Manipulation in relationships is a very common occurrence that most master manipulators manage to get away with, due to their slick ways and powers of subtle persuasion.
Have you ever wondered if this has happened to you without even being aware of it?
It usually starts with little things. One day, you wake up and you realize that you’ve been doing things lately that you normally wouldn’t do but you aren’t too alarmed about it yet so you just brush it off.
You don’t give it too much thought and you just go about your day. Then you start sensing that your partner has been starting to twist and turn your words and use them against you. You feel violated and completely taken aback because he’s so sneaky when doing it.
Master manipulators have a way of doing things that makes everything seem like it’s totally your fault. They make you start feeling completely crazy and you question your own judgment.
You feel like everything you do and say is starting to bite you in the a** because he always makes it seem as if you have malicious intent, whereas it is actually him who turns everything you say and do against you.
You start feeling powerless and like you’re no longer in control of what you do or say and it feels like a bottomless hole you can’t get away from.
Manipulation in relationships is usually evident in a partner who seems to be in your head at all times and before you’re even aware, he makes all your decisions for you. But he is so sly at doing it that you don’t even realize it until it’s too late!
Some manipulators are so good that you almost cannot catch them in the act but if you feel like this could be happening to you, stay tuned, as I have compiled a list of the most common signs of manipulation in relationships that will help you get to the bottom of this!
If you recognize these signs and can admit to yourself that you are being taken advantage of by means of manipulation, you can train yourself to fight it and stop this once and for all!
At first, it seems like he’s joking around but when you think about it, he’s not laughing with you, he’s actually laughing at you.
The tone that he speaks with and that look in his eyes tell you that he isn’t joking. By bullying, he wants to make sure that you are ‘obedient’ and that he has the upper hand.
You don’t even realize it but his jokes are a huge red flag because he’s actually manipulating you into thinking that you are less worthy or that you suck at something.
Why? Well, when the person you love repeats these things every day, it simply starts to become natural, like it’s always been this way.
2. You can’t say no
You simply aren’t able to say no. It doesn’t matter how many times you try to, just the thought of turning down a request from your partner scares you.
Saying ‘no’ just feels like a crazy idea.
You feel weak and helpless every time you try to disobey him, even though you aren’t really sure why it is like that. Sometimes, the things he asks of you are impossible for you to do and you know that the right thing would be to say ‘no’ but at the same time, you just can’t seem to get yourself to say it.
The sneakiest thing about this is that he makes you feel like you’re a bad person if you say no! He appears to have good intentions (which is never true) and if you refuse, you’re the one with a problem.
So you always end up saying yes because he knows just how to manipulate you into doing anything he chooses without seeming manipulative or bossy.
3. You justify your actions
Not just your own but his too. You try to find a reason for the way you’re both behaving.
It’s like you’re always trying to find an excuse for doing everything he asks of you. You also want to justify his behavior, like he needs something from you and you’re the only one who can give him that.
Even to you, the explanations seem awful but you still keep on finding them and justifying your and his behavior.
This is his way of doing things. He makes you make excuses for him! You know it’s not right but it feels easier if you try to believe yourself that there might be a good explanation for his behavior, even though there never is.
4. If you really loved me…
This one shows how bad your partner really is. If he makes you do things by saying, “If you loved me, you would do this for me,” then I don’t know why you’re still with him.
This sentence means that he equates your love with what you do for him.
The most common thing men use this sentence for is s*x, making you believe that s*x is the only true sign of love there is. “If you really loved me…” is kind of obvious but he can also put the same request into different words that have the same meaning.
This one is one of the most common and dangerous ones. He uses your emotions and guilt-trips you into doing things for him because he knows just where to hit where it hurts the most.
A person who loved you would never use your love as an excuse to blackmail you into doing anything. Always remember that! This man doesn’t love you, he is only using you for his own satisfaction.
5. You blame yourself
It doesn’t matter how many times someone told you that it wasn’t your fault, you can’t stop blaming yourself because in your own mind, you are a bad partner.
You feel bad for taking some time for yourself to relax because in your head you should be with your partner, making him happy.
And this is how he gets you. He weasels his way into your head and stays there for as long as you’re not obeying his every subtle order.
When you start blaming yourself for doing something outside of the relationship and having an actual life outside of him, recognize that this is his way of playing mind games with you.
You have every right to do whatever you want and hang out with whomever you like and when you feel like a bad person for that, know that’s it’s time to admit to yourself what is happening and confront it head-on.
6. Emotional blackmail
Dear, emotional blackmail is the worse type of manipulation. It’s disguised as care and love but it’s actually awful.
Telling someone, “I would die without you,” is like telling them that if they left, you’d go off and kill yourself. Of course it would make you feel bad, like you are responsible if they kill themselves.
But please realize that no one’s well-being is your sole responsibility. Don’t accept responsibility for another person’s s**tty, low-blow actions or threats!
If he wants to do something, he is going to do it regardless of you, so never let him make you feel responsible for his happiness. That is entirely on him!
Gaslighting is a common way of manipulation.
It is usually obvious, if you pay attention and search for the signs. For example, he says you didn’t say something or that he didn’t say something, or he reinvents the past and makes up new scenarios that make you believe that you have completely lost your mind.
If he’s been doing it for quite some time now, you’ll feel like you can’t even trust your own mind, so you start trusting him completely.
You feel like you need your partner by your side to feel sane, as you’re seemingly losing it when he’s not there. He is the one who keeps you in check and only by his side do you feel sane and normal.
8. Convenient neediness
Let’s say you and your partner need to go somewhere but you know he really doesn’t want to come along, so he suddenly starts feeling under the weather and cannot seem to go.
Or you need him to clean up after himself, as he’s made a complete mess of the house but he suddenly has a throbbing headache and he can’t move from the couch or listen to you yell.
This is why it’s called convenient neediness. It only happens when the manipulator needs it as his way out of something! This one is easy to spot, so if this happens in your relationship, recognize it and put an end to it.