People who have trouble trusting others tend to manipulate them to serve their own purpose. Here are 5 signs that your being manipulated and don’t even know it.
In the early flush of love, we humans who have an innate need to love and belong tend to overlook certain traits in our partners. Sometimes, wishful thinking compels us to throw caution to the wind. Do you feel unsure about your feelings at times? Is there something your partner does that makes you uncomfortable or makes you doubt yourself?
Manipulative people come in all shapes and sizes, and there is no definitive way to identify them. They use people to serve their own purpose, which could result in pain and lifelong emotional scars.
Emotionally manipulative people often lack empathy and emotional intelligence. They believe others exist as a tool to be used or as a hindrance to be dealt with.
Suspecting everyone you meet to have a hidden agenda can make you distrustful as a person. Instead of being overly cautious, you can ensure you are in healthy relationships by having strong emotional boundaries in place and watching out for these signs.
1. They target the vulnerable.
Manipulative people target those who have weak emotional boundaries. You might be a strong and independent person, but if you allow someone you barely know to be privy to your deepest feelings and insecurities, they could take advantage of you.
Individuals who have low self-esteem or with deep emotional wounds tend to be easy targets. They know that just a few caring words and a show of affection are enough to get you hooked. If your partner makes you feel loved and cared for initially and then say things that mock you or make you doubt yourself, watch out for signs of manipulation.
2. They pretend to be sorry.
Manipulative people learn to use words effectively to their advantage. They seem to apologize sincerely, but continue to repeat what they do. They usually rely on outwardly pleasant gestures to ensure their real thoughts remain undiscovered.
One of the ways to see through this facade is to notice their actions and try matching them with their words. Are they just saying what you want to hear or do their actions match their words?
3. Their charm is their weapon.
Manipulative people, especially those with narcissistic traits, like to be admired. They can come across as fun, upbeat, and tolerant people in the beginning. If your partner knows you have a weakness for dogs, they will pretend to be animal lovers. If someone else says that they hate dogs, they will change their words to match the person’s views.
Does your partner charm their way through people’s hearts with an easy play of words? Do they charm people into believing they’ve got their back, while they don’t really care for others?
4. They can keep you from breaking away.
Everytime you fight, does your partner make it impossible for you to make a rational decision? Do they threaten to harm themselves or make you feel guilty for how they feel? Do you feel that you have to choose between your own sanity and wellbeing vs. keeping your partner happy?
It is the grey area between wanting to trust them and trusting your own intuition and feelings. But that’s exactly the space they thrive in. The second they realize you won’t take their nonsense, they will spin a web of guilt to keep you from going.
5. Gaslighting is a tool they might use.
Ever found your partner denying something you saw or heard? Do they say things like “you must be imagining things” or “you sound crazy.” This their way to keep you from knowing the truth and turning the table to make you down your own sanity.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological abuse that puts the victim in severe danger. Gaslighting involves psychological manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, and sanity.
If you suspect your partner could be making you doubt yourself, reach out for help. Talk to a trusted friend or seek professional help by getting in touch with the local counselor or social worker.
The effects of emotional manipulation can leave lifelong scars. If you think your partner is using guilt, self-doubt, threat, blackmail, or self-pity, your partner is emotionally manipulating you. You are not alone. Reach out to people who can listen to you with compassion and understand that the sooner you take a step, the better your chances of having a healthy and happy life.