If you’ve ever had to deal with an emotional manipulator and endure their devious mind games, then I’m sure you’ll agree that this is one of the worst experiences one can ever have in life.
Emotional manipulators are masters of deception. They may appear honest, kind, and friendly, but, in most cases, this is just a façade behind which they hide their true colors. These people are ready to do anything to get what they want from you and make you act in ways that suit their needs.
Emotional manipulation is a grave issue that can be damaging to you in the long run. That’s the reason why it’s essential for you to know how to identify these sneaky manipulators and save yourself from falling into their trap.
Here are 8 red flags someone is emotionally manipulating you:
1. They put the blame on you for everything.
When you’re around a manipulative person, complaining about something to them is just a waste of time. For example, if you try to complain about something bad they did to you, they’ll immediately find a way to make it look like it’s your fault. And if you don’t, they’ll make it look like you’re at fault again for not mentioning it to them.
Whatever you say or do, they’ll always find fault with it. And regardless of what issues you two are having, you’ll always be the one to blame.
2. They ALWAYS play the victim role.
They’ll throw insults at you, make tactless, snide remarks about your appearance, your career, and even your loved ones, but it’s never their mistake. Someone else made them hurt your feelings or break your trust in them, and, more often than not, that “someone” is you. For example, if they snap at you, that’s your fault for annoying them. Or if you get worried or jealous, you’re at fault again for creating stupid scenarios in your mind.
Whatever problem you and the manipulative person are having – you are always the bad guy. And they – they’re always the innocent, the kind one.
3. They say one thing and do another.
In order to gain your trust and respect, emotional manipulators will do their best to convince you that you can always rely on them for their help and support. They’ll make grandiose promises to you and tell you how privileged they feel for having you in their life, and then act as if you’re worth nothing and as if you’re just an obstacle in their life. This trait leads us to the next one which is …
4. They make you doubt your perception of reality.
They’re masters at twisting your sense of reality. These highly deceptive people use a myriad of manipulation techniques to convince you that they never said or did something when you and everyone else know they did. The problem is that they are so adept at lying that they can easily make you question your logic, sense of reality, and even sanity.
5. They make your problems appear petty.
You may have just broken up, got fired, or lost a loved one – it doesn’t matter, because an emotional manipulator always has more serious and worse problems than you. This is their way of showing you that you have no reason to complain about anything to them.
6. They make you internalize their negative feelings.
Emotional manipulators are great at sucking the energy out of every person around them. Whatever way they’re feeling, they suck you into these feelings. For example, if they’re sad or angry, they make you aware of it. What’s worse – they make you feel it too. This is their way of making you feel sorry for them and even responsible for their bad mood.
7. They enjoy pushing your buttons.
They’re great at identifying your insecurities and fears and they make sure they use them against you whenever they get a chance. For example, if you’re about to start a new business, they point out how risky and futile this can be. Or if you are insecure about your physical appearance, they make critical comments about your diet or the clothes you wear.
Emotional manipulators simply love making other people feel insecure and vulnerable.
8. They enthusiastically agree to help you and then they act like this is too difficult for them.
Emotional manipulators pretend that they want to help you only to make you feel that you owe something to them. They promise to help you overcome some problem, and it doesn’t take them long to start sighing and commenting that whatever help they offered you is a huge burden to them.
And if you try to complain to them about this, they tell you that you’re only making things up and that they’re more than glad to help you. This is their way of making you feel like you’re indebted to them.