We all hear the buzzword manipulation being thrown around these days, but what does it really mean? Manipulation means ‘to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage.’ Being in a manipulative relationship can feel like you’re being controlled, trapped, and alone. Manipulation can be hard to spot so let’s take a deeper look at how this could manifest itself in a relationship.
- Bullying– this is a more obvious sign of manipulation where you often have to do tasks for this person, even if you don’t want to or it’s unfair, because the consequence of not doing them will be large.
- Are you never in control? Does your partner get to go to his social gatherings, the restaurants he chooses, and the vacations he decides? Is your partner the one that is always calling the shots and taking control of your life? After all, manipulation is all about control.
- Push and Pull— Does he say demeaning things to you, leave the house, then send you a text message saying he’s at the pound looking at the puppies you wanted? Those acts that quickly pull you back in and keep you around are some of the most dangerous elements of manipulation.
- Does he use your love against you? Asking you to do things for him and saying “if you really loved me” you would.
- Does your partner play the victim? Does every fight end with you apologizing and feelings like an awful person?
- Threats– does he threaten you saying he would hurt himself if you leave him?
- Gaslighting– does your partner make you feel like you are going crazy? Gaslighting is a form of manipulation where the person makes you think you are losing your mind, forgetting details, saying things, and twisting your words.