Signs of manipulation in a relationship – sort out all the nuances

Manipulation in a relationship.

Attempts to manipulate the victim are the most common psychological techniques in any relationship. It is impossible to operate without them in advertising, in politics, or in mutually beneficial cooperation. It is a method of using others as a tool to achieve a particular person’s goal. An example is manipulation in couples.

Manipulation by men with women-or by women with men, including covert manipulation-is ubiquitous. Narcissism, emotional abuse, and sociopathy make it impossible to build healthy human relationships. The goal is to drive the victim in the couple to helplessness. Manipulative techniques are of the following kinds.

  • Gaslighting is an attempt to distort the boundaries of perceived reality. One persuades the other that something (no matter what) seemed to him or her – when in fact it did not happen.
  • Projection – the manipulator’s desire to hide his or her own lies under the guise of “mirroring. The goal is to avoid responsibility for the incident by laying it on the partner’s shoulders.
  • Meaningless conversation – an attempt to wear down the partner by obsessing over the topic and using blurred and inadequate arguments. It is characterized by moving away from the topic of argument to insensitivity in the relationship of the victim partner to the manipulator.
  • Inadequate conclusions, generalization of the situation, unwillingness to understand the causes and theses of the dispute. For example, blaming the government for their small income – and this is at best. And a more typical example – from the woman: “There is no support and a man’s shoulder, I am alone”, which at the subconscious level sounds: “You do not earn enough, I’m used to achieve all by myself.
  • The depreciation of the victim’s opportunities and inner worthiness. “This is the least he can do.” The victim’s career progresses, but his income is not equal to, for example, that of the president.
  • The manipulator’s unwillingness to admit he was wrong about an incident that happened years ago. The victim should not give up: it is necessary to convey to the manipulator his rightness, no one has the right to humiliate each other.
  • The most primitive way is to insult the partner directly, by criticizing his or her manners, appearance, mental abilities, and so on.
  • Spreading slander: the manipulator tells neighbors, coworkers about the allegedly negative qualities of the partner, spreads rumors, making it clear that the victim is a bad person.
  • Negativism generated by comparing good moments and events from the past and their absence in the present. For example, the victim sold the car, and the couple stopped going to resorts on vacation, even though it was a thousand miles of cross-country travel before the event. This is a reason to accuse the victim of insolvency.
  • Idealization prior to the emergence of any addiction. For example, the guy changed girls – to a new one, he tells about how bad and unworthy the previous one was. But as long as he behaves the same way with a new girlfriend, he will not be happy either: a series of partings and “replacements” will be guaranteed until he changes himself.
  • Putting him off his guard. The girl idealizes the guy for the time being, showering all her kindness and tenderness on him in words. Then the peak of her enthusiasm is overcome, and naked calculation comes into play. A good man will never say that he is.
  • A love triangle: a third person appears in the relationship of an established couple. And the opinion of this third person becomes so important that the victim can’t stand it and says the fatal “goodbye forever.
  • Ostensible innocence: the manipulator will bring the victim to the breakdown, and then pretend to wonder why she snapped. The victim will think she’s losing her mind.
  • Violation of personal liberties and rights. Once the victim’s inner world is invaded, the provocateur will criticize what she holds dear, unless the manipulator’s sphere of influence expands.
  • Aggression disguised as a joke. Another way to acknowledge the inferiority of the partner by accusing him or her of lacking a sense of humor.
  • Sarcastic communication: You can always find an excuse to get even with your partner. If you’ve been “nailed,” don’t keep it to yourself.
  • Appeal to the victim’s shame through his guilt. The self-esteem of the criticized partner in this case drops catastrophically.
  • Subjugation and isolation – monetarily, socially and emotionally. For the guy, it’s a fear that a beautiful and gifted girl will leave him, such an “average and mediocre” girl. A typical example: to prevent her from communicating with her friends and girlfriends through social networks, he will surreptitiously install a “bug” in the apartment, which jams cellular communications within a radius of ten meters, creating interference.

The manipulator is a toxic person. If the following techniques do not help, it is probably better to break up with each other.

How to understand?

Signs to know you are being manipulated will make you – as the victim – act quickly and decisively. The ultimate goal is for the manipulator to gain power, control, benefit, and the inherent advantages of the victim. The hardest example is when wives of military men, for example, by using constant manipulation in their daily lives, can drive their “other half” to diabetes, but such cases are quite rare. This is a classic example of making the victim useless – the victim has exhausted his resource.

If the victim is intellectually developed enough, she is able to realize that her weaknesses are being used by her partner against her. It is quite easy for an inexperienced victim to fall under the influence of a calculating partner in order to serve his interests – to his detriment, on all fronts. And the manipulator is also able to exert pressure on those around him-through his own bad moods. An experienced provocateur will go so far as to make those around him feel guilty – as a manifestation of responsibility for the negativity that the provocateur himself bears.

Some people literally sacrifice themselves and their condition in order to give something to a friend or partner. In doing so, they know that they would never spend an enriched sum of money on themselves, which they obtained through hard work.

Maintaining a non-conflictual relationship avoids quarrels over trifles. And that “trifle” can be the victim’s refusal to comply with a request from the manipulator, usually related to money expenditures. The victim may succumb to this influence. A typical example: “If you don’t buy me the latest model iPhone, I’ll take that as your dislike of me.” The manipulator will provide certain benefits or opportunities to the victim if she removes from her life one or more people with whom she had a pleasant, friendly relationship.

There is also the reverse situation – damage to the victim. In fact, this is blackmail. For example, when a wife has an illness that is difficult to cure (no matter what kind), and she is constantly in a depressed-aggressive state. The husband can deprive her of her financial support, effectively leaving her to her fate, since the illness has rendered her incapacitated. In this case, the husband acts as a manipulator, and the sick wife acts as a victim: with this threat, he would as if to silence her. If this is the case, the right thing to do for this woman would be to seek help not only from psychologists, but also from lawyers.

Manipulators do not recognize equality in a couple. Dominance is important to them. They are used to living by the laws of manipulation of the people around them, using techniques that the experienced victim immediately recognizes.

There are cases when a tangled relationship, like a knot, is cut – only a breakup, a breakup of the “toxic” union.

What to do?

The most effective advice is not to show yourself as a victim. It is important to learn to love and respect yourself at least a little. If there are problems on these two points, seek help from a psychologist. “Sacrificial” behavior is peculiar to those who have little responsibility for their lives. Live by your own rules. If your health, life and safety have really become threatened – against the backdrop of pressure from the manipulative person, the reasonable solution is to move to the safest place possible. Don’t get hung up on the relationship. If your partner is out of sight, take care of yourself. When he shows up, hint or tell him that the second time this trick won’t work with you, and you’ll break up. And although most repeated conflicts on this basis can be avoided, from time to time there are incorrigible persons who were brought up incorrectly, and they themselves once read the wrong books, had the wrong environment of peers, formed the wrong worldview. These usually need the help of not only a psychologist, but also a psychotherapist.

Begging forgiveness for the wrong actions that caused serious consequences for the victim, with repeated mistakes by the manipulator looks like an attempt to avoid responsibility. There is a line that can easily be crossed. If it worked once, a second similar episode resembles cunning intent on the part of the manipulator. Figuratively speaking, it is necessary to put him in his place. There are also cases where the manipulative guy cheats on the girl, and as a result, she does not trust him. But if she just once reminded him that he was seeing someone else, he immediately becomes furious and tries to justify himself by saying that she does not trust him. This is one of the “clinical” cases where the manipulator, again, is playing the victim, trying to get the real victim to apologize and justify his actions. There are also cases where it is the other way around: the same guy and girl may initially be in mutually opposite roles.

The manipulator wants to know what is going on around the victim. He does not give her any privacy. But at the same time, like a lion, he guards his own secrets from her attempts to unravel them. In the role of the victim may be in roughly equal measure, both men and women.

Advice from psychologists

Responding to the techniques of a manipulative person is not as difficult as it seems at first glance. If the victim is really being used, the relationship can be terminated at any time because it is unhealthy. In a few years it is possible to bend under the manipulator – in all moral senses, automatically complying with his requests, among which there may be real orders.

In the beginning you can offer to wait with the execution of the request. The manipulator will usually focus on an immediate response. You can appeal for honesty toward both of you. If this trick is not received adequately, the victim will explicitly say that these manipulations will not work now. Both techniques work in both men and women, in relation to their partner. A healthy couple in a relationship is an equal partnership, a union, not the subordination of one to the other. Learn to respond negatively when it is really necessary: it is not for nothing that it is said that one can die of excessive modesty.

If you go even further in the search for relationship manipulation, it is easy to find that the manipulator likes to show himself in the role of the victim. The double standard (or so-called double bottom) in a relationship becomes apparent. To understand that the real victim is actually being controlled by the “fake”-manipulator, one will have to collate the facts.

Such sophisticated provocateurs are capable of twisting the real story of what is going on, mixing up the purpose and meaning of the incidents that happened, just to get right out of the same story. Without some serious work on the mistakes, it will be impossible to salvage an old relationship.

If a relationship in a couple has just begun, the manipulative technique is not immediately recognizable. Despite the desire of both partners to be cooperative, such trapping in a relationship can drag on for years, eventually transferring to any activity in the potential victim’s life. Even jealousy has a double standard. For example, a girl is caught in a situation in which her seemingly flamboyant manner of dressing would cause attempts to flirt with other guys in your company, whether overt or veiled. This would cause her boyfriend to go into a state of extreme irritation, bordering on rage.

On the one hand, he could understand it: he would not want potential competitors to steal such a girl away from him, for he would indeed be afraid of losing her. This jealousy on the guy’s part is not so much a sign of wanting to protect her from others as it is of the fact that he himself is a manipulator. Scenes of jealousy will become very frequent, and as a result, these partners’ relationship with each other will come to naught.

Manipulation in a relationship: 20 Ways

Narcissists, emotional abusers and sociopaths are unable to build healthy relationships. They, trying to cover up their flaws, use various methods to make their victims dependent, helpless and insecure. These are the strategies manipulators use to achieve their goals.

Toxic people are dangerous because they tend to enter into relationships in which there is emotional violence, exploitation, humiliation. They possess the psychological tools to help suppress the will of the “victim”-the other participant in the relationship. Such strategies are characteristic of narcissists and those who wish to avoid responsibility for their deeds in various ways.

20 variants of manipulation in a relationship

1. Gaslighting

The gazlighter loves to say “it didn’t happen,” “you imagined it,” “are you crazy? This insidious manipulative tactic is designed to distort the boundaries of your reality. Over time, the victim loses confidence in himself or herself and has no way to legitimately accuse the abuser of being abusive. The manipulator convinces you of his absolute rightness and makes you doubt your own “normality.” You can counteract gaslighting: write down what is happening, retell it to a loved one.

2. Projecting

“The abuser” is a priori incapable of noticing his mistakes and tries to avoid responsibility for them. And projection is a defensive method, the essence of which is to transfer the responsibility for one’s own actions onto others. This trait is characteristic of many people, but if the person is a narcissist, it acquires the features of aggression. For example, an inveterate liar accuses the victim of making things up; a rude subordinate accuses a superior of inefficiency in an effort to avoid responsibility for shoddy work. The right thing to do is to decide not to project empathy onto the negative person and not to allow those around you to project their own emotions onto themselves.

3. exhausting meaningless conversation

Narcissists and sociopaths use “verbal nonsense,” fixated topics, and irrational arguments in conversations to confuse their interlocutor. They love to accuse a person of his feelings. After ten minutes of arguing with such a subject, you can forget what the argument is all about. All you have to do is disagree with a rambling summary like “the sky is green,” and already all of your values, interests are being criticized. The point is that you have touched on the narcissist’s belief in his own infallibility. Don’t feed the narcissist, avoid debilitating arguments.

4. Unsubstantiated Statements.

Narcissists are intellectually lazy. They will not analyze a position that is not similar to their own, but will generalize and simplify everything they hear without bothering to understand. They tend to stigmatize what does not coincide with their views. Such “simplifications” devalue anything that doesn’t fit their value system. If you charge the abuser with unacceptable behavior, they will respond with claims of over-sensitivity and say, “You’re always unsatisfied/satisfied!”, “You react painfully to every little thing.”

5. Purposeful distortion of your thoughts and feelings

The narcissist twists your words, reducing them to absurdity . Here’s a sample dialogue:

– Why are you snapping back?

– Why, are you a role model? / What do you think I am, scum?

This kind of reaction makes it impossible to express thoughts without feeling fear and guilt.

6. Nagging and devaluing results

What is the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism? The presence of personality evaluation and the creation of impossible norms. The “critic” is not interested in your growth – he wants to humiliate you. Is your career on the upswing? The abuser will ask why you are still not a millionaire. By pointing out a small mistake and focusing on it, such a subject deprives you of strength and forces you to worry in vain over a minor transgression. Remember, there is nothing wrong with you, and no one has the right to humiliate you.

7. Changing the subject to avoid responsibility

“What about me?” The point of this behavior is to avoid the topic in order to shift attention to something else. The abuser does not want the dialogue to be about things for which he can be held accountable. Claims about parental neglect? You will be pointed to a mistake you made a long time ago. Accuracy and certainty are important here. Don’t let someone try to walk away from the conversation, you can resort to the “broken record” method of stubbornly repeating what you want to say.

8. Threats

Toxic personalities are bad if their exorbitant sense of superiority is threatened. They make exorbitant demands and end up punishing you for failing to meet their unrealistic expectations. Every disagreement and every attempt to “handle” conflict intelligently causes them to fear the likely consequences.

9. Insults

Insults are the most primitive way to manipulate the opinions and emotions of others. It is a quick way to humiliate a person, to devalue their intellectual abilities, appearance, and manners. Argumentative criticism is not for the narcissist or sociopath. Without focusing on arguments, they target the personality of the person they are talking to.

10. Destructive Association.

Toxic personas form in their minds a faulty association between your strong traits/achievements/good memories and emotional abuse. This is realized through belittling those traits of yours that the abuser once admired. Psychopaths and narcissists wish to habituate you to fear the things that have made you happy in the past. This allows them to turn the focus of attention to their own person. Plus narcissists are jealous and do not tolerate anything standing in the way of their influence.

11. Stalking spreads bad rumors

When an abuser loses control over how you see yourself, they want to control how those around them see you. The discrediting campaign is aimed at destroying your reputation. Toxic people talk about you behind your back and spread false rumors about you. The best strategy for dealing with this is to remain calm. An example would be the moment of a divorce, when a proactive reaction may prove to be useful to the abuser.

12. Stages of idealization and devaluation

The moment of idealization will last until you become sufficiently dependent. Then the toxic person begins to devalue what he or she admired a short time ago. The emotional abuser devalues the former partner in the eyes of the current partner, and imperceptibly the new partner falls under the same treatment as the previous partner. Therefore, it is helpful to be sensible about the barrage of compliments and caring if one does not behave the same way with those around him or her.

13. Advance Protection.

Is someone emphasizing that they are a good person and you should trust them? Be wary. Toxic personalities inflate their gift of empathy. They show their empathy at the beginning of a relationship to trap you. The idealization phase ends and their real selves turn out to be cold and calculating. And good people don’t often show their traits right off the bat-they show warmth, not trumpet it.

14. Triangulation

This is the systematic bringing of another’s opinion into the development of a personal relationship or threatening to leave for another. Which creates tension in a partner’s thoughts and behavior.

15. Provocation and false innocence

The abuser lures into the relationship to perfect his cruelty. Minor arguments turn into scandals. The manipulator knows how to play with your emotions. And when you snapped, followed by the phrase “Why are you shouting? What made you so angry?” Such false innocence makes you think that it is really a figment of your imagination. Trust yourself more.

16. Breaking personal boundaries.

Manipulators just dream of breaking your personal boundaries. And once they do, they will expand their “sphere of influence” . The harder it is to free yourself from such a relationship.

17. Aggressive pranks under the guise of jokes.

The abuser likes to present painful, unpleasant things in the guise of jokes, which allows the victim to be accused of having no sense of humor. It is a common form of emotional abuse.

18. Condescending tone and sarcasm

Sarcasm is good when both parties are involved in the parrying. But sarcasm can be one-sided and so caustic that it just “smears you.” Be confident about what you’re thinking and feeling.

19. shaming.

Manipulators often use the phrase “you should be ashamed.” It ruins the victim’s self-esteem. The abuser will tell you that everything that has happened to you is your fault. Take care of yourself and don’t open up to someone who provokes you to be frank.

20. Control

The abuser isolates the victim – financially, socially, emotionally. He plays with your emotions. You become addicted to praise.published by

P.S. And remember, just by changing your mind – together we change the world! © econet

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