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Controlling People: How to Recognize, Understand, and Deal with People Who Try to Control You Audio CD – Audiobook, 29 Jun 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio; Unabridged edition (29 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452608547
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452608549
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.8 x 13.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,052,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"...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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By A Customer on 20 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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. For those of us unlucky enough to be 'blessed' with such difficult people in our lives, this book not only helps the reader to feel less alone in their plight, but gives useful insight, practical advice, tips and guidance in dealing with such controllers. Beware - this book is more than likely to stir up some difficult memories and inner turmoil, but one is so much more enlightened, forewarned, and empowered upon reaching the end of the book.
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