7 Signs you're the victim of an emotional manipulator

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by recoveringenabler, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    7 Signs You’re The Victim Of An Emotional Manipulator
    From Daily Vibes

    Emotional manipulation happens much more often than we realize. We have probably all been guilty of it at some point, in small subconscious ways at least. This is a far cry however, from the purposeful and likely malicious emotional manipulation of a chronic abuser.

    These individuals are practiced in their skill and have done their research. They know exactly what to say or do to push your buttons and get whatever they want out of you. It is essential to be able to discern the behavior of an emotional manipulator so that you can avoid the emotional trauma and permanent damage they cause.

    1. They make you feel guilty for their transgressions.
    An emotional manipulator is always a master of placing blame. They will find ridiculously convoluted ways to blame anyone and everyone, and most likely you, for all of their shortcomings. If they stood you up for an appointment, it’s because you didn’t give them a clear time, if they forget for the 100th time to bring back the textbook they borrowed from you it’s because you didn’t remind them before they left the house.

    No matter what it is, you’ll end up apologizing for something they’ve failed to do.

    2. They’re always the victim somehow.
    This is demonstrated partially by the behavior mentioned above. If the stories and explanations behind every screw up portray this person as a constant victim of circumstance or other people, it’s probably due to an inability or unwillingness to take any personal responsibility.

    3. Their actions never match their words.
    Emotional manipulators are masters of language. They will make promises and use flattering words to lull you into a sense of trust and security, and then they will fail to follow through on pretty much every promise they make. This is because they never intended to follow through in the first place.

    4. They lie about things that don’t even matter.
    These people have gotten so used to weaving webs with their lies that even tiny, inconsequential details get twisted into white lies that serve no actual purpose. They embellish so much of their lives that they’re almost incapable of just telling the straight truth, even when lies aren’t necessary.

    5. They are gold medalists in the pain olympics.
    Manipulators are by nature, one-uppers. The minute they hear somebody talking about a struggle or a bad thing that happened, they’re prepared with an even wilder, more sympathetic story to garner attention with. They know that sympathy is a powerful tool and they’ll use any opportunity they can get to increase how much you feel for them.

    6. They set you up to believe you’re negotiating.
    This is a very popular and well known tactic amongst manipulators. They will pose a question in a specific way that makes you believe you came to a compromise, when really you’ve simply agreed to the demands they had all along.

    If they want to borrow money they’ll ask for 50$, expecting you to say no, as soon as you deny them that, they’ll say “Well anything helps, 20$ would be great?” and you’re much more likely to accept this and cave to the request. You think you’ve made a deal, but all they wanted was 20$ to begin with. They knew just how to get it from you.

    7. They are experts in faking mutual trust.
    The emotional manipulator requires your trust in order to fool you. They need your sympathy, but most of all they need your trust. The most effective and quick way of doing this is to insist and demonstrate to you how much they trust YOU.

    They will stop at nothing to convince you that you are the top of their list, ride or die closest friend and confidante they’ve ever had. This way you see no reason not to reciprocate that trust. It’s a human instinct to want to trust someone else, and if we feel like they are giving us their trust, we begin to feel almost guilty if we don’t return the sentiment.

    This is the unfortunate truth behind this “trust” of theirs however, all of those secrets and intimate, personal things they’ve shared with you are false. They know how to be careful and will never give you ammunition with which to take them down.

    Emotional manipulators are dangerous and they can be hard to spot, but if you pay attention and never forget your own worth, don’t let anyone tell you what you do or don’t know, or what is or isn’t true, you don’t have to be a victim.
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  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    Thanks for posting.
  3. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    This list fits my son to a T.

    Great info, thanks for posting.
  4. Ironbutterfly

    Ironbutterfly If focused on a single leaf you won't see the tree

    Mine too. Thanks for posting.
  5. Acacia

    Acacia Active Member

    Thank you. I need to read this over and over again.
  6. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member

    Great post really hit home.
  7. Gran2Angels

    Gran2Angels Member

    This was good for me to read. Thank you.
  8. LosingitMom

    LosingitMom New Member

    :)Thank you for this post. It is also my son's behavior. I will continue to read this and keep in mind who and what I am dealing with.
  9. Triedntrue

    Triedntrue Well-Known Member


    “The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.” – Philip K. Dick

    Most people don’t realize when they’re being manipulated. This is because manipulative people are good at what they do. They tend to use certain phrases that can make them seem like they’re entirely harmless. Most people don’t realize that these are the hallmark phrases of an abuser – or know how to respond when they’re met with them. Here are the common phrases a manipulator uses, and how to stop them in their tracks.


    This is one of the key phrases that manipulators use. It makes them seem like they’re not in control of their actions. They want you to think you are the reason for their behavior. This phrase can be particularly jarring, especially when the manipulator has done something to punish you for a perceived slight against them. Manipulators are particularly fond of this phrase because it can be used to control other people by making them hyperconscious of their words and actions.

    How to respond?

    “I didn’t make you do anything”. Standing your ground and letting a manipulator know that you’re not going to fall for their tricks is key. You don’t have control over anyone but yourself. A manipulator has control over their own actions. Don’t let them trick you into thinking they don’t. According to Preston Ni, M.S.B.A, it is important to avoid self-blame when it comes to a manipulator, and make sure to keep the responsibility of their actions on them.


    Manipulators want to get into your head and make it seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about. When you try to bring up a problem that you have, a manipulator will often respond with “You’re acting crazy”, or something similar. They may also accuse you of being irrational or insist that you’re not making any sense. This is to get you to back off, and to reframe them as the logical person in the argument.

    How to respond?

    Stay calm and collected. You may feel yourself getting more and more frustrated, but it’s important to stand your ground when it comes to responding to this phrase. State your position clearly and calmly and refuse to get caught up in trying to prove that you’re being rational.

    Manipulators love using this phrase to make it seem like whatever concerns someone has are just a figment of their imagination. If a manipulator does something deliberately to upset you, they may claim that you’re just ‘overthinking’ it when you try to confront them about it. Pattern recognition is important when it comes to avoiding manipulators, and this is one of the biggest red flags there is.

    How to respond?

    This particular phrase may be the beginning of a manipulator trying to gaslight you. If you are ever told that you’re overthinking something, trust your gut instinct. Say, “I am thinking clearly, and I need you to respond to my concerns.” Forcing the manipulator to face their actions is a key step in responding to their manipulation.

    4. “I’M SORRY.”
    Most people would be over the moon if they got an apology from someone who had hurt them. But, “I’m sorry” is a manipulator’s favorite phrase. This is because a manipulator will use the “Catch and release” tactic when it comes to manipulating. A manipulative person will apologize over and over, without ever actually modifying their behavior. But since they always apologize, it seems like they’re really trying to be better … even when they’re not.

    How to respond?

    “Thank you for apologizing, but I’m not ready to forgive you until I see a change in your behavior.” According to Preston Ni, being able to control your boundaries is key when it comes to handling a manipulator. Knowing how to say “No” will help keep you safe when it comes to responding to someone’s manipulation. If someone doesn’t change their behavior, they need to know that you can see right through them.

    Final thoughts

    Manipulators know their targets’ weaknesses. A manipulator deliberately “creates an imbalance of power and exploits the victim to serve his or her agenda,” concludes Ni. They also know how to act, and usually have just the right things to say to make them seem like they’re more innocent than they really are. Being able to respond to common manipulative phrases will keep you from getting caught up in a manipulator’s web.

  10. Helpless29

    Helpless29 Member

    Thanks for posting!