CLEVELAND — Cleveland Clinic psychologist Dr. Susan Albers says control freaks tend to want to dominate the people and situations around them.

While this need to be in control can be off putting to some, Albers says theres often a deeper reason for it.

What You Need To Know

  • Albers believes the need for control is rooted in other psychological issues

  • The term shouldn't have a negative connotation, Albers says

  • However, sometimes it gets to a point where you need to reach out for help

“The need to control often stems from much deeper psychological issues. Sometimes, it is in obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety disorder personality disorder. We often think that the person who is controlling is being difficult or sometimes even a jerk, but really when we peel away the psychological layers, sometimes this person is having a lot of fear or a lot of anxiety," Albers says. 

While it may sound like a bad thing, Albers says having a “control freak” in your life can have some positives.

"That term control freak is pretty negative. We can reframe it to look at the person as they like to be in charge, and there are some really positive things about that. They are people who are really good at making decisions. They take charge of a situation when nobody else wants to they're really good at planning. So, we've been looking at the look for the positive attributes, and when we use that word control, we automatically think negative, and we have an angry reaction so stop using that term and really start thinking about these people as ... These are people who like to be in charge and that's not a bad thing.”

In some instances, however, these interactions can be exhausting. Albers says it's important to communicate with people who are more controlling.

“Be sure to comment in the moment of how you're feeling so you can connect the event with how you're feeling really clearly. So, for example, you could say, 'It sounds like you're trying to control how the meeting is going to go tomorrow. In this moment, it really makes me feel like you don't trust me.' And that way you have a clear connection between what is happening and how you're feeling.”

While having a control freak in your life is often harmless, Albers says it's not okay to feel bullied or abused in any way. If you feel threatened or like you dont have a voice, that’s an issue and you may need to reach out for support.