How to Deal With a Friend Who Always Wants Things Their Way

Having a friend who always has to have things their way can be difficult.

This type of controlling behavior can be manageable—especially if you really do love them as a friend—but you have to be careful it doesn't become toxic.

Controlling friends like to call all the shots and lead, which is okay as long as you're checking in with yourself often to make sure your own wants and needs aren't getting repressed. Below we've rounded up a few tips on how to approach someone who always has to have their way.

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Don't Argue

As with most things, arguing only makes things worse. The only thing that's worse than being around someone who has to always have their way is being around someone who always has to have their way and doesn't get it. Most controlling people are impossible to argue with because they will fight to the death so you have to prioritize your battles.


Ask Questions

People who like to have their way often like the feeling of being in control, but they don't always have a reason for why they want to be in power. Asking questions is a great way to rationalize with them without attacking them. For example, asking them why they want do something a certain way, listening, and then offering your perspective is a much more efficient way to get them to see your side.


Make a List of Non-Negotiables

It's important to know the things that really mean something to you. Perhaps picking the restaurant or movie isn't high on your priority list, but other things they try and control really do matter to you. It's important to identify your priorities and needs and stick to them so they don't overstep.


Establish Boundaries

Going off of the point above, establishing boundaries is key. Put your foot down early on so they know when to back off or take a hint. Also make sure they aren't bossing you around and controlling who you hang out with or who you spend your time with because that should be your choice.


Be Assertive

While there are subtle ways to hint at things, most controlling people roll right over hints. Many times, the only way to get through to someone like this is by being assertive. This might feel strange or foreign to you, but bossy people need to be met with an equally assertive tone so that they understand that you're serious.

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Remember It's Not Personal

It's hard to not take things personally, but if you're down on yourself for not being able to stand up for yourself or you're getting pushed around, remember that this is just this friend's nature, and many times, they don't even know that they're doing it.


Speaking of friends who can be difficult, HERE's how to deal with a BFF who you ignored all summer break.