The hardest part about relationships is that when we open ourselves up, we also open up the chance to be used and manipulated. It’s a chance we take to build healthy, loving relationships.
Sometimes the most loving and kindest people are the ones who fall into the trap of manipulation. It’s those people who are too trusting that often don’t know it’s happening. They don’t participate in it themselves and they don’t realize that some people are addicted and truly live and thrive off of manipulating others.
It’s important to recognize the signs so that you can be more aware of it in your own life.
5 Signs Someone Is Manipulating You
1. They drain your energy.
Manipulators carry a dark cloud around with them, but sometimes you cannot immediately tell. When they enter a room, they make a point of making sure everyone notices. Instead of working the room in a normal fashion, they are looking for everyone to display sympathy and work to make them “feel better.” They want to be the “cause” because it is more likely to get them what they want.
2. They use passive aggressive methods to undermine us.
Master manipulators do not want to be seen in a bad light, so they avoid being direct and honest. Instead, they will have others do their dirty work so they can avoid the “bad guy” syndrome. They talk behind our backs, rally the support of our closest friends, and mount a campaign to prove they are right, and we’re wrong. They are verbally supportive but act in very unsupportive ways.
3. They use your words against you and to their benefit.
A manipulator is often trying to sell us on something. They interrupt our thoughts and speak over us when we’re talking all in the hopes to get us off our game. When we notice the behavior and call them on it, then they find a way to use our words to make us feel guilty.
Instead of apologizing for forgetting to stop at the store on the way home, a manipulator might respond, “I am so overwhelmed with work right now. I know you would never have asked me to stop at the store if you knew how much pressure I’m under.”
4. They seek out and use our sensitive and trusting nature.
Manipulators play on the fact that we are trusting and sensitive in nature and seek out our vulnerabilities and use them to their advantage. They use a false sensitivity to connect with us and to help shield their true intentions and motives.
5. They use guilt to control you.
A manipulator that is good at playing the mental game knows how to play the role of victim to get what they need. They use triggers to pull at our heart strings, so we feel as if we have no choice but to give in. They play on guilt, sympathy, and our sensitivities as a way to emotionally blackmail us into serving their needs.
It can be difficult to pull away from a master manipulator because they have dug deep and created a strong emotional hold on us. We may need to seek the help of a loyal friend to break free.