A controlling person is one that has a strong need to determine final issues in their lives and especially the lives of those around them. Controllers are immature and manipulative. Practicing good boundaries, assertiveness and communication skills are required to survive around controllers. Immediacy is also a must in dealing with them. Controllers see silence as acceptance of them and their self-centered agendas.



There are two basic types of codependents: the over-responsible person and the under-responsible person. Substance abusers are the under-responsible persons and their care-taking enablers are the over-responsible ones.  Sometimes people will switch these two roles. It depends on the situation and the person.
Both parties in codependency are controllers. These behaviors are essentially roles assigned to them by their families of origin probably before six years of age. The younger the emotional age of the controlling person, the more controlling they are. Here are a few behaviors that describe codependent controllers.



1.  EMOTIONALLY BLACKMAILS OTHERS- Withdraws and pouts if they can't get their own way in human relationships.  Constant use of emotion, especially anger or tears in the control of others.

2.  TRIANGLES IN RELATIONSHIPS - The controller works INDIRECTLY to destroy their enemies: the persons they cannot control.  They talk ABOUT others instead of TO THEM.  Those they cannot control are constantly guilted, blamed, shamed or name-called.  Controllers have two faces: the one they want you to see, and the one that reflects the sick condition of their hearts that you don't get to see.

3.  EXHIBIT TOXIC-SHAMED BASED PERFECTIONISTS - Their high expectations of themselves are projected outwards at others.  Nobody else around them measures up to their unrealistic expectations:
                   "Do it Right!"  "You're not doing it right!"
                   "Do it MY WAY!"
                   "It's MY WAY or NO WAY!"
                   "I want it MY WAY, or I'll quit!"

4.  CONTROLLERS DON'T KNOW HOW TO HAVE FUN - Since all of their relationships are based upon their insatiable need to dominate, controllers lack the spontaneity, and impulsivity that is needed for fun to happen in relationships.  They're always absorbed in asking themselves, "How can I gain CONTROL/DOMINATION/POWER in this situation?  How can I stay in the limelight?"

5. CONTROLLERS USE PREJUDICE AND LABELING TO BOX OTHERS IN - Shame based controllers' primary assumptions about others are usually wrong.  They INTERPRET the motives of others, but seldom talk directly with others about their reasons for responding or not responding to them.  One hard-to-control person put it this way:  "I'm always judged and condemned by them!  They don't really know me, but they have been my judge, jury and executioner!  I REALLY feel SMOTHERED BY THEM!"

6. SHAME-BASED CONTROLLERS ARE SELF-CENTERED - Controllers see the entire world as revolving around themselves.  They see others only in the light of how they enhance and affect their own lives.  Maybe Frank Sinatra was the ultimate shame-based controller as he crooned the swan-song of his life:
          "I want it MYYYYY WAYYYY!"
          And consider the Lord Jesus Christ who simply said, the Son of Man can do NOTHING of himself, but He does what He sees the Father doing."  Can you picture Jesus Christ singing Frankie's song from the Cross?  Whatever happened to unconditionally loving people, whether you can CONTROL them or not?               


Melody Beattie's Model For Codependency
Codependency is any act in which you consciously or unconsciously contribute to compulsive behavior in another person.  The codependent is a person who needs to be needed.  That need "hooks" them particularly into the alcohol abuse dysfunctional family system.  Ask yourself how you respond to the following checklist:
          1.  Do you need to be needed?
          2.  Do you   feel  responsible  for  other  people's  feelings,                             thoughts, actions or needs?
          3.  Do you feel anxiety,  pity  or  guilt  when  other
people have a problem?
          4.  Do you feel angry when your help isn't effective?
          5.  Do you find yourself saying, 'yes," when you mean, "no;"                doing   things   others   are   capable   of   doing   for
          6.  Do you feel safest when giving?
          7.  Do you feel insecure and guilty when somebody gives
to you?
          8.  Do you find needy people attracted to you?
          9.  Do you feel  bored,  empty  and  worthless  if you don't                   have a problem to solve or someone to help?
        10.  Do you feel  sad  because  you  spend  your  whole life                    giving to other people and nobody gives to you?
          Melody Beattie, author of the book, "Codependent No More," defines codependency as what happens when you let another person's behavior affect you, and you are obsessed with controlling that person's behavior.  Beattie also defines the behavior in question as a husband's alcoholism, a teenager's drug abuse, a spouse's anger, a person's eating disorder, a small child's temper, an unfaithful spouse's sexual misbehavior, a person's gambling addiction, or even religious addictions.
            One thing the codependent is familiar with is pain.  They're very good at hiding their pain and their inner feelings.  They are usually not very good communicators, and they have trouble trusting people. A good treatment plan for treating codependency includes weekly Alanon meetings, regular counseling appointments and an active personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon, PA


Controlling and Fixing
The Painful Side of Codependenc

“Controlling and "Fixing" attempts to change people from the OUTSIDE IN.  Jesus changed people from the INSIDE OUT!"                           Pastor Phil Roland
          "FIXING is the act of trying to "fix" an impossible person or an impossible cause.  "Fixers" are drawn to needy, dependent people who have self-generated problems that need endless fixing.  Controllers/Fixers are magical thinkers who sincerely believe that their influence or input into stressful, difficult circumstances will miraculously change the problem for the better.  Fixing blurs the boundaries between people and causes enmeshment and codependency.
            People raised in alcohol dysfunctional homes are hopeless fixers.  After all, didn't Jesus leave the ninety and nine in the fold and go out and seek and save (fix/rescue) the one that was lost?  The answer to the question  is "no!"  He found the lost and brought them to Himself.      
Jesus never abandoned Himself or others to lose Himself in futile rescues of people that showed no indication or interest in improving themselves. "Fixing" simply enables the people to remain the way they are, and simply exhausts the fixers physically and emotionally.
            Controlling elevates the “fix-er” above the "fix-ee."  It is easier for the controllers/fixers to see themselves as “Perfect,” or “OK,” and others as beneath them.  The reason many slip into a "mask" or a role is that it focuses their attention OUTSIDE themselves.  Then, the controllers/fixers never have to deal with their own personal growth, repentance and positive change in their OWN lives.  Jesus "got down" with sinners.  He ate and drank with them.  He wept with them.  In every way Jesus allowed people to PARTICIPATE in the process of their own personal growth.  Jesus didn't allow Himself to be elevated ABOVE sinners.  He was WITH them.  Sinners could touch Jesus and be touched by Him.

We Must Apply The Three C's

1.  I didn't CAUSE it!
2. I can't CONTROL it!
3. I can't CURE it!

(Then, Pray the Serenity Prayer)
Nov. 16, 1997
Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland


Burden Bearing and Fixing

Gal. 6:1-7
"Fixers are natural Burden-Bearers who have an insatiable itch to restore impossible people and impossible causes.  The urge is so strong that it overpowers reason and ties them to persons who continually cause them great pain and harm.”   Pastor Phil Roland

          A.  Heavy Life-Load
                   1. Carrying vs. Lifting a Piano
                   2. May carry for only a while
          B. Hindrances to carrying other's burdens - vs. 3,4
                   1. Pride - v. 3
                   2. Comparing - v.4

          A.  Bear your own daily, life's load -
                   1. Matt. 5:41 - Soldier's Day Pack = 70 lbs.
                   2. Go an extra mile with him
          B. Fixers want to carry it for others
                   1. Creates dependency
                   2. Wears out the Burden Bearers

            A. Three "C's" - Cause, Control, Cure
                   1. I didn't CAUSE the problem
                   2. I can't CONTROL the problem
                   3. I can't CURE the problem
            B. Prayer of Serenity
          C. Detachment is unplugging from the urge to fix others
          D. Do the First Three Steps


1. Are there areas of my life where I need to withdraw, catch my breath or emotionally detach?
2. Am I exhausted from the needy, dependent people that are continually drawn to me?
3. Am I carrying someone's life load that they should be carrying?

Projection and Controlling
                A controller is someone who is obsessed with determining final outcomes in their environment.  They, and they alone, must have the last word on everything.  Any idea, any plan of action, any and all activities in life must be under the approval of the controller.  Controllers surround themselves with passive, non-assertive people.  This is not leadership.  It is simply a way of avoiding intimacy with others and permitting others to grow through making their own healthy or unhealthy choices.
            In relationships with others that involves intimacy and emotional closeness, controllers hold all the rules and call all the shots.  The rules change frequently in order to keep the controller in the “top dog” position and others around them beneath them in the “under dog” position.
            The little jingle learned on the grade school playground is true when considering controllers:
“I’m rubber and you’re glue.
          Everything you say,
 Bounces off me and
          Sticks to you!”
                So, if in close or intimate relationships if the statement is made, “You’re too self-centered.”  Then, the controller will say, “No, it’s YOU who is self-centered.”  From the controller’s point of view, EVERYONE ELSE has the problems they are unable or unwilling to deal with in themselves.
            Controlling persons are insecure persons.  They are so self-rejecting and feel so out-of-control with themselves they figuratively “crawl out of their own skins,” and into the lives and situations of others. They feel they have to control the lives of others because they are unable to control their own situations and lives.

                In Freudean psychology one of the defense mechanisms of the soul is called, “Projection.”  Projection happens when the controller transfers their OWN most feared impulses onto others.  Other persons become EXTERNAL threats that symbolize these INTERNAL thoughts and feelings.  Jesus simply taught:

 3“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”  NIV

It is EASIER and less personally painful if controllers project their own sins and unhealed life-long wounds (Planks) on others and BLAME THEM (and their sawdust specks) for what they do not wish to examine and deal with in their own lives.

                The Koine Greek word for repentance is “Meta-noeia,” which means literally, “with another mind.”  Arrogant, unrepentant controllers must allow their “minds to changed” about the rigid way they look at themselves
 and/or others.  They must get the “Mind of Christ,” and see themselves and others as Jesus sees them.
            First John 1:9 does NOT say, “If we confess the sins of others  He, God, is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  God’s Word gives us the simple, Biblical and spiritual solution for controllers:  confess personal wrongdoings and permit God to be God and grant His forgiveness and mercy in their own lives.  In the AA Twelve Step Movement great emphasis is made on the subject of RELINQUISHMENT.  Controllers have such a strong hold on their lives and the lives of others, they cannot easily confess and relinquish the final outcomes in lives around them to the only real controller, Jesus Christ.
            Controllers must understand that being wrong is not a crime before God.  God heals and grants mercy to the repentant.  But God cannot and will not forgive un-confessed sin.  In the end there will be no perfect persons in heaven, just those who REALIZED their sinful, less-than-perfect condition and called upon the mercy of God to heal and forgive them. 
            Controllers must stop projecting their sins onto others and project them where God demands: on the Cross of Calvary where God’s awesome atonement can cover their sins with the precious Blood of Christ.
                Freedom for controllers is found in the oracle of Jesus found in Matthew 18:18:
“I tell you the truth,
          whatever you bind on earth
          will be bound in heaven,
          and whatever you loose on earth
          will be loosed in heaven.”
Controlling BINDS people to the final outcomes of the controller.  Loosing involves people we are holding as physical, emotional and spiritual hostages being set free.  God has called us clearly in His Word to set captives free.  See Isaiah 61.  Let us do just that with His Mercy, His firmness and His Love.

Courtesy of Sheepfold Ministries, Sharon PA
Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland