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Emotional Manipulation

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Tony 4 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #63859

    Tony
    Participant

    How can you tell you’re being emotionally manipulated? And what is the best thing to do? I’ve always felt compassion is the cure for all but I feel like I’m emotionally sacrificing myself.

    #63861

    popi
    Participant

    Hello Tony,
    I think there is not emotional manipulative person…..We create our relationships and we can control them , to be the victim or the culprit !
    It’s how you can see yourself in ANY occasion.For example if you think you are a victim,you are. If not,then you are not.
    It’s always about how you see yourself,and how much self-confidence you have.To be more self-confident surround yourself by good people.Good people will help you feel okay about yourself.This is one step to find happiness,there are many of them.
    Τreat yourself like you worth the best…And you are worthy.See yourself like a king and all the bad feelings about YOU ,will disappear.

    #63862

    Inky
    Participant

    If you feel it, or even question that you are, then yes, there is some emotional manipulation going on. To test the waters, say “NO”, even if it’s for a trivial thing, and don’t back down. The other person will take your “NO” (“Will you buy me a Coke, I have no money”) as a personal attack.

    “Why won’t you buy me a Coke? You are withholding. Are you mad at me? I know you have $$. I’m really thirsty. I can’t believe you won’t do this one small thing for me. Well Jane, my best friend, has always bought me Cokes, I’ll ask her. ETC.!”

    Or, your “NO” may be met with profound, ruminating silence. They’ll know that you’re on to them, that they’ll have to change their ways.

    Or, they will disappear at the “NO”, never to be seen again.

    Or, $$ will be missing from your wallet, exactly $1. And an empty Coke can will be next to your purse.

    #63868

    Matt
    Participant

    Tony,

    Consider that compassion gives us a warm spaciousness that allows their packaging to unwrap, stop being “about us” and about our “$1”. From Inky’s example, it is like sitting and hearing their thirst, for attention, for a coke, for caretaking… without it pulling on your side, demanding action from you. Maybe give them a coke, despite their unskillful asking, or perhaps some water, perhaps a hug, perhaps walk away. What feels right?

    Be steadfast, because skillful giving is different than enabling, such as giving what feels right, versus giving what is asked for. A child may insist a loving parent gives them cookies for lunch, but that doesn’t make it true! When we allow their hunger and desire for cookies to remain on their side, we can smile, give them an appropriate lunch, and not feel drained. Giving the cookie, or accepting no cookie=no love, is usually what leaves us feeling like we’ve sacrificed.

    If you’d like something more specific, feel free to be more specific yourself. 🙂 Good luck!

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #63870

    Cinamon Streva
    Participant

    I think any time you feel neglected, unheard, undervalued, or that your voice doesn’t get a chance to be heard you are being manipulated or mistreated. If dealing with this person makes you feel drained, exhausted, and hurt- it isn’t a healthy relationship. Now, that being said- what about- no one can MAKE you feel anything without your permission (I’ve thought about this long and hard about my relationship, but I’ve found that I ended up making myself feel guilty, unlovable, rejected because of their actions, of course, the most confident of people would feel that way if subjected to someone who again and again disappoints us) what about-if you are a centered, well adjusted happy person- no one can make you unhappy- that’s bs! I am a very optimistic cheerful person by nature. I love everyone and everything and I have given more years than I care to admit trying to make my marriage work while being emotionally abandoned and ignored. Every time I have to make a decision or get something done or have a discussion with my spouse that involves him helping me, supporting me, listening to me, “getting me” or getting on board with me- I am met with resistance, avoidance, stonewalling, interruptions, and the conversation is twisted around such that basically I am told that I am unreasonable, have expectations that can’t be met, am not realistic, am too needy, etc. If trying to communicate with someone makes you feel like you’re banging your head against a wall, they are trying to get their way and twist things around to fit their comfort zone. My husband isn’t a bad guy. He just doesn’t know how. We’ve been through therapy and all kinds of crap and he still doesn’t get it. It’s not about taking me out to eat, or physically being in the house, or taking about the garbage, it’s deeper meaningful connections that matter. It’s a selflessness in a relationship, it’s trying to make someone’s life easier and better not harder. These people are exhausting and it isn’t their fault, but they won’t change if you keep playing your part in the dance and put up with it. You have a right to be heard, to have what you want from life, to make your own decisions, to feel loved, to be taken care of, to feel worthy and wanted and needed.

    #63878

    Big blue
    Participant

    Hi Tony,

    I agree with the advice above. A manipulator has a tattered play book that works with your weaknesses. Mine can be acting as a rescue fixer. In this and another case, yes – I had the thought or feeling that I was being manipulated. I removed myself from the situation, but could has done it sooner. Self awareness has helped me to turn up that radar.

    To help with your radar, there is a good article called “How to Recognize and Handle Manipulative Relationships” on the Psychology Today blog.

    To help with your weakness that they sense and exploit, be aware of your tendencies, plus do the heavy lifting to love yourself, be kind to yourself, build your self esteem – get your mojo going strong, but not in an arrogant way.

    What do you think?

    Big blue

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 3 months ago by  Big blue.
    #63956

    Tony
    Participant

    Thank you so much for the responses. It’s my first post and already I can see how great this community is.

    I also agree with Cinamon Steva. I was recently in a ‘relationship’ with someone who made me feel that my feelings were never warranted and that I shouldn’t feel a certain way. I was so blind to it initially because of my overwhelming feelings for her and because she was going through a difficult time, I showed her compassion and treated her in the way which I would want to be treated if I was in the same situation.

    Looking back, I feel like I’ve been used and abandoned. I’ve always been open and honest with my feelings but as soon as I spoke about how I felt to her I’d be shut down and now we are not longer in touch with each other. She has decided its best we don’t see each other anymore. Respecting her wishes, I have agreed.

    I now feel resentful to both her and myself. I’m frustrated at myself for not recognizing I was being emotionally manipulated earlier. She says I’m frustrated because I have expectations and have an ulterior motive. This really hurt me, however I know who I am, and I know I’ve never given love with the expectation of getting something in return. I don’t think her actions are intentionally there to hurt me, but I’ve been let down time and time again and when I speak up about feeling let down, I’m told we’re not ‘dating’.

    I wanted to develop more of a relationship with her, however it became too exhausting and detrimental to both of us in the end so I will not look back and try salvaging anything. I feel sad and disappointed at the loss of something which I hoped could potentially be special and fulfilling for both of us. I am getting over it slowly.. I’ve been reflecting and trying to learn and grow from this experience.

    Thanks for all the responses.

    #63960

    Matt
    Participant

    Tony,

    A person with compassion cannot be manipulated, much like a person with no possessions cannot be stolen from. If a manipulator is given compassion, it has the space for the need they have and the unskillful quality of their asking. It does sound like you expected her to do better with feelings, honor your side more tenderly, see you as her prince… but perhaps she is unready/unwilling/unskillful/incompatible. The compassion in you doesn’t care about such things on her side, just a river that flows come rain or shine. A friend that was troubled, given love and tender attention, and was helped. That’s plenty.

    Its perhaps the romantic spirit inside you that is feeling hurt. Which is normal, and I’m sorry she didn’t see you with those eyes. But, with such a good heart and a captain that’s learning to love well, you’ll find your princess. Don’t let her reactions quench your hopes, there are many women out there looking for someone exactly like you. Keep walking, keep smiling, and you two will find one another when you’re both ready. 🙂

    With warmth,
    Matt

    #63966

    Mariposita
    Participant

    I dont have too much experience with relationships, but if you feel there is something wrong about the way the other person is treating you, you are probably right.. Follow your heart!
    Ask yourself if you want to spend the rest of your life with someone that manipulates you, or if you want to find someone who treats you with the respect and love that you deserve!

    #64001

    Tony
    Participant

    Thank you Matt. I suspect you are right. That romantic side must have much ego to feel so hurt. However I have been feeling much better than I thought I would. I’m doing my best to accept as they are right now. I did my best and that’s all I can ask of myself. Learning to love is well is not easy!

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