Saturday, April 14, 2007

Controlling People

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

by Patricia Evans

ISBN: 158062569X
ISBN-13: 9781580625692

Editorial Review

From Library Journal
An interpersonal communications specialist, Evans (The Verbally Abusive Relationship) has written a timely book that not only helps readers free themselves from controlling types but also seeks to explain the occurrence of verbal abuse, battering, stalking, harassment, hate crimes, gang violence, tyranny, terrorism, and territorial invasion. What she calls a "compelling force" overcomes these controllers; because they sense the overwhelming "psychic pain, distress, and discord permeating the world," they must impose a twisted kind of order on their friends, lovers, and acquaintances. Often, she continues, people with good intentions end up doing the opposite of what they would need to do to realize a goal or fulfill a need. This is a compelling work, but it belongs in the hands of counselors; lay readers who feel controlled will find it worthwhile but hard going. Public and academic libraries with special collections on relationships should also strongly consider. Susan E. Burdick, MLS, Reading, PA

From the Publisher

In Controlling People, bestselling author Patricia Evans tackles the "controlling personality," and reveals how and why people try to run other people's lives. She also explains the compulsion that makes them continue this behavior -- even as they alienate others and often lose those they love. Controlling People helps you unravel the senseless behavior that plagues both the controller and the victim. Can the pattern, or spell, be broken? Yes! says the author.

By understanding the compelling force involved, you can be a catalyst for change and actually become a spell-breaker. Once the spell is broken and the controller sees others as they really are, a genuine connection can be forged and healing can occur. Should you ever find yourself in the thrall of someone close to you, Controlling People is here to give you the wisdom, power, and comfort you need to be a stronger, happier, and more independent person.

Customer Reviews

A reviewer (, A reviewer, 12/19/2002
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.

Christopher McCullough, Ph.D. (, therapist & author in San Francisco, 09/30/2002
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.