Editor's note: Neil Rosenthal will be conducting a one-day workshop open to the general public titled "Creating an A+ Relationship" on May 4 in Westminster. For information and registration, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you think you are controlling? Do other people tell you that you are too controlling? Do your relationships have a history of control issues or power struggles? Have lovers and/or spouses objected to you making important decisions without them? Do you take charge of the money in your household and demand explanations for expenditures you haven't agreed to?
Take this quiz to gauge how controlling you are.
Answer the following questions using this scale: 1 = rarely or never; 2 = seldom; 3 = sometimes; 4 = often; 5 = very often.
1. Do you react negatively or defensively when someone offers you constructive criticism or makes a request of you to do something different?
2. Do you feel uncomfortable when someone gets too close to you emotionally? Do you push away when things are close?
3. Are you a "back-seat" driver?
4. Are you the one who has to drive virtually all of the time?
5. In stressful situations, or when things don't go according to plan, are you quick to anger or irritability?
6. Do you find it difficult to trust other people?
7. In a relationship, do you get your way most of the time? Are things done your way most of the time?
8. In a relationship, do you want to know where your intimate partner is at all times?
9. In a relationship, are you prone to jealousy?
10. Are you a perfectionist, or do you set very high standards for yourself?
11. Because of your high standards, do other people feel criticized by you?
12. Do other people feel they can't measure up to your standards or expectations?
13. Do you feel vulnerable and out of sorts when you have to depend on other people?
14. Do you dominate discussions? Are you the "take charge" type?
15. Do you get people to do things for you?
16. Do you find it difficult to effectively work as a team?
17. Are you your own worst critic?
18. Do you interrupt people a lot?
19. In your personal life, do you give other people advice or direction way more than they give you advice or direction?
20. Are you a very organized person?
21. Are you typically the center of attention?
22. In a relationship when you're in a fight, do you tend to win most of the time?
23. Do you take charge of the money in your household and demand explanations for expenditures you haven't agreed to?
24. Do you react negatively or defensively when someone challenges you or your choices?
25. In a relationship, do you make important decisions without first getting the agreement of your significant other?
If your combined score is 88-125, then you are controlling of other people. You likely elicit resentment, anger and withdrawal from other people.
If your combined score is 70-87, then you have your moments of being controlling, but you're not usually considered a "control freak." You may wish to examine your insecurities and needs more deliberately.
If your combined score is 55-69, then you may value being in control over yourself, but not normally over other people.
If your combined score is 54 or below, you aren't a controlling person.
Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Westminster and Boulder. His column is in its 21st year of publication and is syndicated around the world. You can reach him at 303-758-8777, or email him through his website: www.heartrelationships.com. He is not able to respond to individual queries.