Every couple will experience conflict and have disagreements, but what happens when the issue becomes more serious? Manipulation is a type of abuse that can have catastrophic ramifications. That is why we have included a section on signs of manipulation in this post to assist you to recognize when you are being manipulated.
According to Janika Veasley, LMFT, founder of Amavi Therapy Center, “manipulation happens when an abusive or manipulative person adopts certain methods and strategies in order to control, have power over, or victimize another person.” This can lead to problematic codependent tendencies, as well as feelings minimization, difficulties enforcing boundaries, and issues with trust.
According to a 2013 study, abuse is just as destructive as contributing to low self-esteem and despair. Unfortunately, abuse is all too widespread. According to a 2011 CDC poll, 47.1 percent of women and 46.5 percent of men in relationships have experienced psychological aggressiveness. It’s critical to recognize the signs of manipulation and abuse so you can recognize when your relationship is deteriorating and potentially harmful.
Signs of Manipulation
Manipulation can take many different shapes. In fact, depending on the goal, compassion can be a type of manipulation. Then there’s the question of whether any kind of influence is deemed manipulation.
Whether the purpose is good or harmful, manipulation is still an attempt to subvert your reasonable thinking. You can check for frequent signs of manipulation in people who manipulate others. They are as follows:
- Always aware of your flaws and how to exploit them.
- They take advantage of your insecurities.
- They persuade you to give up something vital to you in order to increase your reliance on them.
- If they succeed in manipulating you, they will keep doing so until you are able to escape the situation.
Signs of Manipulation and Control
A manipulator will attempt to take you out of your comfort zone and familiar settings in order to get an advantage over you. This can happen anywhere the manipulator feels he or she has authority over.
1. Manipulation Facts
A manipulator will purposefully lie to you, make excuses for you, blame you, or strategically divulge facts about them while keeping other truths hidden. They believe they are gaining power over you and intellectual superiority by doing so.
2. Generalization and Exaggeration
The manipulators are also masters at exaggeration and generalization, which are other signs of manipulation. “No one has ever loved me,” they would declare. They make broad allegations in order to obscure the flaws in their reasoning.
3. Cruel Laughter
Manipulators use these signs to draw attention to your flaws and make you feel insecure. They gain a sense of psychological superiority by making you look bad.
Manipulation uses these signs to perplex you and make you doubt your own reality. When you confront the abuse or lies, the manipulator will tell you that it never happened.
Passive-aggressive behavior can occur for a variety of reasons that aren’t always intended to manipulate. Chronic (long-term) manipulators, on the other hand, will employ this strategy to make you feel guilty and provide backhanded praise. They’re doing this to make you feel confused by displaying fury without actually being upset.
6. Continuous Judgment
The manipulator does not use comedy or “good fun” to mask their manipulation. They are openly condemning, insulting, and discarding you in this scenario. Always want you to believe that you’re doing something wrong, that no matter what you do, you’ll never be good enough for them. They just address the bad aspects of the situation and do not provide positive answers.
The first step in defending yourself is to recognize the signs of manipulation. You can also take the following precautions:
1.Be conscious of your emotions when interacting with others.
Try to notice how you feel when you’re around this person. Consider taking some time away from those unpleasant emotions, such as self-doubt, anxiety, or guilt, to think clearly about what’s going on.
2. Remain focused on the topic at hand.
People who utilize manipulation techniques frequently deflect conversations away from the topic at hand. This could be done to either divert your attention away from the genuine issue or to help them achieve their goal of dominating the conversation. Maintaining laser-like focus on the issue can assist keep the conversation from heading in the wrong way.
3. Create borders
Manipulation is simpler when there are no defined limits in a relationship. Identifying and working to implement the limits you’d like to establish in this relationship might be beneficial. Although it is easier to set boundaries early in a relationship, it is never too late to consider gently but firmly conveying what you will and will not tolerate.
Signs of Manipulation in a Relationship
There are various indicators that your relationship is being manipulated that you should be aware of.
1. You try to disregard your instincts.
The first red flag could be a nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right or the fact that you keep finding yourself doing things you don’t want to do. You can try to ignore your feelings and tell yourself that everything is fine. When you suspect that you are being manipulated, the expression “trust your instinct” comes in handy.
Let’s say you’re annoyed since your date always seems to be on their phone during your dates. When you bring it up with them, you observe that they become enraged very quickly. The topic then shifts to how you appear to have spoiled your special date by inciting a fight. As a result, you forget what you were going to say and try to appease them instead. In the meantime, your partner checks their phone once again.
2. You think to yourself, “Is it you?”
You may be experiencing signs of manipulation if you’re starting to mistrust yourself and your own motives. Maybe you used to feel confident in your ability to manage a certain circumstance, but now you’re starting to doubt yourself. You can even wonder if you’re “the issue” in the relationship.
You might, for example, try telling your partner how you feel about them spending too much time on their phone once more. They claim, though, that you do it as well, and that you’re always looking for a reason to fight.
You don’t believe this is the case, but after hearing this argument for the third time, you wonder whether the problem is that you can’t let go of the tiny things. Perhaps you could simply “relax” and enjoy the evening.
3. You have a sense of guilt
Someone may be emotionally influencing you, and you’ve begun to feel guilty or humiliated for acting in certain ways in the relationship; this is one of the most prevalent signs of manipulation. You might, for example, work two jobs and have little time for yourself. You realize your mother is unhappy when you tell her this.
When you inquire as to what’s wrong, she exclaims that she can’t believe you’re not paying her a visit on your day off. You feel so bad that you spend the rest of the day helping her around her house. Although this scenario might play out in a variety of ways, it’s a warning sign if you’re always feeling guilty for not speaking or doing what you want.
4. Your sense of self has become hazy.
When you start losing your sense of self after following someone else’s; overt or covert pressures to give up your opinions and interests are classic signs of manipulation. To avoid conflict, one partner in some love relationships may mimic the other’s lifestyle and interests.
It’s possible that your partner avoids spending time with your friends and family or participating in activities that you enjoy. You appear to have to do what they want if you want to spend time with them.
It’s possible that you don’t feel free to completely express yourself in family interactions, including who you are as a person and your life choices, so you act differently when you’re around them.
5. You tread carefully.
Perhaps you consider fear to be a strong feeling or a reaction to danger. Fear, on the other hand, can present itself as a reluctance to act or say certain things in order to prevent disagreement or friction. You may not even be aware of how you feel; you simply avoid certain topics or acts without thinking about them.
Anger can be used as a symptom of manipulation by some persons. Other people may back off or adjust their conduct in response to their outbursts. This relationship can be seen when a parent advises their child not to do something, fearing that the other parent will become enraged.
You may become hyperaware of your habits or show signs of anxiousness as an adult without a clear trigger. Every decision could be framed in terms of “What will the other person do?”
6. You start to have doubts about your mental health.
Manipulation can cause not only tension and anxiety, but it can also leave you feeling befuddled and uneasy about your actions and emotions. You could start to question if your reactions are signs of a mental illness. The most common cause of these feelings is signs of manipulation, such as gaslighting.
When you and your partner are talking about your next vacation, they may wonder why you aren’t considering Cancun. You remind them that the previous time they came, they said they had a bad time. “I never said such a thing!” they respond. “You made it up.”
Signs of Manipulation in a Friendship
To assist you in detecting signs of manipulation in your friendship, we’ve compiled a list of frequent signs of manipulation and how they appear:
1. They are Passive Aggressive
They try to avoid confrontation, but their frustration is frequently expressed through a common friend. “Susie Q isn’t happy with you right now,” a common friend might say. “You should really talk to her.” Susie Q has placed all burden for making peace with her on you, which is regarded as manipulation. She’s also preying on your devotion since she knows you’ll feel bad if you don’t.
2. They Never Pay Attention
It’s unusual that the topic turns to you, and when it does, you get the impression they’re not paying attention. Sigh. Perhaps they’re checking their phone for text notifications or interrupting your story to say something off-topic. In either situation, they’re telling you that what you’re saying isn’t essential to them, at least not as important as what they’re saying.
3. They’re on a high-octane high-octane
They have to be in charge at all times and enjoy having the home-court advantage. For example, they insist on entertaining you at their apartment and in areas where they’re comfortable, as well as doing activities they’re comfortable with, in order to maintain control. They may also try to push you out of your comfort zone in order to make you feel vulnerable and reliant on them.
4. They Make a Lot of Requests
This type of manipulation determines how far you will go to meet their demands. You should always be willing to lend a hand to a buddy, but if it happens to coincide with any of these signs, it’s a red flag.
5. They Become Aggressive
They become defensive and resistant to hearing your point of view when you confront them about some of their activities. May become emotional to divert attention away from the problem and toward their current state, or they may blame an unrelated event for their actions. You may be dealing with manipulation if you don’t feel like your concerns are being heard.
What are Signs of Manipulation
Winters was kind enough to explain how to spot emotional manipulation in yourself or a relationship. Continue reading to learn how to recognize the signs of manipulation.
1. Failure to Say What You Mean
“Subtle manipulation entails seemingly ‘harmless’ or ‘well-intentioned’ gestures that actually cause a slew of issues. In other words, the perpetrator means no harm but causes harm without recognizing it, according to Winters. Usually, the objective isn’t to harm another person. Indeed, they may be driven by a desire to be courteous, peaceful, or non-confrontational. These things, on the other hand, tend to cut off lines of communication over time and lead to deeper issues since they’re “generally camouflaged attempts to gain what we want, whether that’s love, approval, connection, or conflict avoidance,” she notes.
2. Failure to Express Your True Feelings
Though there are subtle signs of manipulation, not expressing your true feelings causes harm since it is a type of deception. And the truth is, this kind of behavior is rather prevalent, far more so than purposely destructive manipulations, partly because “we don’t know how damaging these actions are to a sincere, passionate connection,” according to Winters.
Although this type of conduct may appear benign and innocuous, it can actually produce a distance between partners because “there is a lack of honesty in the relationship, a sort of pretending,” according to Winters. “Such subtle habits can damage a long-term relationship over time.”
Love-bombing is characterized by sporadic romanticism. Your partner may lavish you with attention and flattery on a regular basis—whether through messages, phone calls, or gifts—and then vanish or become gloomy and nasty without reason before the next round of romantic gestures. All of this serves to quicken the pace of a relationship so that you grow reliant on their devotion.
You’re probably being gaslit if you observe your partner lying to you often and brazenly, then making you doubt your own sense of how things are going down. It’s all about making you feel insecure in the relationship but simultaneously allowing you to trust them more than yourself. This could take the form of a conversation in which you confront them about misbehavior or an obvious lie they told, and then you apologize to them.
Stonewalling, also known as the silent treatment, is when someone refuses to engage with you and blatantly ignores your plainly expressed feelings. This is troublesome because it conveys the sense that you are unimportant. On the other hand, someone can be more aggressively manipulative by raising their voice and not allowing you to speak, in order to intimidate you into complying or apologizing.
Signs of Manipulation in Marriage
If you notice these patterns in your marriage, it could be an indication that your partner is trying to control you.
- Being coercive
- Being evasive regarding one’s desires or demands
- Passing the buck
- Disapproving and criticizing
- Issuing ultimatums and threats
- Giving the “quiet treatment” is number seven.
- Having a fit of rage
Related Articles: HOW TO DEAL WITH A SEXLESS MARRIAGE As a Man or Woman
- Telling lies or stretching the truth
- Creating feelings of humiliation, embarrassment, or guilt in you
- Whining and pouting
- Displaying exaggerated dissatisfaction
- Changing the meaning of your words (or their meaning)
- Withdrawal or avoidance of money or other valuables, concealment of knowledge, and sex or affection
Why People Manipulate Others
People manipulate others to acquire what they desire in general. They may feel compelled to punish, dominate, or control their partner. They could be looking for sympathy or attention, or they could have other selfish intentions. May also be attempting to manipulate or wear down a partner in order to meet their own wants.
People who control adult relationships can come from a problematic home background (the family one grows up in). They may have had to manipulate to get fundamental needs satisfied or avoid harsh punishment, or they may have been manipulated by their parents and learned how to interact negatively with others.
Manipulation may appear to be a simple or “natural” approach to deal with a difficult situation or to get things to go your way, but it is harmful to your relationships. You and your loved ones deserve to be communicated in an open and kind manner. If you recognize all of the above signs of manipulation and believe you are being manipulated, get help from loved ones or a professional.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 4 stages of manipulation?
Stages of manipulation and coercion
- Stage of deciding on a target. It’s possible that the accused abuser or offender isn’t who you think he or she is
- Stage of friendship formation. It’s possible that the accused abuser or offender isn’t who you think he or she is
- The stage of a loving relationship. The alleged abuser or offender may be released once they have developed trust.
- Stage of an abusive relationship. It’s possible that the accused abuser or offender isn’t who you think he or she is
What are examples of manipulative skills?
Manipulative skill is when a youngster uses their hands, feet, or other body parts to manipulate an object. Manipulative skills, such as throwing, catching, bouncing, rolling, kicking, and hitting, are essential for the development of sports skills (with and without an object).