This is from a forum post I found, excepted from a book: TOO PERFECT -- When Being in Control Gets Out of Control, Allan E. Mallinger, M.D. and Jeannette De Wyze; Clarkson Potter, 1992, 208 pp.

The Myth of Control

One characteristic is a tendency to think in extremes. All or nothing. To yield to another person once may feel like humiliating total capitulation. To tell one lie, break one appointment, shed one tear… is a frightening precedent. (16)

There may be a need to control others, to rigidly insist on one’s own way. (21) They may control others by striving to make people think well of them, always, to leave no room for criticism. (22)

“Subtly manipulative control games are another way in which obsessives strive to assert their power over others. Such power plays whisper: ‘I’ve got the upper hand here. I decide whether or not we will interact. And if we do, I decide the beginning, ending, and content of those interactions.’” (25)

Self-control, “fashioned in childhood as protection, it has become life-constricting…a source of pride that they’re terrified of jeopardizing.” “That fear is one of the reasons why change is particularly difficult for obsessives….” (36)

Link to post


  1. The thing is: is not everybody a little OCPD? I think that at some point everybody is frightened of losing control, everybody wants to be in control of something. I really hate the description of what OCPDs are...

    My brother who has a happy life read OPCD's definition from Wikipedia and saw himself reflected on it... and it's normal! His advice was not keeping reading information about OCPD... but I can't stop :(

  2. IMO, it may seem like "everybody is a little OCPD," but I think that is only because if the nature of the "disorder." Being a personality trait, anyone can see one or two of the identifiers of OCPD in their own personality trait, but the difference is that people who definitively have the "disorder" have all of them at once. It is all of them together that relate all people who have OCPD.

    Speaking specifically of control, I actually don't think that is a good identifier, or at least when it is taken out of context. I very much disagree that control means "control[ing] others." Rather, OCPD implies self-control, as the author mentioned. Controlling oneself and one's actions is one of the defining aspects of OCPD and perfectionism. If one cannot control themself, they cannot obtain their idea of perfectionism. Control MAY manifest in controlling others, but not necessarily. In fact, in the case of a group project, although some OCPD may decide to lead or "control" the group, many would likely just opt to working by themselves, or be submissive to the point where they are the only person in the project who does the work. For the OCPD person though, they consciously make this choice, whichever one that is, because the compulsive tendency to have things the way they obsess over it. (As a whole, be careful with how you describe "control." It is not all encompassing and can manifest in different ways)