When it comes to emotional manipulation tactics, it can sometimes be difficult to understand that you are in a hostile environment. Emotional manipulators can be masterful at disguising their control as love. There are many types of emotional manipulation. Let’s discuss the top three types.
Odd term that derived from a movie in the 30’s about a husband that appeared kind, caring and sweet towards his wife, an heiress. He used lies and manipulation tactics to isolate her from her friends to steal her fortune. In today’s “self-help” world, gaslighting is often misused. The basic premise is that a person attempts to isolate their partner from others who may be able to spot the abusive partner’s schemes. As a bonus, they use lies and manipulation in a way to coerce your mental health by creating scenarios that cause you to question whether you are crazy. For example, you stated clearly your needs to your partner regarding their upsetting behaviors. What you may get in return is a partner that tells you that the opposite words were used, that you are making things up or even feign care for your emotional well-being (“Are you feeling okay? You seem confused and I’m concerned.”). This technique is quite effective when you fear confrontation, suffer from “fight fatigue” or easily question yourself because you become distracted because you have been told repeatedly about how “off” you are.
This term has gained popularity in recent years. As with the previous scenario, you may state your needs from your partner, and they move further away from you and your needs. Rather than look at themselves and how they can help meet your needs together, they abandon you with a loss of affection, time and care. When you decide that you will simply not be treated in an unhealthy way, this type of partner bombards you with attention and love. They cannot seem to get enough of you. They need your undivided time and attention. They work tirelessly to please you – temporarily. The name of their game is to give the impression that you are being well loved, only to perform the pushing away acts once you settle into the care you believe you are receiving. And then the cycle begins again.
Playing the victim:
Most of us have had some form of trauma in life and relationships. Abusive or absent parents. Dismissive partners. Disloyal friends. This type of manipulator has more abuse than anyone when confronted with their behavior. If you share your disappointment in how you are being treated, they will give you a list of all the ills that they have suffered at the hands of others. Perhaps even at your hands! When they detail their pain, it is to solicit you to assuage their pain by shifting the focus from how they are hurting you and how you should work harder to heal them.
If you find yourself in any of these situations, you will need help to break free from this captivity. Seek professional counseling to enable you to stop this abuse. Long term, this is detrimental to your self-worth and esteem. It is very easy to fall prey to this behavior, particularly when your goal is to love well and be loved in return. Do not face this alone. Call for help today.