Theoretically, romantic or family relationships should give us love, care and support, and yet, strangely enough, sometimes we end up being controlled by our partner like a puppet.
Boredmojo is here to share some of the most common manipulator tips so you can identify them and the easy ways to avoid or resist them.
Keep in mind, however, that all the information provided in this article is subjective and obviously cannot be applied in all situations.
1. You are the one who is guilty. Always.
Manipulators share a common skill: They’re really great at making you feel guilty, even when you’re not.
Have you ever asked your partner for a hand and received responses like “Didn’t you tell yourself I could be busy?”, “I told you I had plenty to do? “or” You only think of yourself! “. And here you are guilty, guilty simply of asking for a little help.
If so, your partner is most likely one of those people who feels the world is owed to them.
Barrie Davenport suggests taking the following steps to resist such manipulation:
- Realize that your partner is trying to control you.
- Stay calm.
- Remind him that he is an adult and that he is supposed to be responsible for his own behavior.
2. And he is the victim. Always
Who wouldn’t pity a poor little kitten ? This is how a manipulator wants to be seen. His life is so difficult and miserable that you should truly feel compassion for his woes or even help him with the extra work he received today.
Manipulators use this trick when asking for a “favor” or when trying to avoid responsibility . If you notice that your partner is always telling you moving stories about the difficulties in his life, then he may be manipulating you. However, don’t confuse this with instances where your partner sincerely opens up to you and shares their feelings with you, which they do to gain support . It has nothing to do with the attitude of a manipulator who is just trying to get some benefit .
3. He provokes you.
If a manipulator has no arguments, as a last resort, he will try to provoke you . He will say things that would cause any normal person to wonder about his mental health, or he will do everything to try to trigger negative emotions in you and make you angry.
His goal is to get you involved in an unnecessary argument and get you to say something that he can then use against you and in his defense. If you explain to him that what he’s saying doesn’t make sense, get ready to witness a tragedy worthy of a Shakespeare play: he’s going to put out the big game just like in the theater.
If you notice this behavior, it is essential that you remain calm and do not give in to provocations. Just try to bring the conversation back to the original topic . But if your partner continues to behave this way, it’s best to end the conversation politely.
4. He urges you in making decisions.
The less time we have to make a decision, the less we think . Manipulators push you to make choices as quickly as possible so that you don’t have enough time to think about the consequences. This is why it is of the utmost importance that you wait at least a minute before giving your answer.
Preston Ni of Psychology Today recommends against making rushed decisions. Instead, take your time to think about it. If your partner is behind you rushing you, you need to explain to him that you need time before answering.
5. Your problems? He never heard of it.
Another thing that manipulators have in common is that they don’t care about others. If you want to talk about your issues and share your feelings, a manipulative partner is very likely to do any of the following:
- Avoid conversation and pretend he’s busy.
- Bringing the conversation back to its own issues: “It’s horrible that you have all that extra work to do today, but can you imagine how I feel, me, every day?” These are signs that your partner is totally uninterested in your problems.
Barrie Davenport explains that there aren’t many ways to protect yourself from this behavior. It would probably be better to find a new, more caring and compassionate partner altogether .
6. “I will die without you”
This technique of manipulation is commonly referred to as emotional blackmail and is arguably the most infamous and selfish of all. The manipulator plays with your feelings of fear and guilt, forcing responsibility for their life and health on you. In other words: “ If you leave me, I’ll kill myself! ” But that’s only a threat: you’re much more likely to attend a snowman festival in Miami …
To avoid being manipulated this way:
- Remember that it is only a threat that your partner uses for their own well-being.
- Remind your partner that you are not responsible for their decisions.
7. “You just said it”
Another vicious technique used by manipulators is called gaslighting (the most subtle emotional abuse) . It is based on twisting the past and changing the facts to confuse the “victim” and place the “manipulator” in a comfortable position.
“No, I sure didn’t call you that.” “What? No but I would remember if you asked me for help.” “But what is happening to you today?” These are the kinds of things typically spoken by a manipulator. Sometimes they are so good that you start to question your own memory.
However, it is easy not to fall into the trap. Remember two things:
- Trust in yourself and in your memory. Make sure you remember things as they were.
- Make it clear that you remember exactly what you said, but don’t get into an argument.
8. They play deaf.
The manipulators do not want to discuss the existing problems . They’re fine like that and slyly manage to make you believe the discussion is over before it actually is. That’s why you find yourself using the same arguments over and over again.
In reality, it is easier to talk about walls than to change a manipulator’s point of view, but here are two tips that will help you avoid falling into their game:
- Always keep the topic of discussion in mind.
- Remember what caused the problem and why you started the conversation.
9. They are smart.
Manipulators use a simple trick to get what they want. They exaggerate a request then move on with their real request, much less difficult.
“Well, well, if we can’t have the heart of a blue whale for dinner, why don’t we go eat at this little Italian restaurant in the city center?”
You are likely to choose the easiest option to achieve. But you see, you don’t have to choose . It is easy to avoid this trap. Just remember two things:
- You don’t have to choose in reality.
- Your decisions should be based on rationality and not on comparisons.
10. They play dumb.
Pretending not to understand is undoubtedly childish behavior, but manipulators don’t mind. All means are good to keep yourself in a comfortable position.
There aren’t many ways to avoid this behavior; maybe taking your coinjoin to the store and buying him a toy while trying the humor card might be an option. But hey, we’re adults, aren’t we? So, it is better:
- Try different approaches when asking the same question.
- Behave the same way. Does your partner, who simply avoids helping you, deserve to be treated so well? No.
Manipulation is a character trait, so remember that you can’t change a manipulator and make them a better person. He’s going to stick to his behavior, even if it means breaking up with you