Do you have trouble recognizing when someone is manipulating you? Do you ever find yourself doing things you didn’t want to do so someone wouldn’t be mad at you? Many people who come to my office tell me that, without knowing how, they found themselves living a life they didn’t want, with a great feeling of empty, sadness it’s from frustration. And it is that when we place ourselves completely at the disposal of others, failing to respect what we need, we lose ourselves and, little by little, we become vagabonds who walk aimlessly through our own lives.
Most of us grew up with the message, “To be a good person, I have to think of you before myself, otherwise I’m selfish.” If you grew up with this message, will you believe that put limitsIt is take care of you is synonymous with selfishness and if there is someone who is manipulating you at this moment, it will certainly remind you every time that, with effortsay something no.
yes you have fear of rejection or lonelinessIf you have low self-esteem, it’s important that you can work on it, as this fear makes you a perfect target to fall for. victim of manipulation.
How does a manipulator act?
People who tend to interact with others using manipulation are often experts at turning the tables at their convenience. They seek at all costs meet your needs and, for that, they use all kinds of strategies. They can lie, deny you what they told you before, make you believe you’ve gone crazy, use assumptions to not give a clear message and leave you thinking, confuse you, underestimate you, blame you, victimize you themselves… You will always be the villain of the movie and will rarely admit your mistakes.
It is easy to manipulate, mainly because many behaviors that they use, we normalize them to the point that sometimes when we are faced with lack of respect, instead of leaving where they are not treating us well, we stay to make them think and try to change their mind. It’s like saying, “How can you be thinking this about me? I’ll explain myself better so that you can really understand what I mean.” This doesn’t help us. First, because anyone who doesn’t want to understand you, no matter how hard you try, won’t want to understand you and, second, because we should keep in mind that the more we justify ourselves, the more we feed our insecurity and the more we empower the person who tells us he is manipulating. Being such good public speakers, they will leverage any information you give them to use to their advantage.
So, little by little, your self esteempromoting your insecurity and you frustration. I’ve seen many cases where in the end the victim ends up normalizing this type of behavior so much and trusting himself so little that he continually justifies his handler with phrases like: “if I hadn’t made so many mistakes”, “if I hadn’t done this so bad”.», «if I had made the effort to go. It wouldn’t have been like that.”
If you are feeling identified with this, remind yourself that you are not a mistake and that no, you cannot always act so badly. Just feeling this is already a symptom that you are being a manipulated person. Those who love you in a healthy way don’t cause you this discomfort.
How do they manipulate you?
• to blame: «Because of you I got angry and became like that».
• censoring and throwing in your face everything they’ve sacrificed for you: “it seems incredible that you tell me you can’t come with me for this, with everything I do for you”.
• They victimize themselves and bribery emotionally, generating a deep sense of guilt and sadness. This form of manipulation is more subtle, as they tend to do it calmly, assuming this victim role. Which will make you feel like a really bad person for not helping them or not fulfilling what was expected of you.
• ignoring youi.e. pretending you don’t exist by avoiding talking or making eye contact with you.
• Screaming, insulting, threatening… this is a less subtle and more aggressive form. In general, when they behave with us in this way, we can recognize that this form of communication is not healthy, it is aggressive and it creates fear in us. Sometimes fear can paralyze us just by seeing the name of the person who manipulates us on our cell phone.
• With destructive criticism. You can use humiliation, underestimation, irony, negative labels or value judgments about our own person. Some examples are: “you are a selfish person”, “you are sick in the head”, “what a disappointment of a person”, “what a shame I feel”.
• Confusion It is assumption: This occurs when they hold you accountable for what they think. That is, they think you are thinking badly of them and make you believe that what you think is not real, without telling you directly. They use the assumptions: “If you did that, it’s because then you don’t love me”, “if you didn’t come to see me, it’s because you really don’t care about me”, “that’s ignorance”.
• They may also “blame” you for things they really don’t want to do and weren’t willing to do in order to confuse you It is make you feel bad. For example, I remember a patient who felt bad because she had a brother who, when she called him, he said that he didn’t like talking on the phone, when she wrote to him, he said that he was too lazy to read messages , who did not use WhatsApp. When she invited him to an event, until the last minute he didn’t know if he was going to show up or not and when he did show up he always made a comment like: “I’ve been trying hard to come”… But if there was any anger afterwards, he would kick her out . guy she never proposed to do anything, neither called him nor had communication with him. This is an example of how someone has no interest in building a close relationship, but takes the opportunity to hold him accountable and try to confuse him, making him think you’re the one who doesn’t want it.
As you saw, there are more direct and more subtle forms of manipulationIn general, the ones that confuse us the most are the ones that are done in a more passive and subtle way, the ones that connect you completely with the feeling of guilt and are barely noticed.
Questions to know if they manipulate you
If you feel that there is someone in your life who continually makes you feel guilty, uncomfortable or invaded, I invite you to ask yourself these questions to help you identify possible manipulation:
We cannot change something we are not aware of, so the first step will be to become aware. Don’t forget that in a manipulative situation, trying to change the person or make them see reason will be like throwing all your energy into a broken bag. So he avoids reasoning. if you are being victim of manipulation, it will be important that you learn to identify the traps of the manipulator to avoid falling into them. It is important that you learn to protect yourself.
You have the right to say no, to express your opinions, desires and needs, without feeling guilty.