I could get out there! And after she told mom he was gone she left her alone?! How terrible. I went out there and spent 8 months looking after mom as it was my brother Wayne who was her main caregiver (Diane never helped even when she lives in the same city). But due to my own health had to come back home for a bit. Within a week she took mom to see her own lawyer and had not only the will changed but is now her caregiver? She does not respect mom’s wishes to die at her own home (not in some crappy nursing home). The money it there as Wayne took out a life insurance on mom so when needed we could hire privately. I even have a daughter in the field who is willing to move back and look after mom but Diane is ignoring that. She now has my mom in the hospital with instructions that I am not allowed to know anything. This is a extremely well of couple and they are ALSO in the process of trying to get a bigger inheritance from his uncle who is also put in a nursing home! When is it enough! Now I fear that they emptied mom’s apt. took what they want and sold what they could, when mom said no to selling anything and donate to charity. You know what Diane said when this was said ” it doesn’t matter as you will be dead”. There has to be changes made in the law as to many selfish, mean people are wrongly given rights that are absolutely abused while the rest of the family can only stand by & cry.

  9. Zarinah

    I,m dealing with individuals like that right now. One is the male in my personal life and three others are 2 females and one male in a charitable organization of which I am a member. I seem to be on the winning side in both situations because I have used those exact tactics you advise in the article. Thanks for the validation and encouragement.

  10. andrea

    I must agree with Barbara, you must cut this behavior out , or/and cut the people out ,you cannot live in fear of these people. they are NOT your people. cut them out and look for people much like yourself! why waste time and mental exhaustion on these kind of people?

  11. anna

    I agree with Barbara. Cut them off.
    However, beware the controlling person you cut off may come back with grace and charm and ask you to let them back in.
    Don’t do it. That’s temporary behavior that goes right back to the controlling person they are.
    In my opinion, this is a form of alcoholism – rather – this type of behavior is prevalent in alcoholics.
    What if you can’t get away or detach from the controlling person?
    I went to Al Anon and found that the only way I can change the toxic situation is to change myself. I had no self esteem. I believed everything the controlling person was saying.
    When I found my own ground, and put that person in their place, it deflated their ego. They went from “powerful” to “puppy”. This was an indicator of the controlling person’s own self esteem.
    I agree with LJ, You can’t control the aggressive person, you can only control how you react and respond to them. There’s a LOT of POWER in that sage advice.
    only YOU can change.

  12. Prateek Malik

    This article has come in a time when I needed it the most. Good learning on how to handle difficult people. I should apply the learning with my boss. Thanks

  13. Stephanie

    I have a female who has manipulated people in the work area. She has done her best to intimidate, harass, threat me and my job because she wants to be the “one who knows everything.” Even when she talks her talk to gather other people to support her as a gang leader would do. She has individuals in her cliché vandalize and harass people she does not like. Lies are her gain and she is doing a great job with that so far that nobody believes that she be doing anything wrong. She has made it to where “everyone’ else is jealous of her clothes, her job, and they all want to be her. I know its hard to believe but I’m living in this nightmare and at times get so fed up with it all.

  14. Chhaya

    Great analysis & advice but hard to implement and cut these type of people from your life when you are still deeply in love with them and spent whole life listening and doing things there way. But i believe that faith, love and trust in one another will help them realize their mistakes and turn into a normal person.

  15. Lynn

    Ok, Barbara, (2nd response) Don’t shut people out. You can still deal with these kinds of people. Your response quote: I cut these toxic people out of my life as they no longer exist.
    Outside Yes you can. But think of inside. Relationships. Family/spouse.
    Yup, they do Turn It Around Back AT YOU. M.O. Of a small person with a big mouth.
    It is called Passive Aggressive.
    No defense is the answer AND stand by as they throw verbal FITS ( I lived through two assault’s that was very close to ending my life. That is the third step to the Fit!!!!!!! Second fit/Beat down-I called the cops AND DIDN’T CLEAN UP THE MESS).
    Now…… No reactions and stay neutral. It is called venting. They are sad people but they are also Dangerous animals looking for an excuse to up the stakes, from verbal fit TO Personal Attack, All in the name of “They think they were Wronged” but didn’t and wouldn’t ever have the guts to confront the situation or person that they think wronged them to begin with.

  16. Terrill Fisher

    This is a perfect time to post this information. The planets are wreaking havoc and communication is difficult in all situations right now. It seems that this is the time of this kind of personality to be even more intimidating and sly to selfishly get their own way and then are the first to blame others and shoot arrows. Their behavior comes out of the deepest, darkest night when one least expects it. I’ve had so.e difficult days but am working my way through this abyss. They never come out the winners and are dismayed when they are caught because they do everything going from a self centered place. You are right- one can not win with them-nor desire to even argue- but it is definitely infinitely important to stand up for what you know is the truth. In fa the it is the only way- as the truth does set you free! They may never see it – because they never saw in the first place that they were being unreasonable and selfish – it’s their karma to work on- and God knows we all hope the do!!

  17. tamara

    Sometimes no matter how nice and agreeable you are some people are so obsessed with control it just isn’t enough. I believe they have no self esteem and are miserable people and will try to do anything to bring you down to their level of negativity. I do believe they can be dangerous and you need to be very careful on how you deal with them. I agree with Barbara rid these toxic people from your life. Life is too short!

  18. LJ

    You’re right – life is too short to deal with such nonsense, but there are situations where dealing with these people is inevitable – work, family, circle of friends. You can cut people out of your life, but sometimes there are some you just can’t avoid. Thanks for your comment.

  19. elizabeth

    I am so surprised to read this because I thought you have written this to me. I cannot throw out even a word from what you have written. Yes, I was a victim for so long and I have been very strong in a nice way and standing my ground all the way through though I suffered a lot quietly. I had a very hard time and was so helpless most of the time. When I succeed they get disappointed! People around the matter are coming to sense of it and I know I get where I want quietly and I am a force to be reckoned with. Thanks you!

  20. Natasha

    Very wise words. It is easier to handle these types of situations with people that one is not related to. It’s ten times harder when it’s your own mother for I will always be her child in a way…

  21. karen

    I feel I,m up against a losing battle. It,s my fiancé mom how keeps trying to control him and his business. Her concern is all about his money and it sad to know this because he loves her and he knows that is all she wants from him. He won,t stand up to her and it causes alot of arguments in our house hold
    :need some positive advice

  22. Shirley

    I have cut controlling and aggressive people out of
    my life. Life is too short and I want people around
    me who are loving, kind, and happy to be alive; people
    who want the best for me and who uplift me in my life
    journey. Thank you for sharing this article.

  23. Dana Burkrt

    I have a bad situation right now with my Boyfriend going on 9 years, this is happening to me, he said he wants’s to leave me, i said please go, the last thing i want to do is make him unhappy, he is spending alot of time with a so called friend, they have been sneaking seeing each other, it really hurt my feeling’s!, Sincenerly, Dana Burket.

  24. barbara

    It’s hard to defend yourself as the clever ones always turn it around and you are in the wrong. I cut these toxic people out of my life as they no longer exist. No loss. Th anks for the nice article. Life is too short that we must always be on our guard.


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