Emotional manipulation can be so subtle and undercover
that it can control you for quite a while before you figure out what’s happening, if you ever do. Some manipulators are highly skilled. They’re described by some as puppet masters, and you could become an unknowing puppet if you don’t know the signs.
As your strings are pulled this way and that, you do just what the puppet master wants you to do. You think you’re acting from your own free will, but the truth is you’re not. Once the relationship ends, many victims finally see they were under the manipulator’s control.
If you’re a victim of manipulation you know something is wrong, but you’re not quite sure what it is. You might suspect you’re being manipulated and you want to know for sure.
It’s actually easier and more obvious than you might think it is.
While it’s smart to learn the techniques of covert emotional manipulation, the truth is you don’t have to know anything at all about the techniques to know if your strings are being pulled. You only need to look at yourself to know if manipulation is at play.
If you’re in a relationship and notice a few of the following signs, there’s a high probability you are being manipulated:
Your joy at finding love has turned into the fear of losing it. Things got off to such perfect and amazing start, and you’re not sure what went wrong. Your feelings have gone from happiness and euphoria to anxiety, sadness and even desperation.
Your mood depends entirely on the state of the relationship.
You’re unhappy in your relationship a lot of the time… yet you dread losing it because you’re blissfully happy every now and then.
You feel like you’re screwing up the best thing that ever happened to you, but you’re not sure how.
Your relationship feels very complex, although you’re not sure why. When talking to your friends about it, you might find yourself saying “It’s hard to explain. It’s just really…complicated.”
You obsess about the relationship. You endlessly analyze every aspect of it as you desperately try to “figure it out.” You talk about it constantly, to whomever will listen. None of this gets you anywhere.
You never feel sure of where you stand with your partner, which leaves you in a perpetual state of uncertainty and anxiety.
You frequently ask your partner if something’s wrong. It really does feel as if something’s wrong, but you’re not sure what it is.
You always seem to be on the defensive. You find yourself feeling misunderstood, so you continually feel the need to explain and defend yourself.
You seem to have developed a problem with trust, jealousy or insecurity, which your partner points out to you on a regular basis.
You feel that you just don’t know how to make your partner happy. You try hard but nothing seems to work, at least not for long.
Expressing negative thoughts and emotions feels restricted or even forbidden, so you try to keep those things hidden. You feel frustrated a lot, though, because important things go unsaid.
You feel inadequate. You don’t feel as good about yourself as you did before the relationship. You feel less confident, less secure, less intelligent, less sane, less trusting, or in any way “less than” something you were before.
You always feel you’re falling short of your partner’s expectations.
You often feel guilty. You continually try to repair the damage you believe you’ve caused. You blame yourself for your partner pulling away from you. You can’t understand why you keep sabotaging the relationship.
You carefully control your words, actions and emotions around your partner to keep him or her from withdrawing their affection again. Your suppressed feelings build inside of you, and sometimes you erupt like a volcano. You’ve never acted this way before. You can’t seem to help it, and it only makes things worse.
You do things you aren’t really comfortable with or that go against your values, limits or boundaries, in order to make your partner happy and keep the relationship intact.
That’s all there is to it.
You might be wondering how you or anyone else could stay in a relationship that causes fear, anxiety, depression, self-doubt, frustration and hostility. Wouldn’t you know something is terribly wrong?
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“Great book!! Incredibly informative!! This is a great book. It help me realize what was happening in my relationship. It gave me the strength to move on and leave. I am so grateful I found this book.”
“If you’re wondering . . . ‘Gee, should I read this book?’ The answer is YES. It should be required for every human adult’s relationship toolkit.”
“Excellent! A must read for anyone that is lost in a relationship. I would like to thank the author for an eye opening experience! This book has clarified more for me than I have ever understood in my entire life time… It is straight forward the author tells you exactly what you need to hear. To the author, again thank you for opening my eyes.”
“Very insightful. I liked how the author cut right to the meat. If I had my way this book would be required high school and/or college reading.”
“This book is concise, well-written, and cuts to the core quickly – great information.”
There are two reasons people stay. First, the relationship probably got off to an amazing start. He or she seemed like your perfect partner or friend — a soul mate — and the honeymoon phase was idyllic. Since you’ve been manipulated into blaming yourself for the problems, you stick with the relationship and desperately try to repair the damage.
Second, “manipulation is an evolving process over time,” according to Harriet B. Braiker, PhD., author of “Who’s Pulling Your Strings,” Victims are controlled through a series of promised gains and threatened losses covertly executed through a variety of manipulation tactics. In other words, the manipulation builds gradually as the abuser creates uncertainty and doubt by going back and forth from hot to cold, by going back and forth from giving you what you desire to taking it away.
“In the end, it doesn’t matter how you got into that relationship, it is the realization that it is one-sided, exploitative, and toxic. The questions that need to be asked are very simple. ‘Are they using their charms or behavior to control you or others for their own benefit? Are they manipulating you? Are they doing things that hurt you or put you at risk? Do you feel like this relationship is one sided? Are you hurting in this relationship?’ If the answer to these questions is yes, it is time to untangle yourself from the toxic strings that control you so you can get your life back. Take heed – you have no social obligation to be victimized – ever.”
~ Dangerous Personalities, by Joe Navarro, M.A., a 25 year veteran of the FBI
Emotional manipulation is emotional abuse. If you believe you’re in a relationship with an abuser, no good will come of it. This person does not value or respect you or care about your well-being. Leave the relationship if possible, and seek professional counselling if needed.
“I am alive again! I was experiencing hell only just yesterday… As I began reading it, I immediately felt relief and peace… I have been enlightened and will move forward… It can save your life. It has saved mine.”
“The BEST Manual on how to protect yourself from becoming a victim again – I know the subject too well… I am going to recommend it to the facilitators in the divorce support group I am attending.”