EDIT: I posted the above before I gained a clear understanding of the situation. The specific example is retracted.
It is impossible to have any form of relationship with another human without ceding some form of control to that person. This applies if you're partners, friends, enemies, whatever. You can't avoid this without becoming a hermit.
Most important would be the relationship you have with your friends, as you cede more control to them than anyone else. The problem occurs when the friend starts to enjoy that control more than they enjoy you as a person. At that point, the relationship becomes unhealthy. If allowed to continue, it becomes ALL about control. You become their drug. You become something they can punch around a bit when they've had a bad day.
The tendency is to maintain the friendship despite that sort of thing, because who doesn't value their friends? And who wants to walk away from years of friendship? Nobody, of course, which causes people to hang around in seriously dysfunctional relationships. This is usually not harmful, but eventually it will lead to a disaster, when the friend decides to play control games while something important is happening.
Obviously, I'm talking about what just happened between Nigel, Alty, and I...But I think the observation was worth writing down as a general statement.