10 Telltale Signs That Your Partner Could be Manipulating You
Although, there are relationships in which one partner ends up being controlled by the other. It could be that your partner is indirectly manipulating you with simple mind tricks and you just happen to give in to them. Here are some of the most common tricks used for manipulation and some simple ways to identify them and resist them: (While this information is purely subjective, it should never be applied in every situation.
1You are always being the one who is at fault
All skilled manipulators have one thing in common which is being extremely capable of playing the victim and making you feel guilty, even though you shouldn’t be. An example would be something of this sort: When you ask your partner for help and they reply- “I’m busy too, you know! Haven’t I told you before that I’ve got a lot on my hands! Why do you only think about yourself?” Makes you feel guilty for asking for their help, doesn’t it?
Your partner may be egoistic
In such cases, your partner probably is one of those people who think the whole world revolves around them. To resist such manipulation tricks, here’s what you can do:
- First realize that your partner is playing mind games on you to manipulate you.
- Don’t lose your cool and calmly remind them that they are adults too and need to be responsible for their own behavior.
2They are always the victims
Manipulators would always want you to feel pity for them by making it look like they are always the helpless victim. They portray their life to be full of difficulties and misery which will definitely make you feel compassionate about their misfortunes. Thus, you may even go about helping them with any extra work they receive.
They avoid responsibility
They are good at avoiding responsibility by using the trick of asking for a “favor”. If your partner happens to keep feeding you tons and tons of emotional stories regarding their misfortunes in life, then this is generally the case. But, this shouldn’t be confused with your partner trying to gain your support by genuinely sharing their feelings with you whereas manipulators only look out for their own benefit.
3They use provocation
When a manipulator is at a loss for words in an argument, then the next thing they resort to is provocation. They will do or say things that would make any normal person question their sanity and go as far as to trigger your negative emotions and anger. This is to make you so angry that you eventually end up saying something that they can use in their defense. In such a situation, just tell them that whatever they are doing or saying makes no sense whatsoever, and you will witness a tragedy almost like a Shakespearean play.
Once you identify such behavior, remain calm and collected and don’t give in to their provocations. Try bringing the argument back to the original topic, but if they refuse to bulge from their position on the matter and carry with their behavior, simply end the conversation in a polite manner.
4They tend to be rather pushy
When we are given less time to decide upon something, we don’t exactly think how our decision will affect us later. Manipulators often push you to make a decision fast to prevent you from thinking them over in your mind. In fact, it is a question of global importance that you give an answer after taking a minute to think about it.
According to the advice from Preston Ni from Psychology today, it’s always a good idea to never make a decision straight away. It would be wise to take your time in thinking things over. However, if your partner is persistent in trying to push you to make a decision at once, then slow them down by telling that you’re going to think about it.
5Your problems are non-existent
Another common thing about manipulators is that they aren’t really concerned about your problems or if you want to talk about it with them or even share your feelings. This can be noticed when they:
- Avoid any such conversations by brushing you off and claiming to be busy.
- Or turn the direction of the conversation towards their problems like- “Well, it’s awful that you were given this extra work today. Just imagine how I feel when I deal with this kind of stuff almost every day?” It doesn’t seem like your partner cares a lot about you.
In this case, it isn’t easy to protect yourself from such uncaring behavior. The best you could do is break up and find a new partner. Preferably one who is more understanding, caring and compassionate.
Manipulators effectively use emotional blackmail by saying stuff like-“I can’t live without you” which is actually a rather a very selfish and vile feat. By imposing the responsibility of their health and life on you, they play on your feelings of fear and guilt. So when they also say such stuff like- “I’d kill myself if you left me”, don’t pay much attention to it, since it is nothing more than a vain threat. Just remember that they are only doing for themselves and all you got to do is remind them that you’re not exactly responsible for their actions and decisions.
Gaslighting is yet another nasty trick used by manipulators which distorts the past and twists facts to enable them to confuse you and be in the most comfortable position. Saying lines like- “What? I’d have remembered if you asked for help. Something’s wrong with you today. No, I most definitely didn’t call you that” are examples of what this trick looks like in practice. Some even manage to make you question your own memory by using this trick in a very skillful manner. To avoid falling for this game, just consider 2 things:
- To rely on your memory and be sure when you remember things as they were.
- Be insistent that you remember all too well, what is it you had said, but don’t let it turn into a quarrel.
8They are like a broken record
Manipulators are never very keen about discussing your common problems. They are alright with how things are and are quite adept in sneakily leading you to believe that the discussion is over before it actually is. This only results in having old arguments over and over again. It might even be easier to get walls to talk than to get a manipulator to change their standpoint. There are two ways which can help you avoid falling into this trap of theirs:
- Never forget the topic of discussion.
- Remember why the conversation began in the first place and what caused the problem.
- Ask the same question using different approaches.
- If they are treating you in such a way then they don’t exactly deserve any special treatment either, so behave in a similar way with them.
9They play tricks on your mind
“Well, if it isn’t possible to get that blue whale’s heart for dinner, we can always go and dine at that Italian restaurant downtown”. It is often a request that is exaggerated to such an enormous extent followed by a seemingly smaller one. This trick is usually used by manipulators to get what they want from you, and they end up succeeding most of the time. This is because you will most likely give in to the request which is easier to fulfill. To counter such a trick, just remember that you don’t need to choose; neither do you actually have to help. Think rationally and don’t go about comparing and then decide.
10They tend to play dumb
One of the most childish tricks is pretending that you don’t understand or playing dumb, but manipulators somehow manage to pull it off brilliantly. Whatever, they can use they will use in order to keep themselves in a comfortable position. While it is not possible to avoid this behavior, simply bringing your partner to a store and buying them a toy which they want is one way to solve this. Although, this would mean playing into their hands, so here’s what you got to do:
Manipulators will always have this trait in them, and there is no way you will be able to change them. They will always stick to their behavior no matter what, even if it results in the relationship being destroyed. While some manipulators aren’t always aware of such a trait or their words and actions, most of time manipulators are aware of their nature and don’t seem to mind it in the least.