How can you tell if you’re being manipulated? Many scary stories exist out there that stem from one common cause: manipulation.
Even the word has an unnerving tone to it, but have no fear reader. There are measures you can take to protect yourself.
Here’s how to tell if you’re being manipulated
They constantly make you prove yourself
They never respect your boundaries and always ask for your love and attention. They’re usually impatient, demanding and selfish. You often overextend yourself because you fear upsetting or letting them down.
They never let you off the hook and guilt trip you into doing things for them. Even if it’s inconvenient for your schedule.
They communicate passive-aggressively
Manipulators are rarely ever direct with their sly and cunning behaviour. They prefer to communicate passive-aggressively and won’t hesitate to talk about you behind your back.
This protects their good guy or good girl image if they also turn to a middleman to communicate for them. This shows they are afraid to confront you personally. Manipulators desire control, which means they have a hard time facing their fears because it means letting go.
They Gaslight you
Gas lighting is a manipulative technique that makes you feel like you can’t rely on your own memory anymore. When someone gas light’s you, they will pretend like they didn’t say something that hurt you in the past.
They will often twist the truth and reinvent it, which makes you question your sanity. Gas lighting isn’t just manipulative. It’s a form of serious abuse that is dangerous.
They’re always just joking
It might seem harmless at first, but manipulators can take their jokes too far and end up hurting you. When you stand up for yourself and confront them about it, they will try to brush it off and tell you that you’re being too sensitive.
Manipulators won’t mind embarrassing you in public either. This gives them an audience, and they’re experts at getting others to laugh at you with their jokes. When you tell them to stop, they’ll tell you that you’re either making a scene or being a grouch.
They play the victim card
When the two of you fight, manipulators will always make you feel like it’s your fault. They try to play the innocent victim who is badly hurt by your words and actions.
Manipulators are experts at looking like helpless small creatures. They never believe they’ve done anything wrong. As a result, you find yourself apologising all the time because they avoid taking responsibility for their own mistakes.
They kill you with kindness
Manipulators will try to be the nice guy and do favours for you that make you feel pressured to return them.
On the surface, they will buy you gifts or give you compliments, but then the next time you hang out, they might hint at wanting an expensive item that’s out of their budget. In reality, they were only kind to you because they had other motives.
They make your problems feel small
Manipulators always want the spotlight. If you ever complain about a bad day you’re having or all the difficult situations you’re going through, they will play the comparison game and minimise them by talking about their problems. Manipulators do everything they can to get the attention they want even if it’s just your pity.
They emphasise their serene personality
If you express your anger and frustrations openly, manipulators might keep calm just to make you feel like you’re overreacting.
This technique makes them feel superior because they know you look like you’re being dramatic while they stay cool and detached. They will be dismissive of your emotions and often refuse to talk to you until you’ve calmed down.
They use emotional blackmail
If they tell you that they will harm themselves if you leave them, then they are trying to gain control by threatening to hurt themselves.
This leaves you in a highly uncomfortable and unfair position where you feel obligated to stay against your own will. Not only is this toxic, but it risks their own health. It’s best to contact the police before things get out of hand.
They take advantage of you
Manipulators often target insecure, sensitive and overly trusting individuals. If you’re usually told by others that you’re too nice, be aware and keep your vulnerability at bay.
Manipulators are adept at spotting people pleasers, who often put their needs on hold to take care of others first.
Initially, it might seem like they care about you when they give you attention, but later down the road you’ll realise that you are being manipulated. It’s their subtle way of luring you into their trap.