What is possessiveness and how do you control it

Image source

Most people might think that possessiveness is jealousy, and it’s okay to be possessive and call it a sign of love. So, what is possessiveness? The term is used when a person becomes too jealous and can’t handle the other person’s feelings and desires to live their life the way they want.

They start trying to control a person’s life. They act selfish and become angry if the other person doesn’t do what they ask of them. It is emotionally exhausting for both parties. Someone can become possessive over a thing or a person. That person could be anyone- a friend, lover or a family member.

They develop a mentality where they believe the person or thing belongs to them. They will have a problem with sharing their things. Possessiveness over a person is harmful when the person starts to interrupt their daily lives. They might begin to check their messages or try to mess up relationships with other people.

Read on to learn what is possessiveness.

How to Deal with Possessiveness?

It’s not difficult to correct possessiveness. You can get rid of such behavior by learning a few tricks. You can learn from your previous mistakes and your belief system to help you become a better person. You will be able to support your loved ones and grow as human beings.

  • Talking to a trained therapist might be the best way to find solutions to the problems. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be much helpful.
  • Trying to figure out what makes you a possessive person is the most crucial step. Fear of getting rejected and low self-esteem are the two of the biggest reasons for feeling possessive towards a person. You will be able to manage your possessive feelings by dealing with what makes you think that way, and you will be able to let go of the past and move forward.
  • You might damage your relationship with the other person by over-thinking and over-analyzing every move they make. Negative thinking doesn’t help, and they will leave if they have decided. You will find other people, and it will be okay.
  • You might try having a genuine conversation with your loved one about your possessiveness. Discuss with them your insecurities and anxieties. It’s incredible how much people are ready to help another person.
  • Learn to live without that person. Please spend some time away from them, and be with other people too. Enjoy your work and hobbies. It’s rewarding to have a separate life, and it’s great to reduce your need to be possessive towards them.

Is Your Friend or Loved One Possessive?

  • An easy sign is that they try to control every move you make. They ask you where you are or where you are going. They might even decide what you wear and make a big deal out of it. Such people will become angry if you don’t agree to their wishes. It becomes a demand.
  • Possessive people make sure they know your every move. They might drop by your workplace to see what you are doing. They will ask you not to meet certain people and have an explanation ready that criticizes the other person. A possessive person might show up uninvited when you meet a friend to make sure if you said the truth.
  • Their life revolves around you. You are the only person they care about and might stop meeting their friends. Their social life deteriorates, and their focus is on you.
  • They will become jealous of every one of the other sex. They might think you are flirting with them and everybody wants you. A possessive person will over-think everything and start to believe you are cheating on them with someone.
  • They have no boundaries and do not trust you at all. They will go to any level to keep you close, and will act needy and try to manipulate you. They will want you to sit with them, and showing affection towards another person will make them angry. He or she might believe you are only theirs. You belong to only them.

Image source

Why Do Some People Act Possessive?

  • Childhood trauma can be one of the reasons why a person becomes possessive towards their loved ones. The person might not realize it’s their experiences they had when they were young, that leads to behaving a certain way.
  • Low self-esteem can be a significant contributor to such a feeling. A person who believes they are not good enough for their friend or partner will always think they’ll leave them. They’ll ever think their partner will cheat on them because low self-esteem will cause them to think nobody wants them.
  • A possessive person is not happy with who they are as a person. They become jealous of other people of their gender and might wish to be like them. They don’t view themselves as a person someone will desire to love and torture themselves with such thoughts.
  • They believe that if their partner leaves them, they will not survive and move on with their lives. This feeling doesn’t help and makes possessive people feel helpless. They think that they do not have control over the situation and try to fix it by changing their friends or partner. For example, they ask their partner not to meet people of the opposite sex.
  • They feel unloved. They think nobody has ever loved them or cares about them. They might feel like that if their caregivers always neglected them. Another reason might be that their parents always preferred the other child, making them feel lost and unwanted. They think that they didn’t even want them- why would others.
  • Not being able to trust people can be a contributor to someone becoming possessive. Trust forms the base of any relationship- family, friendship or partner. They won’t survive without trust, and possessiveness thrives on it.

How Can You Handle a Possessive Partner?

They might be possessive of you, but they are good people. You care about your partner, and there are ways to manage your friend or partner’s possessiveness. You can help them and develop a healthy relationship that both can enjoy.

Here are some tips you can use.

  • Sit together and have a conversation about your feelings. Tell them it has created emotional distress and is hurting your relationship. Try to see why they feel the need to become possessive and work on them together.
  • You might begin to feel better when you find the cause of their behavior. Work on it and if needed, ask them to seek help from a psychologist. You can join them for the sessions because it might help the therapist understand more about your friend or partner.
  • Shouting at them will not help. You are trying to make your relationship better, and it will only create more problems.
  • Be nice to them and share how you feel because it can help them understand you as well.
  • Your partner must understand that you don’t feel comfortable when they go through your phone or decide who to talk to. Your need for space is a valid demand, and it should be appreciated. They must learn to trust you and be okay when you become close to another person.
  • You can try to show them that you mean a lot to them, and you both can have a fantastic future together. Tell them you care about them and mean a lot to you. That their possessive behavior might drive you away.


A person being possessive of a thing or person is not healthy. We, as human beings, are possessive. It becomes annoying when a person crosses the line. It is a selfish act and can relationships to end on a sour note.

Possessiveness can happen due to many reasons. Childhood trauma, low self-esteem, and trust issues are some reasons that make a person much possessive. They lose control and don’t realize the damage they are causing to their relationship, be it a friend or partner. Both people suffer emotional distress due to such behavior and will lead to the end of the relationship.

It’s worth helping out an over-possessive person because it’s a trait that people can get out. When a person realizes they act a certain way, they can start the healing process. Creating basic rules that both of you follow will help eliminate the anxiety and feeling of helplessness.

The best option available is to talk to a psychologist. Psychologists are trained in managing such things and are not only for people with mental disorders. Talk therapy helps find out how the desire to behave in such a way happened. A lot of times, it’s connected to the person’s childhood experiences. Parents sometimes end up neglected a child. These children are often criticized, and their parents favor other children over them. Psychologists who are certified cognitive behavioral therapists, are trained to manage such issues and help their clients become resilient to deal with their past to become better human beings.