Being in a relationship which is actually a manipulation is more common than you think. But, this doesn’t mean emotional manipulation is easy to detect. Therefore, if you have doubts about the quality of your relationship, here are 10 signs is actually a manipulation.
- Your partner tries to change you
The first sign of emotional manipulation is your partner’s desire to change you. He doesn’t accept you as an independent individual and actually doesn’t love the true you- he only loves his idea of you. So, when he gets to know you and realizes you are a person who has her own opinions, attitudes, and desires, he does everything in his power to change you, so you could fit his imaginary standards. For him, you are not a person for yourself- you are just a victim of his emotional manipulation and he needs you to have specific qualities and characteristics to be a suitable one.
- Your partner is emotionally blackmailing you
Another form of emotional manipulation is emotional blackmail. This means that your partner constantly threatens to leave you or cheat on you if he doesn’t get his way. It also goes the other way around- he blackmails you that he’ll do something harmful to himself if you leave him. While you may think that he simply loves you so much and doesn’t know what he would do without you and that is the reason why he is so dramatic, he is actually only tugging your heartstrings and blackmailing you to stay with him- not because he loves you, but because he enjoys manipulating you.
- Your partner is playing the victim
Constantly playing the victim is a form of emotional manipulation similar to the prior one. If your partner is always playing on the emotional card, it doesn’t have to mean he is all that sensitive- it is possible he is actually manipulating you. Sometimes, men present themselves as emotionally damaged and want you to feel like a heroine who is destined to save them and open up their heart to true love. Many women fall for this form of manipulation and take this as a challenge. If your boyfriend has presented himself like this, he could be just creating an alibi for his emotional manipulation.
- Your partner gaslights you
Gaslighting is a form of emotional manipulation in which the other person is trying to convince you that some things didn’t happen the way you think they happened or that they didn’t say something they did and that you have misinterpreted everything. In the beginning, you know very well what went on and what you heard and saw, but after a few times you’ve experienced gaslighting, you start to think you are losing your mind. This is one of the most powerful forms of emotional manipulation because it allows your partner to behave in any way he wants and it gives him an opportunity to distort the truth. Gaslighting is often hard to recognize, because it doesn’t mean that the emotional manipulator will directly lie to you, but he will twist the truth and re-invent the past.
- Your partner is passive aggressive
When you confront your partner about some things that are bothering you, he doesn’t want to explain a thing to you. The same is when he is bothered by something you’ve done- instead of telling you loudly and clearly what is the matter, he gives you the silent treatment and simply shuts you off. You may think that he is simply a man of few words and that he has trouble verbalizing his emotions, but this is actually a form of emotional manipulation called passive aggressiveness. With doing this, your partner literally trains you into not complaining and into not doing anything that could possibly bother him, because you want to avoid his behavior that follows. Of course, this gives him an open path to behave the way he wants, without any consequences.
- Your partner’s kindness is doubtful
Sometimes, your partner pushes you into the corner with doing something kind you never wanted him to do. He simply doesn’t ask for your opinion nor does he consult you about some things that are relevant to you, as well. Instead of doing this, he makes a decision on your behalf and sometimes even presents it as a favor. For example, he’ll book a trip he really wants to go but assumes you’ll reject, without even consulting you. This way, you can’t change anything because you feel like you’ve been pushed in the corner and even if you complain, you are afraid you’ll be ungrateful. Remember, when you are dealing with an emotional manipulator- everything he does, even his kindness always has a reason.
- Your partner never takes responsibility
Every relationship is a two-way street. So, if you and your partner often argue, it is impossible for it to always be just yours or just his fault. But, that is exactly how he wants things to look like. Every time you two have a conflict, no matter who is really to blame, he somehow manages to make you feel guilty. He never takes responsibility for his actions or words and even if he admits he is guilty from time to time, he will try to assure you were the one who caused him to do or say something, so everything is actually your fault.
- Your partner tries to control you
No emotional manipulation could ever be successful if it weren’t for the controlling part. In the beginning, you may think that your partner is crazy about you and you may consider his jealousy to be sweet. But, with time, you see that he is actually a control freak. He tries to control your every move and especially who you spend your time with. This way, your partner wants to limit all of your social interactions with him only, because he is afraid somebody close to you will try to open your eyes sooner or later. It is easier for him to manipulate just you than to manipulate you and everyone around you.
- Your partner diminishes your feelings
When you are with an emotional manipulator, he will do everything he can to diminish your feelings. According to him, when you two have a conflict, you are always exaggerating and overreacting or you are simply too sensitive. He is always the one who is calm and cool and you are always the one who is annoyed and crazy. But, he doesn’t want to take responsibility and admit that he is the one frustrating you and causing you to be like this. He wants you to think you can’t trust your emotional reactions and that you are really blowing things out of proportions.
- Your partner changes their behavior every time you want to leave
If you are in a relationship with an emotional manipulator, you feel like you are dating two different people. He has one personality all the time, but whenever he feels like you’ve had enough and that you are about to leave him, he changes drastically. All of a sudden, he becomes the best possible boyfriend ever and you think this is it- he changed and he deserves a second chance. But, this is all a part of his emotional manipulation.