10 Signs You’re Being Manipulated
by Rebecca Hieronymi
Have you ever wondered if someone was manipulating you? Are you concerned you are being taken advantage of? There are measures you can take to protect yourself. Here are 10 signs you’re being manipulated.
1. They constantly make you prove yourself: If a person never respects your boundaries and they often guilt trip you into doing things for them, even if it’s inconvenient for you, this could be a sign they are manipulating you. You may find that you often overextend yourself because you fear upsetting them or letting them down.
2. Passive-Aggressive communication: Manipulators prefer to communicate passive-aggressively and won’t hesitate to talk about you behind your back. They fear confronting you in person and will often use a middle man to let you know they are upset or angry with you.
3. Gaslighting: Gaslighting is a manipulative technique and is also a form of serious abuse. This technique is used to make you feel like you can’t rely on your own memory. For example, the manipulator will pretend like they didn’t say or do something hurtful to you and will twist the truth and reinvent it making you question your sanity.
4. They’re “just joking”: Manipulators will take their jokes too far in order to hurt you and when you stand up for yourself they will tell you that you’re being too sensitive. Manipulators also won’t mind embarrassing you in public either and when you tell them to stop, they’ll tell you that you’re making a scene or bringing down the mood.
5. They play the victim card: If you ever find yourself in an argument or disagreement with a manipulator, they will always make you feel like it’s your fault. They will not take responsibility for anything they’ve done wrong and will play the victim who has been hurt by you. You may even find yourself apologizing to them!
6. They kill you with kindness: Manipulators will play the “nice guy” or “nice girl” and do favors for you and later use them to make you feel pressured to return the favor. They will buy you gifts or give you compliments when in reality they are only doing these things because they have other motives.
7. They make your problems feel small: Manipulators always want the spotlight. If you ever complain about having a bad day or a difficult situation you’re going through, a manipulator will play the comparison game and minimize your problems by talking about their own.
8. They emphasize their calm, cool and collected side: If you ever express your anger or frustration openly, a manipulator will keep calm just to make you feel like you are overreacting. This technique makes them feel superior to you because they appear to be calm and collected while they know you look like you’re being dramatic.
9. They use emotional blackmail: If they tell you they will harm themselves or commit suicide if you leave or break up with them, they are trying to gain control using emotional blackmail. This leaves you in an unfair position where you feel obligated to stay against your own will. If someone is threatening suicide, you should call 911. (If you are feeling suicidal please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255)
10. They take advantage of your trusting and sensitive nature: Manipulators often seek out sensitive and overly trusting individuals. If you’ve ever been told by others that you wear your heart on your sleeve or that you’re too nice, take precaution and keep your vulnerability at bay.
Do any of these signs sound familiar? If you think you’re being manipulated, Crisis Services of North Alabama is here to help. Please contact us locally at 256.574.5826, on our 24/7 HELPline at 256.716.1000, or at our website www.csna.org. Advocates provide free, confidential support to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.