How To Recognize The 8 Signs Of Emotional Manipulation

Healthy relationships are based on trust, mutual respect, and security.

Not emotional manipulation.

Each person must feel they are valued and loved unconditionally, accepted for who they are, and safe to expose their vulnerabilities and flaws.

This is the ideal foundation for a good relationship, but of course, all of us fall short of this ideal from time to time.

We might use passive-aggressive tactics to express our pain or get our way in a disagreement.

We might tell white lies or throw out hurtful barbs to protect ourselves and cope with our own pain or anger.

I've done this myself, and I always feel regretful as soon as the words escape my mouth. I know this behavior does nothing to foster intimacy and trust.

We are all self-centered to a certain extent, but emotionally mature, healthy-minded people generally recognize when they behave this way and can correct the behavior, offer an apology, and begin again with a more loving and healing approach to conflict resolution or negotiation.

This foundation of respect, trust, and security is necessary in all personal relationships — your marriage or love relationships; your relationship with your family members; and your close friendships.

Both people must be committed to the health of the relationship and possess a strong emotional intelligence in order for the connection to thrive.

What is emotional manipulation?

You've likely encountered people who are emotionally manipulative and controlling.

They use these behaviors to get their way or keep you from saying or doing anything they don't like.

Emotional manipulation can be subtle and deceptive, leaving you confused and off-balance.

Or it can be overt and demanding where fear, shaming, and guilt trips leave you stunned and immobilized.

Couple arguing, emotional manipulation

Either way, emotional manipulation is not acceptable, and the longer you allow it to continue, the more power and confidence the manipulator gains in this one-sided relationship.

Eventually, any remnant of a healthy connection is destroyed, as the foundation of trust, intimacy, respect, and security crumbles under the hammer of manipulation.

8 Emotional Manipulation Signs and Techniques

Look carefully at these 8 types of manipulation to see if any exist in your relationship:

1. They turn your words to benefit them.

A manipulator has trouble accepting responsibility for their behavior, and often if you call them on it, they'll find a way to turn it around to make you feel bad or guilty.

For example, you might make a legitimate complaint like, “It really bothers me you didn't help me clean the house when you promised you would.”

Instead of apologizing, acknowledging his or her actions, and correcting the situation, a manipulator will say something like, “You would never have asked me to help you if you knew how overwhelmed I am. Why don't you think about me for once?””

Or they might offer a quasi-apology like, “Well I'm really sorry but I was working until midnight last night. I know I should have told you about all the stress I'm under and how tired I've been. I may be coming down with something.”

This kind of manipulation is almost worse than no apology at all because it makes YOU feel bad for even asking and expecting them to follow through on something they promised.

Your response:

If an apology feels false or if the other person replies with defensiveness or guilt trips, don't allow them to get away with it.

If you do, it will just empower them to do it again. Make it clear that a real apology is unconditional and followed by a behavior change.

2. The manipulator says something and later denies it.

A manipulator may say yes to a request or make a commitment to you, and then when the time comes to follow through, they conveniently forget they ever said anything.

Unless you have a recording of them making the promise, you can't really prove anything — so it's your “bad memory” against their lying words.

A skilled manipulator has a way of twisting a previous conversation or replaying it to suit their needs and make you feel like it's your fault and that you are forgetful, demanding, or ridiculous.

Emotional manipulation causes you to question yourself and make you feel bad or guilty that you challenged the manipulator.

Your response:

If you experience a pattern of these bait and switch manipulation tactics in your relationship, begin to write down exactly what the manipulator has promised.

Date it and post it in your kitchen or email it to yourself and the other person.

This may anger an emotional manipulator, and they may question your trust or faith in them, but it will make it much harder to deny the conversation later on.

3. Emotional manipulation uses guilt trips to control you.

This is the ultimate in manipulative behavior.

The emotional manipulator finds your sensitive Achilles heel and pokes it until you either give in or it makes you feel like a hound dog.

“You go ahead to the movies without me. It's fine. I'll stay home and finish the laundry.”

“It's always about your needs. If you knew what kind of childhood I had, you'd never ask me to do that.”

“If you really want to go on the girls weekend, go ahead. I just don't understand how you could leave the kids for that long.”

“I know we can't afford to buy a new car. But I've never had a new car in my life. I guess I'll just live with this crap car forever. I don't deserve nice things.”

The emotional manipulator knows how to play the victim role to perfection.

They stir up a pot of guilt and sympathy and serve it to you in heaping ladlefuls.

They will say just about anything to get their way — especially if they see a kind-hearted, sensitive victim.

Your response:

You are not going crazy. They are playing you for all it's worth. Don't fall victim to these manipulative, guilt-laden shenanigans.

Don't give in to their passive demands or requests for sympathy.

This person is an adult. Remind them of that, and how they are perfectly able to cope with your decision or actions.

4. Manipulators try to diminish your problems or difficulties.

Emotional manipulators don't care much about your important issues — unless they can use them as a platform to highlight their own.

“You think you had it bad sitting in traffic today?

Did you ever think about how I have to deal with traffic every day? It takes years off my life. Be thankful you only had to deal with it today.”

“Gosh, that's terrible you and your mom had a fight. But just be thankful you have a mom. My mom is dead, and even when she was alive, we fought much more than you and your mom do. It almost felt like I never had a mom.”

If you point out how the manipulator just turned the tables, they'll likely try to make you look selfish and pitiful.

They won't acknowledge their narcissistic behavior or reframe the conversation around your pain or difficulty.

Your response:

There's not much you can do in these situations except walk away and find someone else who is more caring, compassionate, and mature.

Don't expose your vulnerabilities to someone who tramples all over them.

5. They use the emotional manipulating back door technique.

Rather than being direct and forthright, manipulators will sidestep honest communication and use passive-aggressive methods instead.

They might talk behind your back with others, or ask someone else to be their spokesperson so they don't have to be the bad guy or girl.

For example, they might have a friend tell you they want to break up or mention to your best friend how unhappy they are in the bedroom.

Couple fighting, emotional manipulation

They might use passive ways of letting you know they're mad or unhappy by pouting, stomping, or giving the silent treatment.

Or they might say something supportive but behave in very unsupportive ways.

For example, your spouse might say she's happy for you to finish a demanding work project at home in the evenings, but then she goes out shopping, leaving you home with the kids.

Your response:

For your own peace of mind, call them out on this behavior.

More than likely, you'll get a defensive, angry reaction, but at least the manipulator sees that you know what they're up to.

If this indirect, manipulative behavior occurs regularly, it's time for counseling or to consider your exit strategy.

6. They use tactics that suck the energy from the room.

Manipulators have a way of walking into a room and dragging a dark cloud along with them.

They want the attention and focus to be on them, and they want to make sure everyone in the room notices if they are angry, unhappy, or discontented in some way.

People tend to scramble to accommodate the manipulator or to try to help them “feel better.” They might ask, “Are you OK? Is something wrong?”

This is just the opening the manipulator needs to feed off the sympathy and energies of others.

Being in the room with a manipulator, a sensitive person will feel drained and off-balance.

Your response:

If possible, leave the room. Why give away your energy and good mood to a manipulator?

If you're stuck in the room, envision yourself surrounded by an impenetrable barrier that protects you from the negative vibes of the manipulator.

7. Emotional manipulators use aggression or anger.

Emotional manipulators often try to intimidate others with aggressive language, subtle threats, or outright anger.

Especially if they see you're uncomfortable with confrontation, they will use it to quickly control you and get their way.

The goal is to foster fear or extreme discomfort so you'll belly up quickly.

Maybe your wife has a temper tantrum every time you bring up her over-spending.

Maybe your husband raises his voice and slams doors when you do something he doesn't like.

Over time the manipulator learns all he or she has to do is get a bit crazy and things will go their way.

Your response:

Unless you fear physical violence, call them out on this behavior. If this escalates the anger or aggressiveness, leave the room or the house entirely.

If anger and aggression are left unchecked, they can turn to more harmful behaviors.

Demand counseling so the manipulator can see clearly what they are doing and how to change their behaviors.

8. They seek out the sensitive, insecure, or overly trusting.

Emotional manipulators seek out the vulnerabilities in people in order to exploit them.

In fact, they may consciously or unconsciously create relationships with people who are the most vulnerable and willing to be controlled.

Manipulators can easily spot those who have a need to please or who's insecurities drive them to put their own needs behind the needs of others.

Manipulators may first come across as caring and sensitive, using these methods to deflect their true motives.

Over time, they subtly begin to exploit the more gentle sensibilities of the other person.

Your response:

If you know you're highly sensitive and giving, you are more prone to falling victim to a manipulator.

Learn how to spot the signs of emotional manipulation in a relationship early so you can avoid these types of people altogether.

If you're already in a manipulative relationship, it may be more difficult for you to pull away, as sensitive people often have a mixed bag of anger, loyalty, guilt, and insecurity tied up in these relationships.

You may need the support of a counselor to sort through your feelings and find a way to break free of this destructive situation.

Emotionally manipulating people need to be in control, and this desire for control often masks underlying feelings of insecurity.

Manipulators often compensate by appearing to be self-confident and powerful.

Their motives are almost always self-serving, and they have little regard for how their behaviors impact those around them.

They need to feel superior and powerful and seek out people who will validate them by accommodating their manipulative, passive-aggressive behaviors.

Your own emotions are your best tool for recognizing the problem between you and a manipulator.

Examine your emotions to see if you feel defensive, shamed, guilty, angry, or sympathetic toward the other person.

Do you find yourself making excuses for their behavior or compromising your own beliefs and choices to accommodate them?

You may not recognize these negative feelings in the immediacy of the moment, but later when you revisit the situation, these emotions might emerge.

If you suspect you're involved with a partner who wants to manipulate you, then now is the time to take action to end the abuse.

Speak with a counselor to validate your suspicions and to see if there's any hope for the relationship.

The longer you remain in this unhealthy dynamic, the more of your authentic self you give away.

More Related Articles:

7 Damaging Effects Of Emotional Abuse 

16 Traits of Emotionally Unavailable Men

Do you recognize any of these emotional manipulations?

I hope you found the examples of manipulation and action steps helpful in dealing with an emotional manipulator who wants to control you.

Controlling people in your life can make you feel so manipulated that you feel unsure about your own feelings and judgment.

But don't allow the behaviors of this toxic person to sow the seeds of self-doubt within you. Believe in yourself and your inner knowledge about healthy relationship behaviors.

Revisit this list of signs when you're having a confusing or difficult time with a manipulator.

Which of these manipulation techniques are you seeing in your relationship?

Try to take the actions we suggest to call out the manipulator and let him or her know that you see through their bad behaviors.

The person may not change, but you'll feel more empowered and confident about how you respond in the relationship.

32 thoughts on “How To Recognize The 8 Signs Of Emotional Manipulation”

    • Sometimes that’s not the case. My adoptive parents, especially the mother figure was just like what is described above and I couldn’t do a thing about it. It’s been 8 years since I severed the relationship but as a kid I didn’t understand/ know this wasn’t ok.

  1. It has taken me years to see that I am married to one who uses many of these tactics. It is exhausting. I finally concede that our relationship will never be what I envisioned and it is time for me to move on. This article gave me further motivation to do so!

    • Karen, best of luck to you. It is a hard thing to do. I was married to the poster child for passive-aggressive behavior, but I’m remarried and so much happier now. These bad relationships don’t necessarily teach us what we want in a relationship, but they do teach us what we darn sure don’t want in one. Blessings in whatever decision you make.

    • I am dating a girl who does all this..and I’m a guy who will never disrespect a girl. I’m driven to the height of stress coz we can’t have a discussion without this sort of manipulation and it’s so stressful. Leave while you can still get peace..

  2. Being sincere here– cutting ties will be your very best bet in a lot of these cases. You don’t owe it to anyone to be manipulated by them.

  3. I just ended a relationship that was emotionally controlling. And in the end got violent. I’m so emotionally drained. I’ve been told he’s posting things about me on facebook, like saying I cheated and lied to him. I can’t do anything about the post on facebook. I never did either. I wished I would have recognized the signs early on. I loved and tried to show him a good woman. One that he said he never had, starting with his mother. I have a court order against him..and I am seeking counciling.

    • Susan. Im sorry. I thought you were the one emotionally manipulating me. We both are victims. We both seeked control in the relationship. However, i never intended to hurt you. I just wanted to show you what a great man i am and i just wanted to feel loved and appreciated by you. The harder i tried to please you the more rejection i got. So i guess i got overbearing. I agree the facebook thing was immature but i felt like you used me and threw me away. So i was hurt. We need to talk. Even self if you want to try again but this time with a psychiatrist/couple counselling.

    • No idea how old this is, but the fact that your partner/abuser found your, mostly anonymous, comment here, and REPLIED is pretty freaky and disturbing. Hope things and your entire life is better now. And nope, you don’t “need to talk” to him btw, Incase you needed to hear that.

  4. I feel like I am married to a manipulator, I just feel crazy. When I’m away from him and at work I can think so clearly. I want so badly to just muster up the gumption to leave! I don’t know why I feel like I can’t leave. I’m scared, hurt, wanting so badly to fix our marriage. For our daughter and my step daughter. I want normalcy so bad! Is that too much to ask of him? Just the other day he set me up to call him, I shouldn’t have, but I did. He made me feel bad for being at work and sends me a text saying “didn’t want to bother ya, love you” knowing that I would call him- I fell right into his trap. Him saying, and screaming, that I don’t love him. If I did I would be more supportive. (he just recently quit drinking because I told him I wasn’t going to subject our daughter to a drunk father.) but In all reality I don’t think he’s done. The more I look back the more my eyes open about how STUPID I was for not listening to my gut feeling in the very beginning of our relationship. Now we have a daughter together and are married. I’m stuck. My heart won’t let me leave. ))’: but then again. Maybe I’m just crazy?

  5. I just chose to remove my daughter from my life because I have tried every possibility to work things out with her, but was unsuccessful. She has had mental health issues for as long as I can remember. We adopted her first born due to abuse and neglect of my Grandson. She wanted to still be involved in his life, but she has made this impossible. She absolutely will not accept any responsibility for the actions that led to her losing custody of her first child. So now she has a second child and is doing the same with him. She is a MASTER manipulator and can sell snow to an Eskimo until they eventually learn that they’ve been sold a deck of lies. Cutting off these relationships is not as easy as one thinks they should be. We wanted our child to know his natural mother so we put up with her abuse and tactics for far too long. Making that final decision has taken time and has not been quite so cut and dry…. I only wish it were. I have to say that the hardest thing I’ve ever done is adopted my own child’s child. I could write a book on this subject, but I prefer to close the chapter and move on.

  6. Right from the start of my relationship with this person I was Googling “emotional manipulation” to see if I was being over sensitive or if I really was being manipulated! Seems it’s emotional manipulation all round, yet more fool me, I’m still with him and still going through the ups and downs and dramas caused by his constant criticisms, challenging ways and accusations! When he’s nice, he’s really, really nice which is why it makes it so hard to leave. I know he had a bad childhood with a bully of a father and that he’s chronically insecure and also stressed at work. No 1. above hit the nail on the head – if we argue it’s usually because I’ve said or done something “wrong” then when I talk calmly & rationally he switches straight away to how stressed at work he is (even when we were away on holiday!!) and how he’s feeling ill. In fact, he’s been feeling “ill” since we met…

    And as for No 3, well it’s a constant barrage of guilty feelings I’m going through. I know I have the kind of personality that feels a lot of guilt, and also wants to help and to “fix” someone who’s broken. But I’m starting to feel like I’m becoming broken myself now. How can I leave? I’m 52 and the thought of having to go through dating again is awful (we’ve only been together 16 months, separated from my husband a few years back) and he’s quite a “catch” in other ways (good looking, own business, etc). Is it better to stay in a relationship like this & put up with the arguments caused when I deny what he’s accusing me of? He never tells me anything other than how beautiful I am so it’s not criticism against how I look, just how I behave – I have no “passion” because I’m a very easy going, relaxed and calm person. Or should I resign myself to being lonely & single indefinitely? Counselling would be great, but I don’t have the spare money for it.

  7. No no no no no no noPlease if you have the gift of insight and realizing what’s happening to you run please please run you don’t understand what’s going to happen it’s insidious you put up with certain things you think getting older and being comfortable and having a business is not used to having him being good looking and not that bad it’s OK it is you don’t realize what’s going to happen to you you will lose absolutely everything that’s what is there to take is your calm your centeredness your friends your piece it’s fuel to them that’s what he’s therefore that bit of you that’s left he wants it you may think I’m crazy I went from six figures my own home my own daughter my health I have nothing no I have an auto immune disease I can barely keep my emotions in check he’s going to CPS and lied through his teeth about me abusing my child it’s absolutely sanity they been lying all their lives to stay alive and get what they need and you’re no match for them when you need to be please please go talk to somebody please talk to his counselor who knows what see PTSD and narcissistic abuse is please don’t talk to somebody who doesn’t know what it is cause they’ll make you worse please I wish I would’ve known what was happening to me it was too late by the time I understood what was happening I’m sitting on the floor now going through seven different mortgage loans He forged my signature altered my bank accounts I have nothing I am on welfare are used to run a company he used me for everything I had he hated every bit of creativity and empathy inside me so we crushed it and turn everything around on me when I wasn’t what he wanted anymore and I was too sick to see if I was dead inside I was a robot by the time I realized what was happening I have no fighting me I’m so shamed of who I am now please bro please get away from your credit will be the word the least of your problems right now if you go. He called my CFO and lied about me doing drugs he set my car on fire last week and you just smirks and get away with it it’s insanity I can’t believe I used to have a reputation and trust I have nothing no not even my daughter and I didn’t do anything wrong hand to God I didn’t do one then wrong with the care of everybody they set you up to make you look insane please please I implore you leave kindly make up whatever reason that he’s too good for you to Noble two wonderful whatever makes him feel good about himself sorry for the ramble you’re just so lucky to realize what’s happening before you get obliterated because if you stay that’s what’s going to happen if you’re in different right now. And there are people out there I’m 46 and I’m shocked just come out of the woodwork want to date me this hot mess but it’s because of real then I’m genuine and actually more humble now that I’ve ever been to that one gift I got please consider it thank you sorry to rant at you I just want to shake you but with empathy and love I promise

  8. Number 1 definitely. Anytime I bring up a concern he automatically turned it on me with “what are you doing” or “I wouldn’t have done this if you didn’t do that” absolutely accepting no responsibility for his actions or life choices that ultimately affect the relationship as he is an alcoholic not making any effort towards his recovery as again that’s my fault. No and no thank you.

  9. He will never get any better, only worse. It took me years to figure out my husband, partially because he was different from my first abusive husband and I therefore missed some obvious signs. I once was full of life, popular, busy, and hopeful. Now I have no friends, I am depressed, and I feel hopeless. This husband proved to be worse than the first. Now I am in my late 70s, seriously ill and he has spent all my money. I rely on the posts I receive to keep me aware of how to respond and not respond to him. He is unfaithful, a constant liar, lazy, and cruel. You are only 52. Get out while you can and don’t look back. It is too late for me, but listen to me. It WILL get much worse. I wish you the best.

  10. I often wonder who is the manipulator, myself or my wife. There is a real danger of using these signs against one another. My only desire is to work things out with my wife. Who of us is hurting least to be able to help the one that is hurting most. I sense it is my wife as she on many front is unwilling to cooperate or compromise on any thing.
    At the moment I am away from the house from early in the morning to late at night at her request to take the pressure out of the system. This doesn’t give me much (no) opportunity to discuss. And even I did I would be told I am wrong.
    Things are hard enough without another list of reasons to not love my wife and get out as described above.
    I hope that makes sense! ?

  11. My friend is exactly as you described, almost every one of them. We went into the house together because neither of us could do it on our own, He was not like this in the beginning, it’s like he doesn’t need me anymore or I have no choice but to stay because of my fiancial situation. So I am trapped. He is like a spoiled brat, always right, getting his way.

  12. I’ve been married to a master manipulator for 5 years now. He reduced my self esteem and self worth to zero.. he accused me of hurting him when I teased him and he left the home. He loves using the silent treatment for days on end. He built trips me by claiming it’s my fault that he is now homeless. I never kicked him out. He stormed out. He is an angry person that is prone to outbursts directed to me. I have my first appointment with a therapist this week coming up. Hopefully it will help me finally find myself again. I miss my sparkle and move forward with my life.

  13. I’ve been married to a master manipulator for 5 years now. He reduced my self esteem and self worth to zero.. he accused me of hurting him when I teased him and he left the home. He loves using the silent treatment for days on end. He built trips me by claiming it’s my fault that he is now out. He is an angry person that is prone to outbursts directed to me. I have my first appointment with a therapist this week coming up. Hopefully it will help me finally find myself again. I miss my sparkle and wish to become the person I once was

  14. Hi, I relate to him doing all of this, but I was looking to see how to stop myself becoming passive aggressive in response to his emotional blackmail!
    I am caring and considerate, gentle and mild-mannered, but I have my limit and then I hit back. I am his supervisor at work, never a good thing I know, but somehow I’ve ended up depending on his financial support and literally freaking out if we split up. Seriously, at work he doesn’t follow the rules, does what he wants, works his hours but objects if myself or my boss have to point anything out on an audit. Recently the client complained about his actions towards another member of staff, stating it was aggression and verbally abusive, but it was the other guys fault. And my fault for informing his boss! that was followed by 2 more complaints and another worker leaving their job. all citing him as the cause. Me raising this to a higher level (citing conflict of interest as my reason for not managing this situation) just inflamed him. When I say That’s it, I quit, you can have it all, I really mean it at the time. I am so exhausted and drained. He goes around after hours saying sarcastically ‘yes big boss’ ‘sorry boss’. he doesn’t understand or care to see why Im not happy or upset. is it me or him who’s doing wrong here? Im good at .t job but i really feel like Im going to throw it all away, I just freak out and feel like I cant cope anymore and need to get away from here.
    please help,

    sorry for rambling, I don’t know who is behaving badly, if not both of us.

    hope you can help

  15. I knew I was in a manipulative friendship and we severed ties a little bit ago. I just read all of this and was able to come up with things she did for all 8 of them. These are serious red flags. Please don’t ever let yourself be put through this. It has life-long consequences and trauma. I still get panic attacks when I see her. It’s not worth staying.

  16. I am in a situation where I second guess myself. I feel like if I’m going crazy.

    I met this person, we became friends. The first day of knowing her she started crying. Playing the victim.

    I felt for it. Then she would do this constantly. she would cry and hug me, making me promise her that I would help her.

    She would say that if I didn’t promise her, it meant that I really was never her friend.

    She would do that a lot.

    She would also not speak to me when certain people were around. She would ignore me completely, as if I did not exist.

    Then she would use seduction, she would be flirtatious towards me. To make up for ignoring me.

    I would ask her for help. She would say yes, but never did.

    She would apologize over and over.
    She even confessed to me of deceiving me, to get what she needed. While apologizing to me.

    She was good and blamed me for everything.

    Until one day I called her on it.

    That why would she not help me?

    She said,” that she could not help me,that we are not friends, and to not talk to her ever again”.

    She owed me money and sent me a bad check.

    She filed a report to the sheriff’s department. Where she lied about me sexually assaulting her and other lies.

    The sheriff’s department threatened me because of what she said about me, and because of her tears she had as she was giving her statement.

    I can prove that she lied. With audio recordings,emails sent between us, text messages, call logs. and a lot more.

    But I was denied all my rights to defend myself because of the threats I received from the sheriff department. which they lied on the report and I have proof of that also.

    I have audio recordings with there consent, where the sheriff’s office tells me that they do not care what I have to say.

    I have lost my job due to all the stress I have been going through. I have anxiety. emotionally screwed up.

    I keep on playing over and over again, what happened. I ask myself why? Is it my fault. I have had suicidal thoughts.

    I am the only provider in my family at the moment since my father is ill and can’t walk. doctors can’t find what is wrong with him. We are struggling to pay the bills.

    I am 31 years of age. The women is 54 years of age. She is a life coach. I asked her that how could she help other people. But screwed my life up. She never answered.

    This has been going on since December of 2017 until today May19,2019.

  17. I’m now at the point where everytime he rants all the past hurt over flows me and especially the hurt he has done to my kids in the past is emotionally draining me.My oldest daughter admitted she moved out cause of her dads treatment to her,all these years I didn’t know this. I’m seeing someone tonight to help me understand where,why and will it stop,ever! It’s been 41 yrs I’m insecure.

  18. That was awesome to know so many people don’t understand that they are being manipulated. I have been in a 3 year manipulated relationship… It took God to bring me out easy. But I know in a lot of ways I’ll never be the same. I want to make sure that I won’t be a manipulator, because hurt people hurt people. I must forgive him and me and to never fall victim to that again

  19. It’s like I keep reading the same thing over and over I tell my wife that she fits every single one to the T and she tells me go marry google. I’m crazy. But after being jailed homeless and penniless I realize that it’s time to go. Even today as she is due to have our second child I was forced to relocate at the last second when I woke up and she wouldn’t answer after taking my last check and knowing I had no money to pay for a hotel room she set up for me when I told her we need a house I can’t afford a hotel and man I can’t believe I just didn’t leave a long time ago.

  20. Wow I’ve been researching how to recognize the signs and every other website I’ve looked at are just so vague , when I came across this and read it , it was like reading a story about my own relationship (current), I don’t know what to do may have to print this out and pin it up on my wall as constant reminder….this has been extremely helpful for me……much appreciated

  21. Understand that ‘normal’ people seek to
    “connect amd respect” when interacting. It is natural to interact both internally and externally in a back and forth pattern. Two ‘normals’ simply do this. output is: internal to external, then received, then external to internal, reflect, then back again., internal to external…..received, etc.

    A manipulative person though, wants you away from your internal orientation and they want you only externally focused on them.
    So the whole focus becomes THEIR internal experience and also THEIR external assessment of it. You are simply responding to them externally.
    And you have lost your internal focus.
    Their center became yours.

    So the key is, keep your internal focus.
    Stay centered.

    Practice with every sentence coming back into yourself.
    It doesnt matter how sensitive or feeling you are. In fact, once you get your orientation right, your sensitivity will be an assest.
    But it takes practice. And using your words.

    So using an example in the article:
    The manipulator says
    “You would never have asked me to help you if you knew how overwhelmed I am. Why don’t you think about me for once?”

    Check in. Not out. Do not go into their defined reality.
    Notice what is occurring. They are controlling the narrative.

    You could say:
    “I do not read minds. You are responsible for your feelings. The truth is I actually WOULD ask you for help, as I DID ask you for help. There is nothing wrong with asking and expressing my needs. Clearly you are allowed to say ‘no’ if you can not help me. I do not appreciate ypu putting that on me. Moreover, I disagree with the assessment that I do not think of you, though I acknowledge it is your right to feel this way….”

    Can you see how this keeps you ‘separate’? Stay separate when interacting with toxic people. Keep defining YOUR reality. There controlling the reality, the interaction, is the goal.
    Your goal is only to control yourself.

    Interactions like this are EXHAUSTING’! For sure, Just look how tedious it is to disect! And then express. This explains why many give in to the toxic person,….because it is a relief from the push/pull BS.

    But this is not the answer. Discernmemt is the only answer to the push/pull. And after you practice and get good at reading the situation, eventually you will fully wake up and realize the relationship isnt worth the invested energy, and the only internally focused message will be to “walk away”. Good luck!

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