Emotional manipulation is often hard to recognize, especially when it originates from the person you believe has your best interest at heart.
Sometimes, even if you have doubts that your significant other is trying to control you, your innocent heart will refuse to believe such a cruel thing is possible. And no one could blame you, because accepting that the one who swore they love you with all their heart only aimed to hurt you means accepting that the love you believed in was never real. That’s thousands of times more heartbreaking than the breakup itself.
However, the acceptance of this harsh truth is actually liberating. When your heart no longer belongs to someone who doesn’t know how to take care of it, you can finally give it to someone who will guard it at all costs.
If you want to protect yourself from getting hurt by a manipulative partner, here are 5 red flags you need to look out for:
If your partner intends to manipulate you, they will most probably use emotional blackmailing. They will try to use your fears and vulnerabilities against you, so they can get you to do whatever they want. And if you’re someone with a low level of mental strength, you will most probably play by their rules. You will eventually become a hostage of their emotional trap. In case you ever find yourself in such a challenging situation, make sure to stay sane and never allow yourself to give in to their demands.
2. Playing the role of the victim.
Have you ever been in a position where you were the one who got hurt, but somehow you were also the one blamed for that pain? This usually happens when in a relationship with a narcissistic partner who never takes responsibility for their mistakes and makes up excuses to always get away innocent. Besides, they never apologize for any wrongdoing they initiated. The most distressing fact in such situations is that these people actually believe they did nothing wrong. And with their manipulative tactics, they sometimes manage to convince you that it was all your fault, when in fact, it was their idea from the very start.
Manipulative beings often use gaslighting to control their partners. This is a form of manipulation that makes the victim not only doubt their self-worth but question their whole reality. In this way, the deceiver confuses you and makes you believe whatever messed up lie they tell you. Any experienced manipulator uses gaslighting to easily convince their prey into thinking and doing whatever they want them to. Sadly, most victims of such evil imposters usually end up losing trust in their own intuition.
This type of behavior is amongst the most difficult ones to recognize. When your partner is being passive-aggressive, it’s sometimes impossible to make them tell you what triggered such a cold response. They would give you the silent treatment and wait for you to guess what made them feel that way, instead of directly telling you what bothers them. You may assume this attitude is the result of your partner not being able to verbalize their feelings, but they may be intentionally doing it to manipulate the way you treat them. Eventually, they will get you to the point where you will feel terrified of saying or doing things that might upset them.
5. Bringing out your weaknesses.
Oftentimes, manipulative partners target their so-called significant others right in the self-esteem. They use all of the personal details you’ve shared with them to control your emotions in whatever way works for them. This way, they bring out your insecurities and use your fears against you. And before you know it, they entirely crush your perception of self-worth, making you believe you are good for nothing, and no one else will love you. This is one of the worst things a romantic partner can ever do to you. That’s why you should be extremely cautious not to lose yourself into a manipulator’s relentless mind games.