Having meaningful conversations about differences of opinion support a healthy relationship. If one partner is a manipulator, the results are damaging to the other’s entire well-being. Here are 7 red flags that will show you the difference between gentle persuasion and cruel manipulation.
THEY ENGAGE IN GASLIGHTING
They may try to put words in your mouth or make you seem unbalanced in front of others. The whole time, they act with false sympathy as they continue to erode your confidence and independence.
THEY’RE ALWAYS BETTER
In every group of family, friends, or coworkers, just about everyone has that irritating person who is a “one-upper.” No matter what you’ve done or seen, they have done or seen better. If anyone is daring enough to mention an accomplishment, look out for the volley of “better than” statements.
THEY OFTEN PLAY THE MARTYR’S CARD
A martyr is one of the four personality archetypes explained by an article published in the Journal of the Society of General Systems Research. Unfortunately, manipulative people are talented actors when it comes to persecution. The only difference is that they are pretending, and they’re only out for their benefit.
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THEY MAKE BACKHANDED COMPLIMENTS AND JOKES
Shakespeare wisely penned that many truths are said in jest. Toxic and manipulative people have the skewed idea that you can negate an insult by saying, “just kidding.” They don’t care that they are the only one who’s laughing.
THEY DON’T VALIDATE YOUR CONCERNS OR FEELINGS
Someone who loves you and cares about your well-being will be empathetic to your feelings. Even if your perception is a bit off, nobody has a right to tell you how to feel or think about things. A true lover will validate your feelings as important and worthy to be heard.
THEY TRY TO MAKE YOU FEEL GUILTY
Nobody is above using a few guilt tactics to get their point across to another person. However, people who are easily guilted into doing things they don’t want can be targets for manipulators. These toxic personalities are virtual travel agents for guilt trips.
THEY CONSTANTLY CRITICIZE YOU
A true lover brings out the best in you and offers sincere praise for your accomplishments. When you’re with them, you feel loved, worthy, and appreciated. If you are being manipulated, your self-esteem may burn out quickly due to the toxic environment. Manipulative people gain attention to themselves by belittling those around them, mainly their significant others.
Have you experienced manipulation before?
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