Anxiety And Controllers

One of the ways controller personalities cause anxiety in their target (until the target realizes what they're doing) is following their target around and criticizing and micromanaging everything they do. They "piggyback" on the target. So if, for example, the living room needs dusting and the target notices it and starts dusting, the controller will follow the target and tell them what to do and how to do it, and will often criticize whatever the target is doing.

Controller personalities are opportunists; when they see an opportunity to "lord over" someone, they take it. If for example no one has cleaned the garage in years, the minute the target decides to put a day aside and clean it, that's the moment the controller will say something like "I need you to clean the garage.... and here's what I want you to do, and how I want it done." You can almost set your watch by it. Anything the target decides to do, the controller will jump on and try to turn it into "their idea", and try to take over and become the "boss".

I used to have a couple of employees in my contracting business. Most of them had a good work ethic and knew at least the basics of what they were doing, and if they didn't know something they would ask, or find out. But a couple of employees (that didn't last long) would watch what I was doing, and come over and try to take it physically out of my hands, or come over and try to tell me how to do whatever I was doing. These people were MY EMPLOYEES, what they needed to be doing was what they were hired for, and what I TOLD them to do, but they simply could NOT refrain from their compulsion to try to control ME and whatever I was doing. I would tell them what to do and they would counter me, even if they had no idea what they were talking about, or they would parrot back what I just said as if it was their idea and their plan. They would also talk over me to clients, take my tools, and act like as if THEY were the "boss" or the "expert" to any suppliers or other contractors. They would also do this to other employees. I did hire employees I would actually consider "expert" carpenters, and they rarely pulled any of that, they treated me with normal respect, even accounting for personality differences. I also experienced this same strange and immature behavior from some supply house employees, some other trades people, and even some customers.

Controlling parents will often do this with their children, even their adult children. If the child does not clean his or her room, it might go unnoticed. But the moment the controlling parent catches wind that the child is picking up clothes or untangling a mess, the parent is IN THERE, telling the child to clean the room, often with an attitude as if they told them a hundred times...berating them for not doing it before now... and telling the child JUST WHAT they should be doing, and how to do it, as if the child is completely incompetent. Often when the child is finished, the controlling parent will not say "good job", but will come and criticize or rearrange what the child has done, and completely disregard the child's personal space and possessions, as if the parent literally "owns" the child and everything attached to the child.

"Partners" and "friends" with control issues will also do this to their partners or friends. Usually the person who gets their self-esteem from comparing themselves with others will do this; they enjoy being the boss because it makes them feel powerful and in charge, regardless of whether they have ANY IDEA about what they're talking about or what they're doing. Controllers don't want equal friendships, they want mascots, sidekicks, and little sisters and brothers who they can boss around. I had an acquaintance like this who wanted to know how I make a certain cake. I invited her over so I could show her how and walk her through the recipe. To my dismay, everything I started to do she would correct me, or physically take it from me and try to do it herself, BEFORE I told her how to do it or what to put in. After a while I just stood back, far back, and let her screw it up, since she was obviously not interested in actually listening to me. I didn't correct her either, since she argued with everything I said anyway; if she wants to learn how to make that cake, she can figure it out on her own. 

This behavior can cause major anxiety, self-esteem, and confidence issues in a target that could take intensive therapy to repair.