Are you dating an emotional manipulator? Sometimes, we confuse manipulation and control for love. We can date narcissists and manipulators who we think that they love us but instead, they just love themselves and their need to control.
Before we know it, we are sucked into a whirl of manipulation and we barely know ourselves anymore. We are living in someone else’s world and have lost touch with our world.
Emotional manipulators can be harmful to your mental health. They can make you lose your self-confidence, esteem, and self-worth.
How can you know if you are dating an emotional manipulator?
They tell you how to feel
Emotional manipulators don’t listen to you when you express your feelings. Instead, they tell you what you should be feeling. They invalidate your feelings and make you feel as if you are overreacting while your reaction is justified.
They may order you to feel different such as telling you to ‘get over it’ or to ‘stop being so sensitive’. They tell you how to feel when your reaction to things is different. For example, if you feel that they have violated your boundaries or are being too possessive, they can tell you ‘you should be happy I care about you. You should not let little things bother you’.
Living with such people can make you doubt your feelings to a point where you don’t know what you should be feeling.
They want you to look different in a way that is acceptable to them
Emotional manipulators will order you to look different such as change your looks to meet your needs. I was mortified as I watched Back with the Ex on Netflix where a man kept telling his girlfriend how to look. He would not talk to her if she changed her hairstyle. She had to cut her long beautiful hair because he preferred a pixie.
There is nothing wrong with short hair but having it should be your choice. I was horrified as I watched this and saw how much it hurt the girl’s esteem. She felt she had to fit into a certain ‘box’ to be acceptable to him. I was so happy when he turned down his effort to get back with her since she had found so much strength and confidence after leaving him.
They make you feel as if your perception is wrong
Emotional manipulators will deny your perception and show you that you are getting it all wrong. They make phrases such as ‘you got it all wrong’ or ‘you always see things that are not there’. This is especially when they are on the wrong and you are calling them out on it. Invalidating your perceptions is disrespectful and you need to watch out for such behavior.
They deny their bad behavior and make it your fault
Emotional manipulators are the kings and queens of reverse psychology. They deny their bad behavior and make you feel guilty for the wrongs that they did. They make statements such as ‘at least I didn’t do (something worse).
They can also make it your fault that they behaved the way they did. “I went off to sleep with someone else because you were not available”. Constant invalidating and making things your fault becomes the routine in your relationship making you lose your credibility in the relationship over time. They invalidate your feelings and make you the bad person to a point where you start believing it.
They try to isolate you
Emotional manipulators want you to rely on them emotionally at all times so that they can control you. They try to isolate you from your family and your friend so that you can increase your dependence on them.
They also make you feel as if you are the only one that finds fault in what they do and that others are ok with it. They make comments such as ‘you are the only one that feels that way. No one else was bothered by it but you’ no one else tells me this is wrong but you.
Such invalidation of your feelings makes you feel as if you are the only one on the wrong and you feel isolated and lonely in your feelings.
They try to justify and reason out their behavior
When they do something wrong, they constantly try to justify their behavior. They show you that you have no reason to get upset because what they did had some good and justifiable reason behind it. Some behaviors cannot be justified and if they are affecting your mental health, they need to be corrected.
They are constantly judging and labeling you
Emotional manipulators judge and label you. They try to show you that you are the problem and that they are doing you a favor by staying with you. They show you how hopeless you are and no one else can love you but them. They show you all your faults, blows them out of proportion, and show you how much they have put up with your so-called faults.
As a result, you lose confidence in yourself and the ability to form healthy relationships and depend on them since you have started to believe that they are the only ones that can love you.
Are you dating an emotional manipulator?
Are you married or in a partnership with them?
Do you have an emotionally manipulative friend?
You need to recognize the signs so that you can figure out how you can get out of such a relationship and become independent, improve your confidence and self-worth, and create healthy relationships.