Customer Reviews for

Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal With People Who Try to Control You

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Solving the Mystery

I have found this book to be invaluable in dealing with controlling people in my own life. As powerful as it was to have verbal abuse/control named and detailed in ¿The Verbally Abusive Relationship,¿ I find the current book even more life-altering. It finally answers e...
I have found this book to be invaluable in dealing with controlling people in my own life. As powerful as it was to have verbal abuse/control named and detailed in ¿The Verbally Abusive Relationship,¿ I find the current book even more life-altering. It finally answers every one of the baffling questions that I have experienced in relationships with controlling people. How can someone who claims to love me frequently attack me, devalue me, criticize me, treat me as if I don¿t exist, or accuse me of motives that have never been a part of who I am? Why does someone who used to treat me with sensitivity and respect now treat me with disdain and indifference? Why does any difference of opinion, no matter how mundane the topic, seem to escalate into a battle of wills when I don¿t even care about the subject that much? Why do periods of ¿good time¿ in the relationship collapse without warning into total conflict and disconnect (usually just when I was beginning to relax)? How can there even BE such good times when it can be so awful at other times? Why is it that the more I try to get through with love, the more brutally I am rebuffed and attacked? Amazingly, this book answers all of these questions, and any others that have left me confused and bewildered in my attempts to get through to a controlling/abusive person. It has always been obvious to me that such people are terribly unhappy, but now I am able to see more clearly the pain and fear with which they live. ¿Controlling People¿ has helped me in seeing the struggle of the controlling person with great sympathy, while also empowering me to keep myself safer in the presence of his/her controlling behavior. The book has also opened my eyes to things I have said and done which I never realized might feel controlling to someone else, but which now make perfect sense. As a result, I am now able to be healthier and more responsible in my behavior toward others. I would recommend this book as basic ¿life skills¿ reading to anyone, but especially to anyone in a relationship in which they frequently feel confused, hurt, and unseen, and just can¿t figure out why.

posted by Anonymous on September 12, 2002

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

This should be titled The Opra man bashing book

My wife bought this book at the recommendation from a friend (who has not read it I may add) because she thinks I am controlling. When I opened it and read the first couple of pages I realized I was not the controller she was. As I read through more of the pages and ch...
My wife bought this book at the recommendation from a friend (who has not read it I may add) because she thinks I am controlling. When I opened it and read the first couple of pages I realized I was not the controller she was. As I read through more of the pages and chapters I came to a quick conclusion that most of the scenarios were about men controlling women. Another conclusion is that almost anything a man says to a women is considered controlling i.e. The women says 'I'm going out shopping with my girl friends' The man replies 'well what time will you be back' that is a controlling reply? I find it common courtesy that you would give a time frame on what time you would be back, hey there is always a phone if plans change... This book seems to put a lot of contempt in relationships. I must agree if you are in an abusive relationship you must get out from under the control. We need to remember that what seems to be controlling to some is really only because the fear the loss of a love one. When women go through changes in mid life they often feel trapped and tied down especially when the have a career, spouse and children. When they voice these things to there husband this will set off a course of fear in the husband and he will try to hold on to the love and family he once had. This should not be considered control I have not finished the book yet but from what I have read it seems to be dangerous to a marriage. I find my wife being harder in her commitment to push me away since she has been reading this book. If you want a good book try The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman ISBN: 0609805797.

posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2002

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2002

    Solving the Mystery

    I have found this book to be invaluable in dealing with controlling people in my own life. As powerful as it was to have verbal abuse/control named and detailed in ¿The Verbally Abusive Relationship,¿ I find the current book even more life-altering. It finally answers every one of the baffling questions that I have experienced in relationships with controlling people. How can someone who claims to love me frequently attack me, devalue me, criticize me, treat me as if I don¿t exist, or accuse me of motives that have never been a part of who I am? Why does someone who used to treat me with sensitivity and respect now treat me with disdain and indifference? Why does any difference of opinion, no matter how mundane the topic, seem to escalate into a battle of wills when I don¿t even care about the subject that much? Why do periods of ¿good time¿ in the relationship collapse without warning into total conflict and disconnect (usually just when I was beginning to relax)? How can there even BE such good times when it can be so awful at other times? Why is it that the more I try to get through with love, the more brutally I am rebuffed and attacked? Amazingly, this book answers all of these questions, and any others that have left me confused and bewildered in my attempts to get through to a controlling/abusive person. It has always been obvious to me that such people are terribly unhappy, but now I am able to see more clearly the pain and fear with which they live. ¿Controlling People¿ has helped me in seeing the struggle of the controlling person with great sympathy, while also empowering me to keep myself safer in the presence of his/her controlling behavior. The book has also opened my eyes to things I have said and done which I never realized might feel controlling to someone else, but which now make perfect sense. As a result, I am now able to be healthier and more responsible in my behavior toward others. I would recommend this book as basic ¿life skills¿ reading to anyone, but especially to anyone in a relationship in which they frequently feel confused, hurt, and unseen, and just can¿t figure out why.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2002

    This should be titled The Opra man bashing book

    My wife bought this book at the recommendation from a friend (who has not read it I may add) because she thinks I am controlling. When I opened it and read the first couple of pages I realized I was not the controller she was. As I read through more of the pages and chapters I came to a quick conclusion that most of the scenarios were about men controlling women. Another conclusion is that almost anything a man says to a women is considered controlling i.e. The women says 'I'm going out shopping with my girl friends' The man replies 'well what time will you be back' that is a controlling reply? I find it common courtesy that you would give a time frame on what time you would be back, hey there is always a phone if plans change... This book seems to put a lot of contempt in relationships. I must agree if you are in an abusive relationship you must get out from under the control. We need to remember that what seems to be controlling to some is really only because the fear the loss of a love one. When women go through changes in mid life they often feel trapped and tied down especially when the have a career, spouse and children. When they voice these things to there husband this will set off a course of fear in the husband and he will try to hold on to the love and family he once had. This should not be considered control I have not finished the book yet but from what I have read it seems to be dangerous to a marriage. I find my wife being harder in her commitment to push me away since she has been reading this book. If you want a good book try The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman ISBN: 0609805797.

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2002

    The best book there is on abuse.

    I have Controlling People and all of the other of Patricia Evan¿s books. Controlling People is the most gender neutral one of all her books. My husband was an abuser, he also denied his abuse, said I was the abuser, then blamed me for his abuse. After 5 years of restraining orders against him, physical assault, mental, emotional and verbal abuse and cruelty, thanks to Patricia¿s words I saw the abuse for what it was and broke free. After listening to the stories of other women and volunteering as a women¿s advocate, it seems to me that most abusive males blame their wives/girlfriends for their behavior. I notice that abusive men usually hate Patricia¿s work, and for good reason, because it names their behavior. I consider all of Patricia¿s books, The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Verbal Abuse Survivors Speak Out, and Controlling People to be the cutting edge as far as verbal abuse and all abuse is concerned. Controlling People is her best one so far, denoting the attitudes and false beliefs of the abuser. It spells out ever more clearer the categories of verbal abuse and how each one demeans the human soul and in what way. This book not only helped me to recognize abuse for what it is, but also gave me insights into my own behavior, how I could treat others better and without abuse. My children have also read this book, and my 15 year old daughter is already recognizing abusive behavior in others instantly. I¿m glad I have such a tool to empower her at such a young age, NEVER will she think it is ¿ok¿ to be treated badly in a relationship. Thank you Patricia, for your work.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2002

    Good but a little too black/white

    Evans is sharp and penetrating in her analysis. There is a lot in this book that has been written before except for one major breakthrough that Evans makes. For starters, other writers have always painted the controlling person with all negative genial qualities while Evans wisely points out that many controllers can seem very loving to their mates. They often will speak highly of their controlled mate and will often look very chivalrous. The catch she recognizes is that controlling people do not actually relate to who the person is but to a "pretend person." And what is tricky is that this pretend person can be idealized and canonized to have saint-like qualities by the controller. As in: "you are such a great person, you never do anything to irritate me." But the second that the person walks out of the controllers boundaries they get vicious. She is insightful in that she says controllers are not just present in love relationships but also can be friends,coworkers, fans, etc. She also shows how controllers use fear, manipulation, guilt to get what they want. Her only flaw is that she fails to mention the reality that everyone has controlling qualities. Just because someone is being controlled does not mean that they are not or never were a controller themselves. Everyone has controlling aspects to them in that they sometimes attempt to use fear to get what they want. Everyone is trying to control the world in some way and these ways can be very subtle. Evans paints a picture of victimization for the controlled but fails to mention that the truth is that most victims are secret victimizers in some sense. It is not a black/white issue.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2002

    Freedom from control and controlling

    Evans gently and firmly invites us to recognize controlling behavior in others and also in ourselves. She does so with equal insight and compassion for both controller and the controlled without gender bias. As a therapist I have heard men (mostly) use the claim of bias against men as a defense against their own abusive behavior. No one interested in knowing the liberating truths about controlling behavior will object to the insights and examples presented in this powerful book. Even if 100% of the examples given were about men controlling women ,which is not the case, how would that change anything if the male reader was indeed a controller? The analogy is when a husband finds a motel receipt in his wife's purse she makes the issue that he shouldn't have been in her purse, NOT that she was having an affair. If a reader of either sex finds themselves dismissing the control issue with claims of any book's gender bias it should be a signal that there is a defensive attitude involved. Being a controller does not make you evil but not owning up to it is to further needless abuse.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2002

    The BEST book ever written on verbal abuse and controling behavior

    Controlling People is the absolute BEST book ever written on the subject of verbal abuse and controlling people. Patricia accurately explains how both men and women, become controllers, the tactics that they use, to "brainwash" their victims, into believing that everything is "their fault" and not the abusers, as well as why abusers act the way that they do. It covers every aspect of controlling, abusive behavior in a way that both men and women can understand and relate to, without being biassed towards one or the other.It is the only book, that deals with a subject, that untill recently, has been ignored for years and how its effects, can be devastating, not only for people in relationships, but; also, for society as a whole.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2002

    Controlling People Are All Around Us

    Controlling People is Patricia Evans' best book yet. It is a revelation how she describes the dynamics by which people control and how to break their spell over us. The book is a powerful tool for all of us, making it clear that anyone can be a controller. It has nothing to do with gender and in no way picks on one gender over another. Both men and women will benefit from this book as it clarifies how we all have controlling people in our lives. I highly recommend it for everyone, not just a specific audience.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2002

    Brilliant and Even-Handed

    Patricia Evans' exploration of the psychology of controlling people is vital to our understanding of the dynamic behind domestic violence. There are plenty of excellent books describing behavior patterns of both physical and emotional abuse (including Evans' own Understanding the Verbally Abusive Relationship), but this is the first that explores the motivations of the controller. Evans is particularly even-handed in her portrayal of the controller, refusing to label him or her as evil or malevolent, and suggesting instead that the behavior so hurtful to others is really a mis-guided survival mechanism. Bravo to Evans for taking on this difficult subject!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Helps understand bullies

    Interesting information

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  • Posted February 3, 2012

    Highly Highly Recommend

    This is a must read for anyone who feels they are being controlled or who feels out of control and unsure of themselves. It explains so much about how we show up in life

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2011

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    Posted December 13, 2012

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    Posted March 5, 2011

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    Posted March 23, 2011

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    Posted March 6, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2009

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    Posted January 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

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