Some people are master manipulators, and most often you won’t realize when you’re being emotionally cheated.
If you’re in a relationship with a manipulative person, you may be the last one to realize.
They have ways of continually playing the victim, making you feel guilty and leading you to believe they have your best interests at heart, while in reality, they push you to do what works best for them.
Here we’ll look at some of the most common signs manipulators us to control your relationship:
1. They’ll make you feel guilty when you spend time with your friends
If they can convince you to feel guilty for your actions (despite you having done nothing wrong), you’ll be more willing to do what they say.
Controlling partners usually isolate you from your circle of friends in a subtle way.
Maybe your partner makes a face of displeasure every time you’re about to go out with friends until you start dodging their invitations in order to spare yourself the stress. Or maybe they make critical comments of your friends until you start believing they might be true. Maybe they will start criticizing and making fun of your hobby until you slowly start giving it up. This kind of behavior can take many different forms, but it always pushes towards the same goal: minimizing or ending your relationships with others, until you feel that your partner is the only person you have.
2. They get needy when it’s convenient
Let’s say you two really need to go somewhere but you understand that they don’t really want to come along, so they conveniently start feeling under the weather and can not seem to go, or they do a similar thing when they’ve made a complete mess of the house and you need them to clean up.
Convenient neediness only occurs when the manipulator wants to use it as a way out of something. However, such behavior is easy to spot, so if it constantly keeps happening in your relationship, note it and put an end to it.
3. They make you question your own sanity
If you pay attention and search for the signs, this one is usually obvious. For instance, they will make you question your own judgment by saying that they never made a certain promise to you, even though you clearly remember that they did, or they reinvent the past by making up scenarios that make you believe you’ve completely lost your mind.
If your partner has been doing this for a while, you’ll feel that you can’t trust your own head, so you begin trusting them completely.
You’ll feel that you need your partner day and night to feel sane, as you’re seemingly losing it. They are the one who can keep you in check and only by their side you can feel sane and normal.
4. Emotional blackmail
This is likely the worst type of manipulation. Disguised as love and care, emotional blackmailing will make you feel chained to your own sense of compassion.
Telling someone, “I’ll probably end myself if you leave”, can make them start having thoughts of premature guilt, and possibly delay ending a relationship out of pity.
Likewise, saying things like “If you really loved me you would…” also qualifies your partner as a blackmailer.
When someone truly loves you they would never think of using love as an excuse to get you into doing anything.
5. They distrust you
Even the most loving couples are allowed to have some privacy. And a partner who denies to acknowledge this by claiming that people who truly care about each other shouldn’t keep their emails or social media private – isn’t being romantic but controlling.
Your partner doesn’t have the right to check your texts, emails or to know your passwords online just because they’re paranoid about you cheating on them, or because they think that loving couples shouldn’t have secrets.
There’s a strong difference between “having a secret life” and having an existence independent of your other half – and you don’t have to give up the right to your privacy in order to be in a relationship.