How to Stop From Being ManipulatedFeb 22, 2021
Emotional manipulation is an important topic so I want to discuss it. I’m going to give you some of the different ways someone could be using abusive tactics on you. The goal is to educate yourself on these tactics, but also to start understanding the things within yourself that have allowed certain behaviors to go on in your relationships.
It is important to be able to recognize if someone is manipulating you; not just because it’s important to not tolerate abuse, but also to know when you are around someone who uses manipulation and why you are allowing it.
It is important to learn the tactics that manipulative people use to get what they want from you. At the end of the day, you have to learn what is going on inside of yourself that causes you to allow someone to abuse you. It is important to learn what abuse looks like and what you need to do within yourself to make sure you don’t allow abuse at all in your life. Learning to love yourself and to protect yourself is very important.
Guilt, Blame, Shame
Guilt, blame and shame go together as the number one tactic emotional abusers use. You’ll hear things like — “If you don’t do this for me, I can’t do that for you,” “I thought you cared about me,” and “Why won’t you do it for me? I would do it for you.” These phrases are said after you have said no to something they wanted from you. They may blame you for them not being able to do something, and the only way they will be happy is if you give in.
Anyone who loves you and is not a manipulator will not do that. Anyone who respects you will not do that. A healthy person will respect that the answer is no and move on. Someone who is an emotional manipulator will not do that because you’re dealing with a child-like adult who never learned boundaries, never learned to accept the answer is no, and is someone who is selfish, relentless and emotionally immature. With these people, there will always be backlash.
If you are codependent and insecure, you are going to take on the guilt, shame, and blame. This person is a narcissist and narcissists are also codependent. Their happiness is determined on who can enable their behavior and who gives them the most in their life — whatever they want, when they want it. If you’re codependent, you want everyone to like you and think you’re a good person, and you’ll take their happiness and make it your problem. If you’re coming from low self esteem, you fear confrontation so you may say no initially but when they come back, you’re going to cave. You don’t know how to stand your ground by saying no.
These are things that take practice. Standing up to someone is challenging. It’s not easy. People who abuse you the most will be your greatest teachers. An abuser is like a coach. They give you backlash and abuse which will train you to stand up for yourself. When you look at it that way, you may start to understand why they are the way they are and you may look at every opportunity you get with an abuser as an opportunity to love yourself.
Pushing for an Answer
The next tactic is pushing for an answer. Manipulators are relentless. You’re dealing with a child; someone who never learned how to accept that the answer is no. They never learned boundaries. If they ask something of you, they won’t give you time to consider how to answer it. They want an answer right now because they want what they want and they want it right now. All they are looking for is to control you because they want what they want in that situation. Remember, they are selfish and it’s all about them. Their emotional intelligence is that of a child’s.
So how do we get out of someone being relentless?
If they cannot wait and give you the time you need to think about it, then the answer is just no. If the answer is no and they keep being relentless, stay firm that the answer is no. You can give them a brief explanation, but I don’t think that’s necessary. Anyone who loves or respects you is going to respect that you gave your answer and that’s that. They won’t need any explanation.
Playing the Victim
The next tactic an abuser will use is to play the role of the victim. You said no to them and you were guilted and shamed, and now the abuser is sitting in the victim mentality. It allows them to not take any responsibility for the fact that whatever they are looking to get is on them. It has nothing to do with you. When you set the boundary and you don’t back down, you will start getting this backlash and they will play the victim.
The next layer to this abuse is if the victim mentality isn’t working, they will start negotiating with you. They study their victims. They know what you need in your life and where your vulnerabilities are. They know how to negotiate with you. Just know that nothing they promise you will actually happen. They will give an excuse or lie, because it’s not about you. This person is extremely selfish so nothing is genuine.
It can be difficult to accept all of this about this person. They are so convincing that they are normal and healthy but it’s just not reality. They have a personality disorder. When all of these tactics fail, and they aren’t getting what they want out of you, this is when the real abuse begins. This is when the bullying, threatening, and name calling will begin to happen. What you have done is basically upset a child. When a toddler gets upset, they throw a tantrum or cry. An adult is not going to do exactly that but they will use bullying and threatening instead. Expect this attitude from them for a while. This can be exhausting; especially if you have to coparent or work with this person.
So what do you need to do?
You need to really practice creating a bubble and know how to love yourself. There is only so much any human can take of this behavior. All of the backlash is forcing you to rise up to the occasion and strengthen your mental toughness. You need to learn to love yourself and put yourself first always.