People are usually not ready to admit to themselves that they are the victim of manipulation, especially if the person in question is someone close to their heart.
But the unfortunate reality is, the ones dearest to us are those who hold the most power over us. It is because we allow them so close that we open ourselves up to being taken advantage of.
However, this isn’t always a bad thing. In order to develop a close relationship, it’s important for us to test and understand who deserves to be let in.
And if you feel like you are the victim of emotional manipulation, here are 7 red flags to help you recognize it.
1. Manipulation of the facts
Psychological manipulators are great at twisting the truth for their own gains. They will always try to get something out of it, avoid taking responsibility, and hand down all the blame on us. Furthermore, they will exaggerate and keep key information to themselves, making sure that the balance always tilts towards what they want you to see as the “truth.”
2. They make you feel insecure
An insecure person is often the target of manipulators, as insecurity is seen as an easily-exploitable weakness by these deceivers. They will try all kinds of things to try to make you feel inferior to them, such as hurtful jokes and sarcasm. They’ll make fun of the way you look, dress, your habits, and every little misstep.
3. They will drain your energy
Manipulators require attention and energy to be fully functional, and you are their source. They will make sure you know how crushed and upset they feel due to the things currently going on in their life.
They will constantly bring up their troubles and ill-fated stories until you start feeling as if you have a personal responsibility to help them out of their mess. They get their energy by feeding off of yours.
4. They are professionals at making others feel guilty
Manipulators are experts at the blame game. If you start talking about something that is troubling you, they will make you feel guilty for mentioning it. And if you don’t, they will guilt you for keeping it inside and thus making it worse. When you’re dealing with such a person, anything you do is wrong, and, regardless of the problems you two might be having, you are always the one to blame.
5. They often play dumb
Playing the ignorance card is one of the favorite weapons of the manipulator. It is a tactic often used among colleagues, where the manipulator will try to play dumb in order to avoid a task or hide something. This is almost like the way children try to make adults think they’re too stupid or simply too little to understand how to do something they’ve been asked to do.
6. Intellectual harrasment
Emotional manipulators often employ intellectual harassment to get what they want. They bombard you with arguments, different information, “facts” and twisted reasoning in order to tire you out and convince you of your wrongness.
7. Extreme pressure
The psychological manipulator will pressure you in any way they can in order to force you to make a quick and unprepared decision. They will come up with a false reason for urgency in order to increase the level of tension. This is all a theatrical display in order to suppress your decision-making ability so they can gain the upper hand and get what they want.
We hope that this article was of help to you. Let us know your thoughts on the subject by joining the conversation in the comments and please share if you’ve enjoyed the read.