Do you have a genuine and compassionate soul? Does it often get extremely hard for you to say ‘No!’? There is a high chance someone might be taking advantage of your kindness.
These types of exploiting behaviors could come from people both at your workplace and in your personal life.
If you want to avoid being a victim of someone’s manipulative mind-games, you need to learn how to spot the red flags on time.
Here are 9 signs someone might be exploiting you.
1. They drastically lower your self-esteem.
Toxic people often work in ways that undermine their victims and ruin their confidence. They do this to establish e certain level of co-dependency so that their new toy wouldn’t dare to stand up for themselves. Unfortunately, most of the times, this strategy ends up being successful. That’s why you need to keep in mind that no one else has the right to define your self-worth. It’s all up to YOU!
If someone is exploiting you, one of the most obvious signs will be their need to control your actions. They might be preventing you from doing particular things, isolating you from certain people, or trying to influence your decisions. You should be extremely careful because it’s not always that easy to tell if someone is manipulating you.
3. They are only interested in specific things.
When someone is trying to get something out of you, they often spend time with you for selfish reasons. In case someone is interested only in certain things about you, they probably don’t have good intentions towards you. It clearly shows when they ask you if you’re okay, only when they need something from you. Whether it’s a financial, emotional, or other type of interest, they never truly care about anything else.
4. They make you doubt yourself.
Manipulators often use gaslighting to weaken their victims and make them easier to exploit. They have the evil power to twist every situation in their favor and make you doubt your own self. This is undoubtedly an emotionally abusive behavior. If you feel like someone is making you question your reality, they might be intentionally taking advantage of you.
5. They often make you feel guilty.
Do you feel like you’re never enough for someone? Anyone who tries to exploit you will make you feel guilty at some point for things beyond your control. This way exploiters make sure your mind has been weakened enough, so they can continue using you in their favor. You need to understand that you shouldn’t feel ashamed and guilty all the time, even if you’ve made a mistake.
6. They point out your weaknesses.
Exploiters highlight their victims’ weaknesses and push their buttons with the sole reason to manipulate them. When your insecurities are exposed, you feel vulnerable and defenseless. This makes you an easy target for any toxic person. They use your flaws against you and ruin the inner balance in your mind. Manipulators do all of this so that they could get in your head and make you do whatever they want you to.
7. They are always hiding something.
Anyone who tries to take advantage of others is being awfully dishonest. There is no such thing as authenticity and integrity in an exploiter’s mindset. They intentionally deceive their victims into doing whatever they please. Sometimes they even fabricate a whole fake persona for themselves to fool others. If you believe someone might be exploiting you, pay attention to what they are telling you and if it all lines up.
8. They are being passive-aggressive.
Sometimes manipulators get too involved in their mind-games and start punishing their victims indirectly. They might give you the silent treatment, laugh at your insecurities, or just make things more difficult for you in general. Exploiters use this passive-aggressive attitude to make you feel bad about yourself while maintaining an innocent and understanding facade.
9. They expect you to sacrifice.
Making sacrifices for a loved one is the most admirable selfless act you could do. But when someone demands you to give up on something just to prove your loyalty to them, it means they are only using you. No one who genuinely loves you would make you do something against your will, only to prove them you are truly devoted to them.
In case you have doubts you are a victim of emotional exploitation, pay close attention to the one who might be manipulating you.
If you notice some of these warning signs, confront them directly, or talk to someone close to you about this. Be careful not to fall into some deceitful manipulator’s trap. Be kind, but never gullible.