Spotting Emotional Manipulation: 4 Things to Be Aware of When Something Feels Off
The concept of dating is plenty complicated before you’re actually even spending time with another person. The odds of matching with someone on mutual grounds seems pretty random or totally miraculous depending on your experiences. It’s very different than say making a friend. It’s complicated enough when people are being kind and authentic throughout the process, let alone when they aren’t. Unfortunately, there are emotionally manipulative people out there, and it’s often in these manipulative characteristics come through in their romantic endeavours.
Here are some signs that “awesome” new love interest
might actually be emotionally manipulative.
1. They make you feel guilty
Emotional manipulators rely on making other people feel guilty because it’s the only way they can guarantee that they stay in control and get what they want. They want you to question your thoughts, motives, everything. That way they can impress you with their own thoughts and motives. Emotional manipulators tend to be passive aggressive but in smart, often undetectable ways. They usually don’t deal with things head on, but they will be certain to punish you when they get the chance. Ignoring you is a common tactic, trying to turn the blame around on you, saying that they’ll be supportive of something and then actually doing things to halt your progress.
2. It’s always someone else’s fault
Emotional manipulators tend not to take accountability for anything. If they did, they’d have to admit that they’re wrong and they don’t usually believe that they are. This not only means that they’re going to be blaming you for tons of stuff, but they’re also going to be blaming others for everything they feel to be going wrong in their lives. They might even attempt to get close to you by sharing some of their victim stories. People do tend over authentic conversations and even gossip in certain situations, but this person will act like they’re sharing it because they need you to know. It sounds weird but if you feel special and needing for being let in on their deep dark emotional secret that’s actually a good sign that they’re trying to hook you.
3. It’s always about them
Oh, it’s someone else’s fault all right, but the emotional manipulator is the one that is most affected by anything and everything. If you ever try to talk them about anything they are likely to turn it around and somehow make it about them- good or bad. These individuals have a knack for playing the victim in a very believable way. They will try to one-up you when something isn’t going well instead of giving you support or advice. When something is going well they will immediately turn it around and try to figure out how they can get something good out of it. Your success is hardly recognized except in how they hope to use it as a step up in their own life.
4. They lie
We all tell a white lie here and there, but it is not at all normal to be dealing with someone who is lying all the time- no matter what it is they’re lying about. People who lie don’t always remember what they said before, so if you feel confused frequently when you’re hanging out with someone it’s a good sign that something is off. If you try to correct them based on something that they said in the past, they will likely shut it down if not try to make you feel ridiculous about “accusing” them of saying something else. A good rule of thumb: your intuition always knows best. If you feel like you’re being lied to, you are probably being lied to.
Always be aware of the signs, and always listen to your gut is something doesn’t feel right. You should feel supported, safe, and comfortable. If you are consistently defending yourself or tip-toeing around someone else for fear of an unwanted reaction, this isn’t healthy. If you feel that you’ve landed in an emotionally manipulative relationship, you’re not alone, so please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Chances are good that a number of your peers have experienced similar situations and may be able to share some perspective.