Friends come and go over the years, so why is the friend who puts you down, makes you feel guilty about your success and brings your mood down still in your life? It could be that this friend has gradually gained some control over you and your relationship and has made you feel in some way that you can’t do without them in your life. If this sounds too familiar, have a look at the following ways to tell if your friend is controlling you and decide for yourself.
Controlling people can often have deep unresolved issues causing them to feel badly about themselves. As they are often unable to feel good about themselves in a normal way, they derive pleasure from putting down and laughing at others. Sure signs your friend has a controlling personality is if they always make you the butt of their jokes or focus the attention of others on what they believe are your flaws. You probably wouldn’t allow others to treat you this way, but over time, this friend has constantly put you down and made you feel bad about yourself, to the stage that although your gut tells you it’s not right, you start to believe it.
A good friend will encourage you in your endeavours and praise you for a job well done. On the other hand, putting you down or making fun of your goals, is a way of trying to control you. Making you feel guilty about your achievements or embarrassed about your goals is another way for them to feel better about themselves at your expense.
A good way to establish if your friend is controlling your life is to compare your life now to before you met them. A controlling person will try to separate you from friends and family so they have less input into your life. Often they will create rifts between you and your loved ones so they can have you all to themselves. They will want to make all the decisions regarding who you spend time with and where you go. The less contact you have with others, the more control they will have over your life.
A friend should be kind, supportive and lift your spirits. There is plenty of negativity in the world without friends bringing you own. Choose your friends wisely and if you find yourself around someone who is trying to control you, consider your options carefully. If you want to continue the relationship, firm boundaries will need to be set. If you decide to stop the friendship, it’s probably better to just walk away, controlling people tend to be in denial about their behaviour and discussing it with them will probably be a waste of both of your time.