Are You Controlling? (Quiz)

How much resistance are you in now? Our psychological defenses are extremely good at hiding this from us; by definition, stored-up emotions are the ones we can’t feel. However, resistance gives rise to a telltale behavior patternócontrol. Having to be in control is a compulsion rooted in fear and threat.

Give yourself a point for each statement that applies to you frequently, most of the time, or almost always. Some of the statements do not sound very flattering, but try to be as candid and honest about yourself as you can.

1. I like to be in control of work situations and am much happier working alone than with others.
2. When I’m under pressure, the easiest emotion for me to show is anger or irritability.
3. I rarely tell anyone that I need them.
4. I tend to harbor old hurts. Rather than telling someone that he hurt me, I would rather fantasize about getting even.
5. I have quite a few resentments about the way my brothers and sisters relate to me.
6. The more money I spend on someone, the more that means I love them.
7. I keep to myself how unfairly others treat me.
8. If a relationship starts to go bad, I secretly wish I could take back everything I bought for that person.
9. If it’s my house, the people in it should follow my rules.
10. I find it hard to admit being vulnerable. I don’t often say “I’m wrong” and mean it.
11. It’s better to nurse my wounds than to show someone that I’m weak.
12. I’m a better talker than listener.
13. What I have to say is usually important.
14. I secretly think others don’t take my opinions as seriously as they should.
15. I have a pretty good sense of what’s good for people.
16. At least once in my life I got caught opening someone else’s mail.
17. People have called me cynical or negative.
18. I have high standards, which others sometimes mistake for criticism.
19. I tend to be a perfectionist. It bothers me to let a sloppy job go out.
20. I feel uncomfortable if someone gets too close to me emotionally.
21. After a relationship breaks up, I look back and think I was mostly right.
22. I’m neat and orderly. I like my way of doing things and find it hard to live with someone who is sloppy.
23. I’m good at scheduling my day and put a high value on punctuality.
24. I’m good at caring for other people’s needs, but then I get disappointed when they don’t think as much about mine.
25. I have a logical explanation for the way I act, even if others can’t always except it.
26. I don’t care that much if other people don’t like me.
27. In my opinion, most people don’t usually express their true motives for the way they behave.
28. I’m not good at handling noisy or rambunctious children.
29. I still blame my parents for a lot of my problems, but I haven’t told them so.
30. When I get into an argument with my spouse or lover, I can’t resist bringing up old grievances.

Next: What you score means

0-10 points
Your personality isn’t dominated by an excessive need to be in control. You are likely to be comfortable with your feelings and tolerant of other people. You realize that you are imperfect, therefore you understand the failings of others. It is easy for you to let events take their own course, and surprises don’t throw you off balance. You probably place a high value on spontaneity and the expression of emotions.

10-20 points
Being in control is a frequent issue with you. You have more fears and hurt feelings than you let on, but you don’t work hard to resolve these feelings. Being in charge isn’t necessarily that important to you, but having your way usually is. You consider yourself organized and efficient, yet it isn’t a major event if things get a little out of control. You have found someone whom you can be honest and open with, but there are limits to how much you can safely say or do, even with that person.

Over 20 points
You are a controlling person. You feel that control is necessary because people hurt your feelings a lot, and your memory of this goes back into your painful childhood. To keep from being hurt more, you try to control your feelings, which basically means you are very selective about revealing yourself to others. Your overriding need to be in charge or to have things your way drives people away from you, despite the fact that you work very hard to take care of their needs. The only emotion you show easily is anger or irritability. You constantly explain your motives and give reasons for why you are the way you are, but somehow this doesn’t help you get you what you want, which is other people’s love and affection.

Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra, M.D. (Three Rivers Press, 1998). Reprinted by permission of the author.
Adapted from Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, by Deepak Chopra, M.D. (Three Rivers Press, 1998).


Ashley T.
Ashley T.about a year ago

I got a 23... :-( help, what can I do?

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

8 points though... :/

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson3 years ago

too laid back to be "in control" :)

Margaret C.
Margaret C3 years ago

Very interesting and for me, very true.

Elaine B.
Elaine B3 years ago

My hubby and tried this and both got 18 and 17 respectively. What was good was we talked for ages about the answers. Thanks

Valerie L.
Valerie L3 years ago

I found the quiz helpful. I came in at a solid 10 with perhaps one more I couldn't quite decide on. It's good to be aware!

Kimberlee W.
Kimberlee W3 years ago

How funny. I came in at a 10 1/2 (still really wishy-washy about one question) and I've always thought I was this huge control freak.
Interesting the perception vs the reality? And does this quiz really show the reality or is it a totally subjective sort of thing? How does the phrase "Perception equals reality" come into play here?

And, of course, there are probably many who know me here who would TOTALLY disagree and say I lied on the test, LOL!!

(and I can't be the only one here who believes that Mia needs some help there. Sounds a bit-one-sided to me. That's not self-control, that's being controlled and it sounded like fear)

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal3 years ago

I didn't bother with all three pages...I get the message.

Zee Kallah
Helen Porter3 years ago

I came across a book on controlers. It made sense. Controlers are people who care too much! It could usually be also defined as high anxiety. I found a book that helped me to understand the controllers. They care TOO much. They have high anxiety. NOT ALL of course! There are always exceptions.

However, the same solution to high anxiety and the need to CONTR0L (controllers who care too much) can be most effective in becoming free from either or both compulsions.
The book I found in a library THE WORRY CURE sure cured my high anxiety. I no longer lived in a world of "What if?" The basic mesage was:


Accept that fact. Live with it.

It set me free of anxiety, enriched my ability to look straight into a controller's face and say,
"Nope. I'm co-dependent no more."

Bacon and some other philosopher both said, "Knowledge is power." I have learned if I get anxious, the first step is to get information. It's the not knowing that scares us. Then analyze what I CAN do about the situation. After evaluation, do what I CAN do. It's one step at a time to solve most any problem. And that does not mean to become a controller. lol

Claudia S.
Claudia S4 years ago

wow got 19! I would love to get some tips on how to overcome this issue ...