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Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand and Deal with People Who Try to Control You [Paperback]

Patricia Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
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Price: 7.69 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Feb 2003

Learn how to 'break the spell' of control with Patricia Evans' new bestseller. Already hailed by Oprah Winfrey, Controlling People deals with issues big and small - revealing the thought processes of those who seek to control in order to provide a 'spell-breaking' mind-set for those who suffer this insidious manipulation. Invaluable insight and advice for those who seek support.

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Frequently Bought Together

Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand and Deal with People Who Try to Control You + The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize it and How to Respond + Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
Price For All Three: 25.54

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Product details

  • Paperback: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Adams Media Corporation (1 Feb 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158062569X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580625692
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 14.1 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"...the most important thing is to realize that you don't deserve to be treated that way."-Oprah Winfrey (advance praise for Controlling People); "A groundbreaking new book."-Newsweek

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Have you ever been puzzled or disturbed by the behavior of a family member, friend, or coworker and found yourself wondering, What's going on? Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars But Please Balance the books! 26 Aug 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is has given me many useful insights into the whys and hows of emotionally abusive behaviour. The other reviewers here have effectively listed it's many plus points.

However, the title says "How to Recognize, Understand and *Deal* with People Who Try to Control You

I had hoped for more concrete methods described in the dealing with controllers aspect. The book's concluding chapters seemed to me to consist of many quotes from people congratulating either themselves or Evans on having 'broken the spell'. I found it hard to distil firm techniques that would help me practice spellbreaking. The abuse I witness is very subtle and hard to pin down and confront in the workplace and the methods mentioned seem to me best suited for "In your face" abuse.

Finally so many books and websites on abuse and bullying are overtly gender biased and Patricia Evan's book is no exception. I think a better balanced insight could have been gained from illustrating the patterns of control and abuse with more examples of people abused by female partners or colleagues. When the "typical" gender dynamic is reversed it really does highlight the power and recurring pattern of controlling abusive behaviour.

The path to becoming an abuser is not a "Man thing". It can flow from mother to daughter from wife to husband, even employee to boss! Being a target of abuse is not the female prerogative.

Myself, my father, my partner and her father, have all been the objects of "control connections" from spellbound women and those women in turn were the victims of maternal abuse and neglect.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great with some big gaps 21 April 2009
By Hello
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In describing how the controlling mindset works, this is the best book I've ever read: clear in its theories, insightful, convincing, perceptive and not unsympathetic to the controlling person. If you want a view into how such thinking works, this is your book.

On the other hand, it suffers several flaws. Minor ones first: Evans spends time reflecting on the worldwide political implications of her psychological theory that start moving into unsupported vagueness, and that's pages that could more usefully have been devoted to constructive advice, plus over-reaching a bit. Also, she rather over-uses her invented phrases, 'Controller', 'Pretend Person' and so on, which gives the book an almost cultic feel at times. There are times when the book feels a bit over-excited about its theory.

This wouldn't be too bad, but there are two serious flaws: it offers frustratingly little advice on what to do about such situations - saying 'What?' whenever someone makes an inappropriate remark is honestly about as far as it goes - and its structure is rather meandering.

It's a real shame that she speaks vaguely of the 'Controller' throughout and doesn't consider any changes of nuance according to the relationship. Why not, for instance, have a chapter on husband-to-wife control, wife-to-husband, parent-to-child, friend-to-friend, boss-to-employee and so on? All of these are slightly different situations where the same problem can occur, and the victims' options are very different in each. Such a structure would not only be more helpful but would also make the book far easier to navigate and reread. As it is, it's hard to remember what Evans says where; it all blurs into one general theory.

A great theory, to be sure.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful but limited 11 May 2010
I would recommend this book for anyone who wants to gain and insight and an understanding as to the problem, i.e. controlling people and why they are the way they are. This book provides a very thorough analysis of the problem itself; it is very explicit and explores the issue from every angle.

The issue that I personally faced with this book is that of a lack of solutions to the problem. The writer does suggest a number of strategies, but this is only a small chapter at the very end of the book. There was only one verbal strategy suggested that certainly could not apply when one is faced with a controlling person at work, for example or in other social situations; but would only apply if this person is a partner.

In general this is a very good book and it has provided me with great insight that will facilitate understanding and communication with a controlling person in my life. I was disappointed, however with the lack of practical applications that would assist me in actually dealing with this person. The author very thoroughly presents the various aspects of the problem in an easy-to-understand way. I would have found this book more useful, however, if she had presented practical ways to deal with these issues.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good book about bullying 20 Mar 2004
By A Customer
Although I am normally sceptical about self-help books, I bought this hoping to understand a bit more about bullying from the perspective of the bully and the bullied. I found it tremendously helpful. Having experienced bullying and the trauma that goes with it, I wanted to understand why it happened (why me? why her?), in the hope that I will deal with it better next time round. I found the descriptions of the bully's behaviour and the reasons for that behaviour full of insights. I have met a lot of people who think they can tell you what you like and how you feel. Controlling People maintains that this belief is a delusion, and goes on to explain why, and how people can come to hold this belief. It helps the bullied recognise this behaviour and resist it, and the bully begin to break the spell cast by their mistaken belief.
It does ask for some perseverence. If you don't get to grips with the terms used (Teddy? Witness? Spellbreaker? Pretend Person?) it is confusing, and it takes a couple of concentrated reads to fully understand. But it's worth the trouble - definitely the best book I've read about bullying.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I read this book from cover to cover
This book opened my eyes at just the right time. I am stunned to finally perceive this profound level of consciousness. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Letitia
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and most helpful book.
This has brought a whole new level of understanding for me of previous influences and difficulties and how these compound the present. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. S. Taylor
2.0 out of 5 stars Complicated
I found it very hard to understand what it was all about, got bored with reading after a few pages as I didn't really grasp what the author was talking about.
Published 7 months ago by J.C.Black
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I did not like this book you would need to be a psychiatrist to understand it. I found it disappointing.
Published 9 months ago by janet deane
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Enlightening Read...
I found this book very useful and enlightening. The easy-to-read format enables the reader to digest bite-size chunks before moving on to each section. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Nicolino
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Book
It was a revelation to read how I had been controlled (bullied) without even being aware. It is well worth reading what ever sort of relationship you are in as it points out how... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Kat
4.0 out of 5 stars Sound information
"Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal with People Who Try to Control You"
by Patricia Evans is an informative and psychologically sound book that... Read more
Published 10 months ago by ChristophFischerBooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Also very helpful
An easy to read and sympathetc book, makes you realise that you are not on your own, even if you're being isolated from others.
Published 13 months ago by Nik E
5.0 out of 5 stars A real eye opener
After many years of reading self help books, all coming from slightly different points of view I thought I'd learned most of what their is to learn on the subject of self... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Raymond A. Hook
3.0 out of 5 stars not as good as 'The Verbally Abusive Relationship'
I very much liked TVAR and Survivors Speak Out. This book was less useful to me. I found the repetition of "Teddy" to be really irritating: the idea being that some people have... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Cee Jay
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