Controllers Look For Social Signals

Controllers, especially those with Narcissism, are looking for social signals from others. They look for body language, facial expressions, speech patterns, tones, and actual words that convey messages such as:

"I believe what you say",
"I think you're wonderful",
"I look up to you",
"I can't wait to follow your lead",
"I see you as an Expert, as extremely experienced"
"I see you as very strong, stronger than me"
"You intimidate me"
"I admire you"

(The classic Narcissist's favorite social signals look or sound something like):
"I am awed by your: goodness...leadership...etc"

There are levels to this. They may say or do things to see how a person will react if they don't show the signals right away.
Once they see the first signals, they look for more and more as time goes by, such as:

"I will willingly follow and believe you without question or doubt"
"I value your opinion, your wants and needs ABOVE MY OWN"
"I accept you as my superior, and I see myself as your inferior"
"Please LET ME BE SUPPORTIVE OF don't have to be supportive of me in return, or treat me with genuine respect"
"I don't have any expectations of you, but I don't mind that you have many expectations and rules for me"

and also, a person's apparent 'values' and beliefs:
"I think being a GOOD PERSON is to serve others before caring for my own health and well being"
"I think it's BAD to think of one's own needs and goals"
"I think being a GOOD person is making up excuses for other people's actions, 'sticking up for them' at ALL TIMES regardless of what they did, and helping them to cover up all of their mistakes, including abusing other people and committing crimes."

When a person does NOT give these types of submissive or admiring social signals from the start, a Controller may feel like the person is not worth targeting, so they don't keep expending effort or energy. They may try to diminish the person with direct insults, or with obvious ignoring and impolite, uncivil behaviors. They may "drop" the person, reject the person, and often try to ostracize them from any mutual business or social circles.

When a Controller had their sights set on a specific person, but the person is not showing the "correct" submissive or admiring social signals, many Controllers may feel challenged and try HARDER.
They may also have a reaction of despisement toward the targeted person, and try to dominate them as if the person is an ENEMY who did something terrible to them.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: A person can SHOW these apparent signals without actually MEANING "submission" or "admiration". Controllers and Narcissists OFTEN MISTAKE courtesy, friendliness, politeness, kindness, and encouragement for submissiveness or adulation, because they're hoping for it.
They also often misinterpret simple cultural and regional body language patterns, speech patterns, and facial expressions.
ALSO, many Controllers and Narcissists have serious problems with assumption, so they will assume that a person is automatically expressing submissiveness, or even admiration toward them, just because of the way the person happens to physically LOOK.

For a Narcissist, not getting the social signals they want from another person DOES feel like they've been "humiliated" or even "attacked". They behave defensively toward people who don't seem to recognize their "higher status", as if not treating them like Authority, Royalty, a Martyr, the Messiah, the Ultimate Expert or a Star is the same as treating them like a "servant", a "serf" or a "peasant".

This behavior can be found in normally developing children and youths. When there's a lack of mature guidance, when there's a chaotic atmosphere (can be caused by any external source including media, school, and community), or when there's an adult who's encouraging this behavior, even in an otherwise healthy atmosphere and family, young people can and do get stuck in this stage, especially since it feels like "power" and "mastery". They can and do get stuck, and they can bring it into their adulthood without growing out of it.