People follow a controlling person when they are seeking validation of their self-worth.
Controlling individuals attract followers
These are people who seek the approval of others in order to validate their own self-worth. They see the controlling person as someone they want to emulate or be associated with. They look up to the controlling person and seem willing to follow this person’s lead under any circumstance and enable controlling behavior.
Once perceived that he or she has the upper hand, this situation can be used by the controlling person for the purpose of feeding his or her own ego.
How does a controlling person attract followers?
First, the controlling person engages in attention-seeking behavior which gets people looking at them. Then maybe they start bossing others around to see who takes the bait.
Inevitably, people with low self-esteem flock to the controlling person because these people need direction. They’re seeking guidance from a higher authority on what to wear, what to say, what opinions to have, where to go, who to speak to and associate with, and how to behave in general.
The controlling person feels happy in this leadership role. The followers of said person likely pay close attention to the emotional cues put out by the controlling person. Every so often, the controlling person will require an energy source, a feed of some kind to bolster their self-esteem. Behind every controlling person, after all, is a fragile ego.
So the followers who also lack self-confidence, wait for the signal that the controlling person is in need of emotional support or an ego boost. These are the “helper” types who supply the need.
Maybe the controlling person engages in some dramatic behavior to get people looking and wondering about them. The drama and attention-getting antics escalate until one of the would-be minions offers the needed support.
One way that controlling people keep the upper hand in their social group and with those closest to them is by altering reality for people with low self-esteem. They do this by rewriting the story, deciding what will happen, and deciding for the group what the next plan of action is going to be. It’s a lot like a high school social scene. And perhaps controlling people have never really grown out of their teenage need to belong and be accepted by a group of supporters. it’s pretty much a given that no matter what the controlling leader of a group says, the supportive minions are going to echo that sentiment and play their part in upholding whatever false existence the controlling person invents.