Control, Manipulation, Judgment, and Criticism

People will do almost anything to get what they want. Some of it is evil. Some of it is just plain naive and stupid. My opinion is that using control, manipulation, judgment, and criticism to affect the actions of another person is just plain evil. When these tactics are used in the name of maintaining a relationship with another person, it is particularly evil.

Let’s take judgment and criticism, for example. If two people are in a relationship and one is a stronger personality than the other, then the stronger judging and criticizing the weaker’s actions can have rather dramatic effects. In the dictionary, the word “judgmental” refers to making judgements in an unhelpful or critical way. The stronger person can use this tactic in order to get the weaker to do their bidding in order to try to please them. Any behavior on the part of the weaker person in the relationship can bring judgement down on their head from the stronger one and they become like Pavlov’s dog. They start avoiding those supposed bad behaviors in order not to suffer the judgement and criticism of the stronger partner. The stronger partner may withhold affection in the form of love or sex or perform other punishments when bad behavior, or behavior they consider bad, happens.

If the weaker partner is dependent in some way on the stronger partner, this type of manipulation may simply make the weaker partner increasingly dependent. They start wanting the approval of the stronger partner and start modifying their behavior, even if there is nothing wrong with it at all.

As this occurs, the stronger partner is in control of the relationship and the weaker partner. Of course, this was the point of the judgement and criticism and manipulation. Control.

Would you want to be in a relationship if you had to have this type of control in order to keep it? No, I wouldn’t either. But, some people are insecure enough so that they think controlling another person is the only way they can have a relationship with another person.

Control, in a relationship, is not a good thing. There is something worse and it is called coercive control. Coercive control occurs when the following happens. Here are some coercive methods controlling partners use:

  1.  One partner tries to isolate the other partner and keep them from social interaction with other people unless they are together.
  2. One partner tries to keep the other from leaving the house alone.
  3. One partner monitors social media use, email, mail, conversations.
  4. One partner spies on or stalks the other partner.
  5. One partner may suggest to the other partner that they need some sort of drugs, either prescription drugs or other drugs for some sort of medical condition.

*Source: Huffington Post

Sometimes, the weaker partner just says “this is the way it is” and gives up their autonomy.

These are only five out of many methods of coercive control that controlling partners may use. The others are just as scary or more so.

What about the controlling partner? How did she/he become like this? Generally, due to childhood relationships. If a child feels no control in its life, that child may grow up as an insecure person who doesn’t feel they have any value in personal relationships. A minority of these children will grow up as people who participate in aberrant behavior. They will involve themselves in relationships with partners they can control which may devolve into coercive control. They can be quite dangerous.

If you find yourself in a relationship where your partner is judgemental and critical, which are both manipulative techniques that turn into control, find yourself another relationship. You may be with a person who is a sociopath or, at the very least, a person with few morals although they may appear to be a moral person on the surface.  These people may try to persecute others for things they have done themselves. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #control #manipulation


  1. Rosemary, all these behaviors you’ve referred to are deplorable, of course. However, I can’t agree that they’re actually evil because the one using these tactics isn’t necessarily evil. In most cases, although not all, that person suffers from mental illness. They don’t want to be the way they are.

    This doesn’t mean that the other person in the relationship must stay and put up with the behavior. I’m just saying a little compassion needs to be given to the one who exhibits this behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I understand what you’re saying, Glynis. Usually, the perpetrator is a sociopath, which means they are amoral. They don’t care that what they are doing is wrong. Unfortunate. Yes, of course, it is a mental illness but they would never admit it.


      1. My ex-husband was abusive, but he also had three personalities going on in his head. Only one was angry and frightening. I left him because of our son. I couldn’t let him get hurt.


      2. Glynis, I am so so sorry. I think coercive control is a special kind of very subtle abuse, which may be the worst kind. I also have been the victim of abuse and I have friends who also have been and are being abused currently. It is one of my hot button issues. Yours too, I’m sure.


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