It’s a shame, but there are a lot of nuts out there. And how do you know they’re nuts? They manipulate you. They manipulate your thoughts and feelings. They manipulate your relationship with them. It’s all on their terms and for reasons that suit them. Manipulation is a nasty thing. And while we may be guilty of it in small doses rarely (crying when the cop pulls you over so you won’t get a ticket or using your looks to get something), it’s a serious problem when you’re being manipulated constantly. So how do you know if you’re being manipulated? You gotta look for these red flags…
- They make you feel guilty, and you find that you always apologize even when it isn’t your fault. Fights happen in every relationship. Two people, two viewpoints, it can lead to two very different arguments. That being said, while it’s totally okay to disagree to have fights every once in a while, what’s not okay is if you’re made to feel like it’s your fault every single time…even when you’re almost positive you didn’t do anything wrong. When you’re being manipulated, the other person will make you feel guilty, like it’s always your fault. Example: your guy seems kinda off. You ask him what’s wrong. He flips out on you. He gets angry and goes off on what a terrible day it was. You feel like you’re getting yelled at. When you try to say something, you’re told it was your fault for asking in the first place. Um, excuse me? You yelled at me, but it’s my fault?
- When they do apologize, it’s not really an apology. So they have effectively hurt your feelings, yelled at you, said something mean that hits well below the belt, and you’re clearly hurt. So what does a manipulator do? They flip it on you. I’m sorry you feel that way. I’m sorry you made me say this or act that way. I’m sorry that you thought I said that. There is no, I’m sorry I did this; it’s always flipped onto you so it doesn’t feel like an apology.
- They don’t build you up; they play on your weaknesses, knowing they’re your weaknesses. When you’re in a relationship, you get to know each other well (or at least you should if you’re putting in the effort). Someone who loves and cares for you wants to help you become better and stronger. They want to build you up. But you can know if you’re being manipulated if they knowingly hits you where it hurts, especially when they know you’re already hurting. I can’t help but think of a friendship I talked about once before, where this friend would knowingly say and do things that would upset me. When I’d ask her why she’d do or say something that she knew would hurt me, she’d admit she knew it would hurt me and she “didn’t know” why she did it. That’s a manipulator; they have no problems seeing you upset.
- Everything is their way right away. Yup, like Burger King. Everything has to be done their way, they’re not open to suggestions. And God forbid you try to suggest something they don’t agree with, you’ll still find yourself doing it the way they suggested. They’re just that manipulative.
- They lie to you, have a very selective memory, or make you think you’re exaggerating or crazy. As someone who has a good memory for events and conversations, I can attest to this one. When you try to call a manipulator out with the truth, they will outright lie to you or they will try to play down things they’ve said or done. They’ll try to make you think you’re crazy and that it never happened, it was never said, and how could you possibly say such a thing to them? (Ah, see how a manipulator can flip it around?) That friend who spread lies about me was infamous for this. When I confronted her about what she’d done, she acted all offended, told me she would never do that (although I saw her do it to multiple other people), and then flipped it around and said it was my fault! See what I mean?
- You only feel important to them sometimes. When you’re being manipulated, it’s because the manipulator feels they can get something from you. And when they feel like they’ve used up everything they can take from you, then they don’t want you around anymore. They’re only in the relationship for what they can get from it. You may feel important when they’re around most of the time, but other times they will seem outright bored, annoyed or put out when you’re around, or they’ll only call or come around when they need something.
Want more? While I do have some personal experience, I kept seeing articles about being in relationships with manipulators, which is what gave me a little inspiration. You can check them out, too:
“If Your Man Does These 5 Things, You’re Being MANIPULATED!” from Your Tango
“Signs Your Partner Is Manipulative” from Cosmopolitan
“8 Hints You’re Dating A Manipulator” from Beliefnet
“Why Narcissists, Manipulators, and Psychopaths Get Power” from MindBodyGreen
If you find you’re being manipulated in a relationship (familial, friend, or romantic), then it’s time to pull back and pull away. When you start freeing yourself of those kinds of relationships, you can free yourself up for good ones that show you just how crazy you were to stay in a relationship where you were being manipulated.There you go, your weekly dose of relationship advice. We are so close to the weekend! Hold on!
Hope you’re all having a fantastic day!