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

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  220 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Learn how to 'break the spell' of control with Patricia Evans' new bestseller. Already hailed by Oprah Winfrey, "Controlling People" deals with issues big and small - revealing the thought processes of those who seek to control in order to provide a 'spell-breaking' mind-set for those who suffer this insidious manipulation. Invaluable insight and advice for those who seek...more
ebook, 426 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by Adams Media Corporation (first published February 1st 2002)
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This book has some good ideas, but the theory that ties them together is not explained very clearly. Also, the terminology she creates for her theory is goofy and confusing. This is too bad, since the topic is an important one, and Evans does not demonize the controlling person, but talks about people who want to stop acting that way.

It's clear that the author has no background in psychology--a basic knowledge of attachment theory and ego psychology would illuminate the mentality of controlling...more
This book was SO helpful!

The book says that ANY time a person believes they know what you think, feel, believe, etc., without you telling them, they are pretending. Pretending (in this way) is a sign of a controlling person.

I have believed that other people can tell me what I think. What I feel. Who I am. What I believe. What I do. What I don't do. I have accepted other people's definitions of me.

Now, when I hear people make statements that are pretending to know what I think or feel, I understa...more
While I've seen some reviews that suggest that from a psychoanalytical point of view this book is weak, I found it tremendously valuable.

I think the source of the disconnect in those reviews can be found in the goal of the book. This book is not about curing or fixing controlling people. It is mostly about setting yourself free from the controlling behaviour of others. The key point is that most of the work of freeing yourself is not about changing the other person but about changing your view o...more
One of them books to go back to. A must read for people who have been made "crazy" by other people. Helps understand the mind of those sick people with the skills to make you crazy.
Great book! This book has given me the missing puzzle piece in my relationships, and is really helping me improve them. I highly recommend it!
An important subject for discussion, and many interesting points. But the way it was presented was too cold: controlling people are divided up into THEM, the one-cylinder, two-cylinder types, the unthinking 'other's, 'backwards', and a constant hammering of the term 'spell', 'sorcery', being 'under a spell'. Everyone can be a a**hole or a jerk once in a while, everyone can take our innate 'theory of mind',that trying to understand the other person through our own experiences and beliefs, and can...more
Mark Nangle
One of the most caring, helpful and generous self-help authors I have ever read. It seems Patricia Evans' aim is to truly help free people from a certain type of enslavement ( I can imagine Bob Marley singing "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds ). She stays clear and to the point and organises her book in such a way that it has the effect of leading you from darkness into light, ignorance into knowledge. Well done. Recommended.
Terrah Mayes
This book is so insightful. Perhaps a bit simplistic but coupled with Patricia Evens's other books, this book comes full circle to helping to understand both overt and covert controlling people. This book acknowledges that men can be controlled, but tends to be geared toward the national statistic of abused women. It is a worthwhile read- especially if you read her other books. Best Regards, T-
I can say that this book helps to identify 'some' controlling behavior but it misses a lot of the passive/aggressive behaviors. I enjoyed the book but the concepts sort of got lost over the years for me as I learned more about passive/aggressive behavior.
Joseph Santiago
Lately I have been researching difficult people, domestic violence, and aggression with controlling people to understand the links present there. While this book touched on these areas it was not exactly what I was seeking. I found it interesting in many places as it described the stories of people who have been abused and how they sought help. It also promoted having the strength to help others while they are being controlled. I did find myself thinking about what it would be like to be seeking...more
Janet Jensen
Controlling people are all around us. This book is helpful in recognizing this personality and how to deal with it. We will see ourselves in the complex interaction of various personalities in this book
Ruth Conrad
Nov 30, 2008 Ruth Conrad rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ruth by: Jan
This book is good at describing controlling people and all the ways that they are weird and disconnected. I was looking for more answers in how to deal with controlling people.
Very helpful! Particularly the chapter discussing how others define you through "you" statements. "You don't really like that."
useful, but Evans ties a lot of things to gendered behavior/the patriarchy and doesn't talk about controlling women much.
Linda Delorme
Apr 10, 2010 Linda Delorme is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
run,,run as fast as you can when you are in their presence!
Jun 02, 2013 Oresta rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who can't make sense of others intentions
Shelves: psychology
I had to read this book a couple of times to really understand it, and it was worth the extra effort. The only criticism I have is like others have mentioned, it really doesn't offer a lot of advice on how to deal with those significant others who are controlling.

Now because of this book, I can see it is them that have the world backwards, not me. They are truly under a spell that is not real.

Before this book, I likened my controller as a person with an extra limb, and that limb was me. It was...more
I read this book as an extension of some research I'm doing on a paper. I've been reading about control, covert aggression, passive aggression, APD, sociopathy, etc.

This book falls into a more general relationships section. I guess bought by people who are having distress from partners, colleagues, children or parents who are controlling on nature or their relationships are uneven in power.

There seem to be quite a lot of similar books on these subjects, e.g. dysfunction in relationships. There s...more
Christoph Fischer
"Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal with People Who Try to Control You"
by Patricia Evans is an informative and psychologically sound book that uncovers mechanisms and patterns in human behaviour and gives good advice on how to deal with it.
Coming with a lot of praise I found the book however not living up to the hype. As with all popular science books, some information seems trivial or stating the obvious, while other news don't always come with great advice how to put...more
Catherine McClelland
This book stirred up a lot of emotion in me because I see how the Spellbound have tried to control me all my life. I just wish this book had more strategy for dealing with the controllers.
Karen Nelson
This book covers a much deeper-running personality problem than what I am looking for information on. Although the author's perspective was helpful, I was really looking for more help on dealing with manipulative and guilt-inducing personalities - rather than a much-more-severely-troubled "controlling" personality.
I had to read it for one of college English classes. Personally, I was never a big fan of self-help books. So obviously, I hated the book. I failed to see the point why people would bother to read books like this one - talking about how to deal with someone who tries to control you. You know what? The best way to deal with it: tell them to #$$%$#...

NOT recommending...
I got a lot from this book, though not exactly what I expected to. I didn't learn so much about the relationship other as I did about how and why I relate to my inner experience the way I do and how I often find myself being controlled by other people.
This book didn't do it for me. A whole lot of verbage that just wasn't making sense; backwards connection, being beside yourself, spell breaker, i.e. I stopped reading 1/2 way through the book when I realized I just wasn't getting anything out of the book.
Good insights. It's nice to see these issues from a different perspective from someone who has training. However, this book helps you identify issues, but doesn't give a lot of suggestions of how to deal with it.
Insightful book. My only issue with it is that the examples are nearly all about men abusing/controlling women. While this happens, ironically I got the book because of a female controlling supervisor. Worth the read.
Diana Heiman
I am surrounded by them! COuldn't get through it, I don't thin she knows how to articulate her point. (MAybe she's used to someone telling her what it is! Hahaha!)
Marilyn Belleghem
Personally and Professionally Useful

A well organized and clear account of characteristics, methods and ways to deal with a person who wants power over others.
Didn't really like it. To me, it was more about how to understand the controller rather than dealing with their attempted control of you and your life.
Good for understanding the thinking and insanity behind controlling people but I wish she had offered more techniques for dealing with these people.
She had some weird terminology that possibly made it easier to explain her point of view. Not sure I liked it though.
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