According to Preston Ni, M.S.B.A., “In psychological manipulation, one person is used for the benefit of another. The manipulator deliberately creates an imbalance of power, and exploits the victim to serve his or her agenda.”
Manipulators usually have perfected their craft of using people so well that the victim doesn’t even notice their selfish behaviors. The sly manipulator normally possesses these 4 common characteristics: they know how to spot your weaknesses, they use these weaknesses to their benefit, they persuade you to give up a part of yourself in order to fulfill their own selfish desires, and finally, they will not stop their maniacal behavior until you speak up and put an end to it.
If you are in a manipulative relationship, the signs might not jump out at you right away. However, it’s important to recognize this toxic behavior so you can confront the person and put a stop to the exploitation.
Here are 5 signs of manipulation in a relationship:
1. The manipulator puts a guilt trip on you constantly.
If you’re being manipulated, you will probably be made to feel guilty much of the time in the relationship. Manipulators love to place blame on you so they don’t have to take responsibility for their own choices. You will never feel quite good enough in a manipulated relationship, because the person wants to get under your skin and highlight your weaknesses.
He or she wants to tear you apart from the inside out, so that you become weaker, while they become stronger. They are very much energy vampires, using your life force for their personal gain. They need other people to make them feel better about themselves, and just use you as a means to accomplish their selfish goals.
They will make you feel bad about every little thing, whether it’s what you made for dinner, how you got home from work a little later that day, how you forgot to clean the bathroom yesterday, or just any minute thing that normally wouldn’t be a cause for concern.
2. They have deep-seated insecurities.
They will not hesitate to push their insecurities on you, because they want you to feel sorry for them. They use this mind game as a way to control you and your life, so that you have very little wiggle room to make your own decisions. Ever been in a relationship where you couldn’t have any male or female friends because it made your partner jealous? Well, that’s a surefire sign you’ve been manipulated, so watch out for this behavior in any future relationship.
Just because they have insecurities about you having male or female friends, does not make it okay for them to decide who you hang out with. They have to take responsibility for how they feel, and you have to tell them that you cannot be manipulated into letting his or her insecurities run the entire relationship.
3. He or she always points out your weaknesses.
A manipulator will quickly pick apart your “flaws” or “imperfections” as a way to disempower you. If you have more power than them, they will feel threatened and cannot manipulate you. They don’t want you to have confidence in yourself, because this makes them have less self-esteem. Their entire existence depends on stealing energy from people in order to survive.
They make you believe they want to help you become a better person, so they point out your weaknesses and tell you that they will assist you in turning them into strengths. However, they don’t really care about helping you; they just want to help themselves by getting you to trust them so they can carry out their sinister plot. By having people on their side, trusting them and relying on them, it boosts their ego and makes them feel worthwhile. Just know that a person who tears you apart and says they want to help build you back up can only have one motive, and it doesn’t involve helping you.
4. The manipulator blames you for how they feel.
If you’re being manipulated, you may notice that your partner can never take ownership of their feelings; they must always blame you for their emotions. They blame you whether they feel sad, angry, depressed, unworthy, or any other negative emotion. However, they usually won’t let you know that you make them happy, because they’d like to think only they can make you happy. Not the other way around.
A surefire sign of a manipulated relationship is a partner who can’t take charge of their own emotions, and must always make you feel as though you have done something wrong.
5. You always have to give up what you want in favor of their desires.
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Remember, manipulators don’t care about what you want; they only wish to use you for their personal gain or enjoyment, and have no desire to ask what you want. If they can continue using you for their benefit, they will do so until they suck you dry. Usually, two people make compromises in relationships, so that each person can get what they want an equal amount of the time, keyword being equal. However, if you have to give up your desires a majority of the time in order for them to get what they want, you can almost be sure you’ve been manipulated in your relationship.