Someone who constantly leaves you feeling confused, and mentally exhausted but you just can’t pinpoint why, is likely to be an emotional manipulator. Identifying them for who they are can be tricky, but this list will help.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation with a friend or partner where you doubted yourself because of what the other one firmly believed? Where you honestly knew that you weren’t the one at fault, yet they insisted that it was your actions that led to the disaster which ensued?
If you recognize these behaviour patterns, you might be in the presence of an emotional manipulator. They are everywhere, like a plague that infects the vulnerable with self-doubt and deprives them of the right to express their feelings. The best thing to do in this case is cut ties with that person, but if you’re finding it hard to make that decision, check out the list below.
Here are some tactics that these emotional manipulators use on people which might help you to decide whether they are worth keeping or not.
1. They will persistently dismiss your emotions
If you ever tell this person how they made you feel about something they said or did that hurt you, instead of apologizing they might calmly tell you that you’re making it more of an issue than it actually is and completely disregard your feelings.
Their apathetic attitude will eventually make you start doubting yourself, so you introspectively gather your thoughts and start believing it is your fault and subsequently lose the motivation to pursue the matter any further. If their response was a bit less calm and a bit more aggressive, then it is likely for them to lash out in rage and try to turn it around on you, making you feel as though you are to blame for their loss of temper.
2. They play “tit-for-tat” pretty well
If ever you become determined to confront them with what you think they are lacking in terms of affection or intimacy or emotional support, they will respond by listing all the things that they don’t appreciate or find is lacking in you.
They might try and throw it right back at you and say things that deprive you of the right to express your feelings like “Don’t make me start raising my voice at you…” or ” It’s because of you that we now have to deal with …”. Which leaves you doubting yourself again and wondering again if you’re the one overreacting. You may start losing the ambition to communicate healthily and end up crawling further back into your shell.
3. They are completely different people when nobody else is around.
Everything may seem to be going just great; you’re on your night out at a bar with friends, until a couple of drinks go down and your partner starts running their mouth about the most embarrassing stories of you to the whole world.
Your face turns bright red and you become overwhelmed with humiliation; no point in telling them how that made you feel right at that moment so you suck it up, maintain the appearance of being happy and just keep going with it.
When it comes to the end of the night, you’ve returned home with them and you mention to your partner how you feel about what they said earlier.
Since you are now in private, if they don’t just brush over it like its nothing, they might give you some false apologies just to pacify you. Only then will you ever see an emotional manipulator take a tiny bit of responsibility for their actions.
4. They try and convince you that everyone else is on their side
We all make mistakes, but if you make a mistake and you’re with a partner who happens to be an emotional manipulator, one thing to look out for is if they try and point out to you the error of your ways and say to you that everyone else is in agreement that you are wrong.
These apparent phantom alliances that allegedly conspire against you leave you feeling left out and insecure, regardless of whether it is true or not, and take away whatever dignity of yours that remains. If you do enquire as to who exactly agrees, you probably won’t recieve an answer, or they will just openly lie to your face.
5. To them you are not intelligent enough to understand their reasoning
An emotional manipulator is not prone to explaining their own actions to you when asked, their reason will be that it is far too complex for your level of understanding and they don’t need to explain it any further. They will use this refusal technique on you because they don’t feel the need for genuine communication.
Their goal is to put themselves above you by pointing out to you your lack of intelligence by using this technique. If your partner is persistent in withholding their needs and wants from you, you will never know if you’re doing something right. This puts you in a place where you are vulnerable to attacks from every angle, where they could just lash out at you if you do just the smallest thing (they perceive to be) wrong.
There often is no way around this one, they refuse to explain to you why so there is no point in asking any more. Start making plans to get yourself out of there and free yourself from their clutches.
By Raven Fon