Vail relationships column: Take the quiz, are you controlling? |

Vail relationships column: Take the quiz, are you controlling?

Editor’s note: This is one of Neil Rosenthal’s previously published columns.

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

Do you react negatively or defensively when someone offers you constructive criticism?

Do you feel uncomfortable when someone gets too close to you? Do you push away when things are close?

Are you a “back-seat” driver?

Are you the one who has to drive?

In stressful situations, or when things don’t go according to plan, are you quick to anger or show irritability?

Do you find it difficult to trust other people?

In a relationship, do you get your way most of the time? Are things done your way?

In a relationship, do you want to know where your intimate partner is at all times?

In a relationship, are you prone to jealousy?

Are you a perfectionist?

Because of your high standards, do other people feel criticized by you?

Do other people feel they can’t measure up to your standards or expectations?

Do you feel vulnerable and out of sorts when you have to depend on other people?

Do you dominate discussions? Are you the “take charge” type?

Do you routinely get people to do things for you?

Do you find it difficult to work as a team member?

Are you your own worst critic?

Do you interrupt people a lot so you can say what’s on your mind?

In your personal life, do you give people advice or direction way more than they give you such advice?

Are you a very organized person?

Are you typically the center of attention?

In a relationship fight or dispute, do you win most of the time?

Do you take charge of the money in your household and demand explanations about expenditures?

Do you react negatively when someone challenges you or your choices?

Do you make important unilateral decisions without first getting the agreement of your spouse or significant other?


If your combined score is 54 or below, then you are not considered controlling.

If your score is between 55-69, then you may value being in control of yourself, but not normally of other people.

If your score is 70-87, then you have moments of being controlling of others, but you’re not universally thought of as a “control freak.” You may wish to examine your insecurities more deliberately.

If your score is 88-125, then you are very controlling of other people, and other people are likely feeling angry, resentful and withdrawn from you.

Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Westminster and Boulder. He is the author of the bestselling book, “Love, Sex, and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship.” Contact him at 303-758-8777 or visit

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