What Do You Call Someone Who Wants to Control Everything?

If you’re unsure how to describe a person who wants to control everything, this article is here to help!

Below, we’ve provided a list of great words and phrases that refer to a controlling individual. Moreover, you can use them in all kinds of contexts!

Words for Someone Who Wants to Control Everything

  • Control freak
  • Officious
  • Tyrant
  • Bossy boots
  • Nag
  • Megalomaniac
  • Busybody
  • Meddler
  • Controlling
  • Backseat driver


  • “Control freak” is a popular term for someone who compulsively tries to control everything around them.
  • To be more polite and professional, you could call someone who tries to control everything “officious.”
  • To be exaggerative for humorous effect, you can call a controlling person a “tyrant.”

Before you go! We still need to discuss our favorite synonyms for a person who wants to control everything in more detail down below.

After that, we’ll provide some helpful example sentences using each of them.

Control Freak

If you’re looking for what to call a person who has to be in charge at all times, most people would go with “control freak.”

Firstly, there may be a psychological reason behind being a control freak. However, it is not a psychological term for someone who is controlling, like a “narcissist,” for instance.

Rather, it is a derisive term for someone who obsessively tries to take control of things. It is especially appropriate if they act in an irritating and overbearing way.

Secondly, Merriam-Webster defines a “control freak” as “a person whose behavior indicates a powerful need to control people or circumstances in everyday matters.”

This term is rather confrontational and perhaps even rude. Therefore, we would caution against calling someone a “freak” under any circumstances. In particular, you should never use this phrase in formal or professional settings.

Nonetheless, it’s okay to use this phrase in casual settings, as it is usually intentionally hyperbolic and harmless.

Therefore, let’s see a couple of examples making use of this phrase:

I can be a bit of a control freak, so just tell me to back off if I start getting bossy.

Brett means well, but he’s kind of a control freak, so I just let him decorate the place how he wants to.


“Officious” is a great word to describe someone who is always trying to get involved in things and exercise control.

Firstly, Merriam-Webster defines being “officious” as “volunteering one’s services where they are neither asked nor needed.” Sounds pretty annoying, doesn’t it?

Nonetheless, out of all of our synonyms, calling someone “officious” is probably the most polite way to critique their controlling behavior. It has some positive connotations and can mean that someone is dutiful, obliging, and attentive.

Secondly, it comes across rather formally, so you could use this phrase in professional settings, for example.

In short, calling someone “officious” might be a good way to let them know that they are being a tad meddlesome without being offensive.

Finally, let’s see a couple of examples making use of this term:

Aaron is one of our more officious interns, but he puts out good work when he isn’t buzzing around your desk.

I’m trying to learn how to be helpful without coming across as officious.


Another word for someone who wants everything their way is “tyrant.” In this instance, we are using this term exaggeratively rather than in a literal, political sense.

Merriam-Webster defines a “tyrant” as “one resembling an oppressive ruler in the harsh use of authority or power.” Therefore, you might call someone a “tyrant” if they use harsh methods to control other people.

In general, unless you are speaking about an authoritarian dictator over a country, you won’t mean this phrase literally. Rather, you will use it figuratively to create humor in describing somebody else’s controlling behavior.

Obviously, you shouldn’t use this phrase at work or in formal settings since it is hyperbolic. However, you can use it to express your feelings around friends and family in casual or social settings.

To see what we mean, consider the examples below:

I’d love to come out for drinks, but my boss is a total tyrant and he’s making me work overtime this weekend.

Don’t be a tyrant – you have to let someone else pick the movie from time to time.