How to recognize manipulation in the relationship and how to react to it
People who manipulate want power and control over someone.
They know very well what they will do or say to trap the other person in their web of manipulation.
Manipulators know their victims’ weaknesses very well and know exactly how to use them against them.
When you are manipulated by someone, once it starts, there will never be an end to it. The manipulating person will never want to stop and only you yourself can end this state, and below you will read how to get rid of the toxic manipulation.
It can sometimes be difficult to recognize manipulative behavior, especially if you have been with this person for a long time and you consider this behavior from your partner to be completely normal.
Most of the time, a third person will spot this and warn you that you are being manipulated.
If you realize that you are being manipulated in the relationship, you shouldn’t walk this path alone, but ask someone for help. You can ask someone in your circle of friends or family to support you and be by your side.
Signs that you are being manipulated in the relationship
If your partner constantly makes you feel like you’re feeling emotionally empty, restless, or insecure, chances are you’re being emotionally manipulated in your relationship.
To recognize this, you must have good instincts and trust them as well.
Below we will list and explain signs of emotional manipulation. If you recognize most of these signs in your relationship, then chances are you are being manipulated by your partner.
1. Passive-aggressive behavior
A person who acts passive-aggressively doesn’t show how they really feel when something is bothering them or when they have a problem with someone.
The person avoids stating exactly what the point is and uses tactics to avoid discussing it.
Sarcasm can also be a sign of passive-aggressive behavior.
You may see that this person is angry but says everything is fine and doesn’t want to say exactly what the matter is or what you did wrong.
This person just wants attention and to make you feel bad about something that you have no idea what the real reason is.
2. Gas lighting
Gaslighting means that a person blames you for their wrongdoing and denies it.
When you tell the person they did something wrong and the person replies that you are too emotional, you take everything to heart, and there is nothing wrong with the behavior, that’s called gaslighting.
The person is trying to make you believe that your feelings are not real or valid.
Never blame yourself for something someone else did or said. You have the right to be angry and not to forgive when someone has hurt you badly.
You are not overly sensitive, you are hurt and the partner should be aware of their wrongdoing!
3. Withdrawal and Withholding
Another tactic used by manipulative people is to distance themselves from someone in order to “punish” that person.
Maybe you did something insignificant to this person and now this person doesn’t want to talk to you after all, but is silent all the time. The person wants you to apologize for your behavior, even if you have no reason to.
He may even not want to be intimate with you because he feels “hurt.”
This is a typical example of manipulation because this person plays the victim and draws attention to themselves.
If someone punishes you with silence too often, don’t keep apologizing and blaming yourself for your behavior. Don’t let anyone manipulate you.
If someone tries to manipulate you, they will try to destroy relationships with your friends and family, especially if one of your loved ones expresses their dislike or distrust of the emotionally manipulative person.
It’s easier to manipulate someone when they have no support and are isolated from others.
We all talk to our friends or family when we have problems and complain when our partner has said or done something bad. The partner wants to isolate you so that no one can see their manipulative behavior.
5. Extortion and Coercion
When someone blackmails you or forces you to do something you don’t want to do, that’s the highest level of manipulation.
More often than not, the partner threatens that they will divorce you (or leave you) if you don’t do what they want.
Some people also threaten that if you don’t do what they want, they will harm themselves, and this behavior can be extremely problematic.
In such a situation, you should definitely turn to someone who can help you, because finding a way out of such a situation on your own is not easy.
6. Accusations and lies
A person who engages in emotional manipulation usually takes no responsibility for their behavior.
They lie to others so that they present themselves better in the eyes of others.
The person may even try to blame you to make you doubt yourself and what actually happened.
The right reaction to manipulative behavior
It’s a terrible feeling when you realize you’re being manipulated by someone you love.
It takes a long time to get there because most of the time you are blind and blame yourself for the problems.
Most of the time we are made aware of our partner’s behavior by someone else, because when we have been manipulated for a long time, we find our partner’s behavior normal because it is part of our everyday life.
Here are some examples of what you can do when you realize you are being manipulated.
1. Show self-compassion
You may feel guilty when someone has manipulated you and you set boundaries for that person.
You should respect yourself more and know that you should always stand up for your emotional protection because who else should if not you.
You cannot change the manipulative person’s behavior, but you can stay away from them and thus prevent further manipulation.
2. Seek help
If you don’t know how to get out of this situation on your own, you should contact someone who can help you.
If you want this person to realize what they are doing wrong, you should see a therapist together. The therapist will see what is at stake and will confirm with you exactly what is at stake and what you can do about it.
3. Don’t downplay the manipulation
If you realize that you are being manipulated, you should not downplay the matter.
Try addressing the manipulation in a direct conversation with your partner. Tell him exactly how you feel and that you will not allow this behavior to continue.
If your partner doesn’t find anything wrong with their behavior and doesn’t see it as manipulation, you should consider whether it’s worth continuing to be with that person.
Put yourself first in life because nobody deserves to be a puppet.