Do you know someone who always makes you feel guilty, like you can’t do anything right without feeling judged by them? If so, this person may be an emotional manipulator. The act of psychological manipulation is to alter one’s thinking via indirect and deceptive tactics. Think of someone who plays mind games to make you feel bad for them.
Emotion manipulators want sympathy from others and cannot admit they are wrong. In fact, they will get defensive whenever you question their beliefs and make you feel like your opinions are not valid or even worth thinking about. Think of it as if you are the marionette and they are the puppet master. They know how to manipulate you to do what they want, and you will give in since either way you’ll feel guilty.
The reason why someone will manipulate you is often because they have some sort of insecurity. They could be in heavy denial and unable to admit they are wrong about something going on in their life, or the world, and will project this fear in a destructive manner and deny any wrongdoing. Those who are vulnerable to psychological manipulation will often give in due to feeling guilty. They will often have an idea in their mind that it’s their fault and feel bad, due to how the manipulator has spun the story. Often those who manipulate are good at turning something that was their fault into something that is your fault, and you will often accept it and go along with the story. This guilt trip never ends and you can never win the debate against this person.
Sometimes those who are the nicest tend to be the most controlling and manipulative. This may stem from past issues and abuse, from feeling insecure, to just wanting to be better than others. But the fact remains, when one tries to control someone else, that often indicates they are out of control and out of touch with themselves.
What you can do if someone is emotionally manipulating you is to first analyze the situation to determine if it really is your fault. Do you blame yourself for something that appeared to not be in your control? Is the manipulator making you feel guilty non-stop, demanding things from you in a way that may not seem like demands? Do they make you feel bad for them for struggling with something, so you give in to their every whim? If these are true, it’s a strong possibility that you are dealing with a psychological manipulator who knows how to pull your strings to get what they want out of you.
So now what? You have two options, which is to first open up and talk with them, if possible, or cut them out of your life. Opening up and talking about what you are feeling is always the first step since it’s possible that you could help them realize how they are making you feel, and even become aware of a trait that they may not be aware of within themselves.
If they refuse to listen, continuing to blame things on you, then your next course of action is to cut them out of your life. Maybe it’s a close friend or someone you have a lot of history with, which can be difficult to move on from, but you have to do what is best for you, and if this person is making you feel guilty all the time, then you may be better off without them.
Whatever you decide, please understand that not everything is your fault. Accept responsibility when you did something wrong, and don’t let others make you feel bad. If someone is treating you poorly, then you certainly deserve better.
Let me know how this works for you. Have a great day!
I cannot say I’ve personally run into emotional manipulators, largely due to the fact that I have no tolerance for those who abuse or manipulate me. I will speak up if they do, and if they don’t respect my views, then there is no point in having them in my life.
Regardless, many people are oblivious to others’ abuse and manipulation. If this is you, then learn to spot the signs and open up about how this person is truly making you feel. If you are unable with a friend or relationship, then you deserve better, and the first task is to open up and speak your mind. Then if you can reach the person, progress can be made.