How to stand up for yourself: 8 steps for cautiously confronting emotional abusers

Emotional abusers know how to detect your weaknesses and use them to manipulate you.

What’s more, they are perfectly capable of making you agree with them and do anything they want you to. That’s why you need to learn how to spot such toxic people and block their negative influence.

When you’re dealing with a manipulative person, one of the most important things is to be aware of your fundamental human rights. You should be able to recognize when your rights are being violated. And you need to understand that it is perfectly okay, even necessary at times, to stand up for yourself.

Here are 8 critical steps you need to take if you are a victim of a psychological manipulator.

1. Know your rights.

To begin with, you have the right to be treated with respect. You should feel free to express your feelings and concerns, and it’s your right to get what you pay for. Moreover, you have the right to say ‘no’ without any sense of guilt. Others should respect your boundaries, as well as you should respect theirs. Knowing your rights is a must because that’s where psychological manipulators hit their victims first to take advantage of them.

2. Learn how to say ‘no’.

Another crucial thing you need to know is how to defend your boundaries diplomatically but firmly. People who constantly play mind games know how to make someone agree with them and do whatever they want. That’s why you should be one step ahead, and recognize when somebody is pushing you to say ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no’.

3. Don’t blame yourself.

Manipulators know damn well how to gaslight you and make you feel like you are the one in the wrong. However, you are strong enough to stand your ground and don’t let them make you blame yourself for their devilish deeds. If you are not treated with respect, and if you feel like this person’s expectations are impossible to handle, maybe you’re already being manipulated. It’s important for you to understand that you are not the problem. Most probably, you are the victim.

4. Keep your distance.

Keeping a healthy distance is a must. One of the easiest ways to spot a manipulator is to observe how they behave around different people. If they’re being highly polite to someone, and then awfully rude to another person, you should definitely cut them off of your circle. Or at least avoid engaging with them unless you absolutely have to.

5. Time is on your side.

Emotional abusers are often impatient, and they want to receive answers right away. You can use this weakness of theirs in your favor. Instead of responding at the very second they finish their question, you can simply say “I’ll think about it.”  This will give you time to give a sober thought to the situation. Besides, it would confuse the manipulator and weaken them even more.

6. Take the word.

It’s time for you to ask the questions. Confront the manipulator by asking them provoking questions to see if they can recognize their own strategy. For instance, you can ask them “Does this seem reasonable to you?” 

In case the emotional abuser becomes aware of your attempt to trick them back, they will surely back down. However, they might dismiss your questions if they are pathological liars. For example, a narcissist would definitely try their best to have things happen their way. Have that in mind.

7. Set consequences.

This is a step you need to take when the manipulator refuses to take ‘no’ for an answer. Setting consequences is how you cope up with manipulative people. This courageous action of yours makes them reconsider the way they are going to treat you in the future. Instead of thinking less of you, they will truly respect you for standing up for yourself.

8. Fight back.

But don’t do it aggressively. Manipulators chose their victims by who appears to be more emotionally unstable. As long as you stay inactive, and you don’t do anything to defend yourself, you are going to be an easy target for them.

However, if you have the guts to fight back and show them they shouldn’t mess with you, they will most probably back off. What you need to understand is that it’s not you who is insecure and unstable. It’s the person who is trying to play mind games with you because they are too afraid to be real with you.

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