4 Controlling Behaviors to Watch Out For
Controlling behaviors and attitudes can be a serious cause for concern. While having extremely controlling tendencies can be an early sign for abuse, anxiety, insecurities, or even narcissism, it can also relate to addictive behaviors as well.
Addiction & Control
While an alcoholic or drug addict may feel a loss of control over drinking or using drugs, they may have originally turned to the substances as a way to cope with the inability to control other areas of their life. Using drugs and alcohol may create an illusion of control when the reality is that the addiction to these substances has become overpowering.
Warning Signs of Controlling Behaviors
Knowing a few warning signs of controlling behaviors is important because it can help aid in the prevention of “self-medicating” with substances. Listed below are several common indicators of the need for control. Being aware of these can benefit you or a loved one who may be struggling with control issues. It can also ultimately help you understand why you or a loved one may resort to substances and lead to treatment being provided for the real, underlying issues.
1. Being Overly Critical
A common controlling behavior is criticizing. People with control issues may be overly critical and come off as judgmental. This can often be the case for alcoholics and drug addicts who have trouble accepting life on life’s terms.
2. Display a Lack of Trust
Another controlling behavior to be conscious of is having a lack of trust. Being unable to trust a stranger is different than being unable to trust a loved one who hasn’t given you any reason for the lack of trust. If someone you care for does not trust what you say or do, it could be due to the fact that they feel a strong need to have control. They may “need” to be right, feel superior, or know for certain just to hold onto their illusion of control.
3. Lying and Being Secretive
Keeping information from others and lying can also be considered as controlling behaviors. When a person lies or conceals the truth, they set themselves up to feel in control over others or situations.
4. Dismissing Your Perspective
When a person displays overly extreme controlling behaviors, they may even dismiss your opinions and statements. This can allow them to feel as though they are right and therefore, in control over a situation.
When people display controlling behaviors, they typically feel out of control and latch onto subtle ways that allow them to feel in control. People who turn to substances like alcohol and drugs as a way to control their emotions or deal with problems ultimately end up spiraling out of control because addiction can take over. By treating the physical and emotional aspects of addiction, the true underlying causes that may involve control issues can be addressed.
If you notice that you, or a loved one, display some of these controlling tendencies, be cautious and look to treatment when necessary. Working with a professional, such as a counselor, on control issues can spare you the pain of resorting to trying or returning to substance use. Being aware of any unhealthy behaviors can ultimately help you lead a more fulfilling and engaging life.
Unhealthy coping mechanisms and behaviors can be both precursors and symptoms of substance use disorders. This is why it is critical to address the underlying causes of addiction and develop healthy coping mechanisms to utilize in place of abusing substances. If you, or a loved one, are struggling with a substance use disorder, contact The Watershed today. The Watershed is a dual diagnosis treatment center that has been providing essential, comprehensive care to treat alcoholism and drug addiction for over 20 years. Call The Watershed today at 1-800-861-1768.Tags: Addiction, alcoholic behavior, Alcoholism, controlling behaviors, risky behaviors, substance use disorders