Not sure you are in a relationship with an emotional manipulator? Find out.
Many people in relationships (business and personal) endure their partners who constantly subject them to emotional torture and in turn subdue their self-esteem, making them unhappy. They subject themselves to the bidding of their partners without questions.
In the wake of rape and the Black Lives Matter movement, people in unpleasant relationships must speak out, cry for help, and begin their journey to healing.
Your life matters. Use this period to evaluate your relationship. Are you truly happy? How does it affect your sanity and mental health?
Have you ever felt like your memory was constantly playing tricks on you because every time you confront your partner about things they did, they constantly deny it and leave you asking yourself questions about the state of your mental health?
Most times, we come in contact with emotional manipulators, but their tactics are usually subtle and hard to read, especially to the person in that relationship.
They leave you questioning a lot of things about yourself, trample on your self-esteem, and dismiss or downplay your emotions on a whim, with capricious outbursts at intervals.
Here are five signs you might be in bed, relationship or in business with an emotional manipulator:
1. They share too much, too soon
It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal relationship or a business relationship, emotional manipulators always seem to skip a few too many steps. They share too much too soon, and expect you to open up quickly as well. They portray vulnerability and sensitivity, but it’s all a facade. The charade is intended to make you feel “special” for being let into their deepest secrets, make you feel they trust you; hence, their speedy ability to reveal things even their best friends and family members “do not know about them.” This is intended to make you feel not just sorry for them, but also responsible for their feelings.
2. Their actions don’t match their words
Emotional manipulators will tell you what you want to hear, but when it’s time for their actions to speak, it becomes a different story altogether. They pledge their support, but when it comes time to follow through, they act as though your requests are entirely unreasonable or make you feel you are suddenly asking for too much. They tell you how lucky they are to know you, then act as though you’re a burden. This is just another way of undermining your belief in your sanity. They make you question reality as you see it and try to mold your perception according to what is convenient for them.
3. They claim the role of the victim
When it comes to emotional manipulators, nothing is ever their fault. No matter what they do —or fail to do — it’s someone else’s fault. Someone else made them do it — and, usually, it’s you. If you get mad or upset, it’s your fault for having unreasonable expectations; if they get mad, it’s your fault for upsetting them. Emotional manipulators don’t take accountability for anything, even when they are confronted with the facts in a situation. They always find a way to play the victim card. They question you for snooping around and still find a way to blame you.
4. They always undermine your complaints and make you feel guilty
No matter what problems you may have, emotional manipulators always have it worse. They undermine the importance of your complaints by reminding you that their problems are more serious. Whenever you share a particular problem, they share five worse problems of theirs and tell you that yours isn’t as serious. If you bring up something that’s bothering you, they make you feel guilty for mentioning it. If you don’t, they make you feel guilty for keeping it to yourself and stewing on it. When you’re dealing with emotional manipulators, whatever you do is wrong. No matter what problems both of you are having, they’re your fault.
5. They know all your buttons and do not hesitate to push them
Emotional manipulators are smart. They quickly study and know your weak spots, and are quick to use them against you. If you’re insecure about your weight, they comment on what you eat or the way your clothes fit. They use it most times as a joke. When they see it affects your emotion, they laugh and call it a joke. Meanwhile, their mission has been accomplished, making you feel inadequate. Their awareness of your emotions is off the charts, but they use it to manipulate you, not to make you feel better.
In the next article, we will break down how to deal with emotional manipulators and overcome the damage of their manipulations for your sanity and peace of mind.