At one point or the other, you might have likely encountered a person or people who are emotionally manipulative and controlling. They typically use passive aggressive behaviors to get their way with you. Sometimes, they might not even know they’re doing it and sometimes they know. Here are six ways you can easily spot emotional manipulators and keep your distance.
Your Words Are Being Used Against You
Manipulative people typically have trouble admitting fault and accepting responsibility for their behavior. If you call them out on their faults, they will most likely use your own words against you and turn it around to absolve themselves of guilt and make you feel guilty.
For example, you can say something like, “You didn’t clean the house like you said you would.” The person then replies with something like, “Don’t be so inconsiderate now. You don’t even know how tired I was. I was feeling sick. Why can’t you be more considerate and think of others?” A normal response would have been to simply apologize for not cleaning the house and explain the sickness and weakness, rather than making you feel like a bad person.
You Are Constantly Being Made To Look Forgetful, Demanding and Ridiculous
This usually relates to when a manipulator has obliged your request or made a commitment to you. When the time comes to follow through and you confront the person, the person will twist the previous conversation and replay it to suit his/her needs at your detriment (because you don’t have proof), making you look forgetful, demanding or ridiculous. You begin to question yourself and feel guilty and wrong for challenging the manipulator.
You’re Always Being Made To Feel Guilty and Wrong
You can be wrong a couple of times, but you cannot be wrong all the time. A manipulator knows how to play the victim role quite perfectly, leaving you feeling like the wrong and spiteful person.
Passive Aggressive Methods Are Being Used On You
Manipulators are hardly direct and forthright with you. They prefer passive aggressive methods to honest communication. They would rather talk behind your back, ask someone to be their spokesperson, shout or be loud about confronting you so you hardly have space to react or respond, or give you the silent treatment, rather than sit you down and just talk to you.
Your Energy Around Them is Low
Manipulative people tend to suck all the energy in the room, they want all attention on them and need everyone to notice when they are sad, angry, happy or discontented. They typically do this is in an attempt to make people scramble to see how to help them feel better. Being around a manipulator makes you feel sort of restricted, drained and off-balance.
Knowing all the signs, you should at the same time be careful to ensure you’re not also the problem. Sometimes, you can unknowingly be the manipulative, victimizing and spiteful one. The person you consider the manipulator might be sincerely reacting to your unfairness. You should therefore tread carefully and not be quick to cast blame. Take a step back, analyse the situation and even yourself as objectively as you can, even asking others for advice if you deem fit, and be sure before you proceed. Naturally, when you are dealing with a manipulative person you will know without a doubt after studying the situation and person for some time.
Enjoy this video on 10 types of emotional manipulation by Pysch2Go