May 27, 2020
In relationships, sometimes people feel that something is wrong. A person might feel not quite comfortable, not happy with his own actions, with his own appearance, etc. This individual might feel pressured, less happy - these might be the signs that the person is being manipulated. If you feel like you are questioning yourself, your actions, etc., more than usual, then it’s not a good sign.
We all tend to lose confidence sometimes, but if we lose it because of someone else’s actions or words, it’s not OK. We want our goals accomplished, our needs to be met, but some people tend to rely on their own forces, while others use methods that are more cunning than natural. It’s not healthy if someone, especially in a romantic or friendly relationship, is using tactics that help them directly influence the person so he or she will do what they want. By meeting people on online dating websites, as fitness dating sites, for example, it might turn out that the person is trying to manipulate you.
Most healthy relationships are built on the basis of trust and respect, if someone wants to achieve something, they just say it. But when someone has hidden motives and influences the person to gain an advantage, it is not good. The manipulator is not capable of showing his emotions and of saying directly what he or she needs. So this person is trying to impact others indirectly to achieve needed results. The person who manipulates others is controlling these people, which is not right.
Sometimes it is easy to notice that your conscience is being manipulated. Like when you go to the store and see the actual price is crossed out and there is a new, lower price - a discount. When you visit a website of the manufacturer who produced this product, you see that that new price is actually the standard price.
So this is a simple case of manipulation when the seller is crossing out one, higher and not the real price, and then offers the actual price as if this is a discount. In such a way, the seller is trying to achieve his goal by indirectly impacting clients. He can’t make others buy the product on their own. so he uses hidden tactics.
This is an easy case, everyone is aware of what sellers do to achieve their goals. But there are cases when it’s very difficult to understand that you are being manipulated. Especially, by a person who you trust. Only some indirect signs show that something is not quite wrong. So let’s talk about these signs.
Manipulators make other people feel less confident in their words. For example, you said or did something that you know is 100% right. But manipulators will use your words or actions that way that you start questioning whether you were right. Eventually, you feel confused and can’t figure out whether you are right or not, which makes you feel bad.
Manipulators tend to add double meaning to your own words. You were talking about your feelings, about your thoughts, and the manipulator turns everything upside down. They blame you and make you feel as if you did something wrong, but you just can’t figure out where is your fault. So if you feel not quite confident in your own words, or you start questioning yourself more than usual, especially because of someone, that’s a bad sign. Recall in your memory exactly what you meant. That way you might regain confidence.
As it was mentioned, the target of a manipulator experiences negative feelings. In different cases, targets experience different negative feelings. A common case is when the manipulator uses fear as a tool. Usually, the manipulator in such a case is more aggressive. The target of manipulation feels scared of not doing what the manipulator wants. You’d think that the target would understand that it is manipulation, but unfortunately, a lot of people don’t see it that way.
If in a relationship someone is using fear as a tool and then claims that it’s for your own good, so you have to do something, it’s an unhealthy behavior and you are being manipulated. If you don’t want to do something, but you are afraid not to do it, it’s manipulation. And no excuse will make it right - it is unhealthy to influence others by using fear.
If a manipulator is using less aggressive tactics, he might cause you to feel obligated to do something you don’t want to do. If you feel intimidated by this person, and that you must meet this person’s expectations, that is manipulation. The manipulator might not even say it directly, but you will feel obliged to do something.
In the previous two examples, the manipulator is more aggressive. But there are other cases which are even harder to detect. Like when a person is playing the role of a victim. These so-called victims might not even blame you directly, but you will feel that you want to meet this person’s expectations. How can you live knowing that someone is suffering, you must do anything to make this person feel better - a case of manipulating your feelings of guilt?
Abusing social norms is a common cause for manipulators. When someone who is not a manipulator makes a favor, they don’t quite expect something in return. Or at least these people won’t make you feel bad for not doing something in return. You won’t feel like you did something wrong when someone has offered help and you just agreed on receiving the help.
Manipulators, on the other hand, will abuse social norms. It’s hard to understand that this person is a manipulator. He or she will be kind and generous, nice to others, and extremely helpful. But they will always expect you to do something in return. They will ask, and if you don’t do what they want, you will be displayed as a bad person.
A simple example, let’s visit the store again. The salesperson has explained to you how the product works, what are the advantages, he even gave you a discount, claiming that that’s the best deal ever. But you don’t really want to buy this product. You are simply collecting data, comparing prices, you wanted to visit another similar store near the place where you work. But how ungrateful you are. The salesperson is watching you, expecting you to buy this product. He wasted the time on you, how can you not buy the product?
It might be a plain example, but that’s how it works. If someone is doing something for you, it’s their decision. The person has decided to spend time, to give you a favor, but it wasn’t your decision. Which means you are not obliged to do something in return. Manipulators often use it in friendly and romantic relationships to gain what they need.
It’s important to figure out what makes you feel bad. When you notice that, do not allow that affect you ever again. If you feel like someone is trying to manipulate you, don’t make rash decisions. It can be related to personal life, to business, to receiving some services or buying something. Before making a decision, you have to think. You need to figure out if you need it, so don’t give the answer right away. Delay your decision or answer, and you will have a chance to figure out if you are being manipulated.
Sandra Manson is a passionate journalist who has been contributing to major media publications. She enjoys writing about human psychology and lifestyle. Sandra also runs her blog singlehearts.org where she covers topics of great interest in modern society.