"Control Me" Syndrome

 "Control Me" Syndrome describes a tendency which some people have to foster relationships with people who have a controlling narcissistic, antisocial or "acting-out" nature.

Some people just feel more comfortable when they give the responsibility for making decisions to others.

It's sometimes tempting to allow others to make decisions for us. When:

  • We feel less successful than others.
  • We feel less capable than others.
  • Others project an air of confidence or authority.
  • Others appear more successful than us.
  • We are humiliated by past mistakes.
  • We fear the humiliation of making new mistakes.

Taking a passive "control-me" approach is a dangerous strategy for a number of reasons:

  • Other people make mistakes.
  • Certain people with personality disorders, including narcissists, controllers and other people who "act-out" are often attracted to "Control-Me" personalities.
  • Adopting a passive approach to decision making often leads to a passive-aggressive attitude towards problem solving.

It is also important to realize that when you give control over decision making to another, you have not really given up control so much as you have chosen to delegate control to another. This means that you are somewhat responsible for the outcome.

Examples of "Control-Me" Syndrome

  • A woman tends to get into relationships with men who will tell her what to do.
  • A man will not leave an abusive relationship unless someone he sees as an authority figure tells him to do it.
  • A young woman is relieved to move out and escape from her abusive home, immediately gets involved with an abusive boyfriend.

People who go through life with a "Control-Me" strategy typically find themselves disappointed with the results as they stagger from one dysfunctional relationship to the next. They may find themselves repeatedly in abusive situations or trapped in relationships that do not serve their best interests. They often hook up with people who have a "Control-You" syndrome.

What It Feels Like:

If you are in a relationship with a person who has "Control-Me" syndrome, you may be flattered by their apparent "trust" in you but you may end up being frustrated when the inevitable disappointments come.

If you have the symptoms of "Control-Me" syndrome, you may enjoy the short cut of putting the responsibility onto another, but you may also become frustrated when they inevitably let you down.