Not everyone wants to be a good guy. If you’ve never had any experience with manipulators and gaslighters, you’re a lucky one.
But, if you’ve met someone that seems a bit sketchy, I suggest you steer clear of them. Perhaps your boyfriend is starting to look more like someone else and it’s ringing alarm bells?
He’s acting weird all of a sudden but you don’t know what to make of it. You’re not quite sure if he’s cheating on you. He’s been lying lately and making up all kinds of excuses. You can’t quite comprehend his new behavior, so maybe it’s all of it?
When you find yourself stuck in this kind of situation where you’re being treated unfairly, it’s hard to differentiate between cheaters, manipulators, and gaslighters.
What are some traits that they have in common? If you’ve ever been cheated on before, then you’re probably aware of some of the obvious signs.
All three of these have a common characteristic that helps them make a fool of you. They’re efficiently doing this by constantly lying to you.
These can be small, white lies that are meaningless to them, but are greatly affecting you. A cheater will always avoid telling the truth, such as where he’s been or who’s that person he’s constantly texting.
Why? Well, he’s cheating on you. A manipulator will use lying as his strongest asset for doing what he does best – manipulating.
On the other hand, gaslighting is when he’s trying to change your perception of reality. So a gaslighter will use lies to help him convince you of anything. He’ll do that to make you feel crazy. Also, it’s an attempt to try to convince you that you’re imagining things so he can rewrite the history.
A made-up history of events is supposed to make you realize you’re losing your mind when you’re actually not. When you’re constantly surrounded by these lies, it can take its toll on you.
Whatever you think is true or real, it ends up being wrong. In the aftermath, this can leave you quite isolated from the rest of the world, because you find yourself unreliable.
It doesn’t only affect your relationship with the outside world but it can also make you their prisoner. This way, they gain full control of you and your thoughts.
You become heavily dependent on them and constantly ask for their opinion. This is what they initially wanted, to be pulling all the strings.
Once the behavior intensifies, you feel cut off from the rest of the world. You view them as the only person you can confide in.
2. Defensive behavior
When you’re dealing with a person that’s trying to manipulate you, they will never admit to it. Even if you muster up the courage to confront them and talk to them about how you feel.
They will always put up walls around them and won’t even let you question their choices, because what they’re doing is always right.
You’re the one that’s always making things up, just think about it. If you suspect your boyfriend’s cheating on you and you try to question him, he gets all wound up.
It always backfires because the person that’s taking advantage of you will always blame you for doing the same thing to them.
It feels like you can never win in these types of situations because they never want to take the blame for any mistakes. Moreover, they never make mistakes, according to them.
Defensive behavior is one of the things that cheaters, manipulators, and gaslighters have in common. That way, you can’t even begin to question their actions and decisions.
It’s their way of playing it safe.
3. Shifting the blame
If you encountered any of these three types of people, you noticed another thing they have in common – they never pay the price.
They will always try to put the blame on someone else. Whatever the problem, you’re always the one found guilty because it simply can’t be them.
All of the things cheaters, manipulators, and gaslighters have in common that I previously mentioned will just help their case.
When you try to deal with this behavior it always results in failure and more pain for you. Therefore, you just decide to give up at one point because it’s not worth it.
This is the worst thing you can do because it only adds fuel to the fire. It amps them up more and they see it as permission to keep going.
You can even find yourself taking the blame for everything that’s happening to you. This can remind you of victim-blaming where you’re the one at fault that all of this is happening to you.
They may convince you that you’re just not good enough and that you deserve to be treated this way, which isn’t true!
4. Emotional absence
When you’re in a relationship with a person that’s cheating on you, you’ll notice that he’s emotionally absent most of the time.
It means he’s physically present but when you need him to be there for you, he’s nowhere to be found.
For manipulators and gaslighters, they can pretend they’re emotionally involved in the relationship when they’re actually not.
This is another tactic they have in common – they’ll find an approach for you to fall for them and before you know it, you’re emotionally attached to them.
You’re giving them all your love but getting nothing in return because they’re only tricking you. When you finally find out they’re not the person they pretended to be all along, you’ll be crushed, to say the least.
Discovering that someone’s been using you this whole time can greatly influence your mental health. It can lead to feeling depressed, suffering from anxiety, and panic attacks.
You’ll also feel as if you’re not good enough which will only make way for further deterioration. Not to mention your lack of self-esteem that’s only deepening.