Whether we like to admit it or not, at some point in our life, most of us have realized that we’ve been manipulated. Our parents, siblings, cousins, lovers, and friends could all try to deceive us. Sometimes, it’s unintentional other times it’s not.
I know it’s hard to admit that those people closest to you would actually want to hurt you. But you have to do it for the sake of your well-being.
Honestly, we’re all human beings, we make mistakes and occasionally, we do bad things to those who mean the world to us. But sometimes, this reaches a whole other level.
Even if you think that your partner is not capable of hurting you, or if you’re convincing yourself that your family members only want what’s best for you, there are times when the opposite is true.
Are you ready to hear the ugly truth and see how tricky our relationships can get without us even realizing it? Buckle up to find out all about different types of manipulation that can be hard to spot.
Since this one is the “most popular” type of manipulation, it was natural that we wanted to mention it first. Do you know what gaslighting is? Would you try to justify your boyfriend’s attempt to convince you into something, even though you know it’s not true?
Imagine that someone gets so deep in your mind that you can’t even think straight, so you start questioning yourself and your actions. You feel like you’re losing touch with reality and everything you thought you knew suddenly makes no sense.
That’s what gaslighting looks like. The one who’s doing this to you is actually manipulating you and you have to leave that toxic relationship as soon as possible.
2. Love bombing
This is the type of manipulation that we kind of accept and don’t see as a completely bad thing. Especially if it comes after little mishaps that occurred in everyday life. But, what is it all about?
Well, your partner will shower you with a bunch of gifts, give you a million compliments and make you feel important. Narcissists will use this, particularly at the beginning of a relationship to get you hooked. When someone is nice to us, we tend to open up faster, and that’s exactly what they want.
Once they have you aboard, they’ll use this technique every time they cross your boundaries or hurt you deeply.
If you’ve received a very expensive necklace after the big argument you had the night before, pay attention to his behavior a bit more. Maybe you fell into his trap.
This one has nothing to do with love triangles, except that it includes three people. When we’re talking about triangulation, the person you’re having an argument with will pull someone else into it, just for them to win.
Your partner, friend, colleague at work, or even your siblings can use this method to isolate you and make you stop questioning them. They will tactically choose the third person, someone who’s definitely going to stand their ground. And just like that, you’re ready to surrender.
Projection is the type of manipulation that’s not so easy to spot simply because you’re not aware that you’re being victimized. Your abuser will express all of his negative traits, project them onto you and make you believe you’re a bad person.
So, the manipulator may say that you’re controlling and manipulative because you casually asked who he was talking to. But in the end, he’s the flawed one and is simply trying to project his issues on you.
5. Moving the goalposts
This is something that even your parents may do to you, most of the time without even realizing it. Moving the goalposts is all about presenting your achievements as not good enough. Perhaps they think that it will push you forward, but it actually affects your self-esteem.
Because of this, you may constantly ask for approval and chase after people who’ll treat you the same way. You have to stop that vicious circle because relationships like this are everything but healthy.
6. Changing the subject
Maybe you consider this as a normal thing during long conversations, especially if you like to go into details when telling a story. Well, I hate that I have to be the one to tell you this, but it’s a form of manipulation.
Believe it or not, changing the subject is a form of maltreatment. This kind of behavior is devaluing you and you may start questioning your intelligence and ability to have normal conversations with other people.
7. Picking your insecurities
When your abuser is using this type of manipulation, it’s obviously because he wants to hurt you. Badly. Why would you pick on someone’s insecurities if you cared about them?
This is not always so easy to spot, simply because you may think that the person abusing you actually has good intentions and is trying to help you toughen up. You’re too sensitive, change that! Yeah, there’s a switch for that…
8. Guilt tripping
Okay, this type of manipulation can be used by everyone around you and if you tell me that no one ever guilt-tripped you, you’re living in denial. Your mum at least once told you that if you go out with your friends, she’ll have to drink that afternoon coffee alone.
Did your boyfriend ever tell you how he felt lonely because you decided to attend your best friend’s bachelorette party? Perhaps, one of your co-workers said that if you’d just sent them the sheet earlier, they would have done their part on time.
There you go, you know exactly how it feels.
9. Victim blaming
This usually happens if you’ve been a victim of long-term emotional abuse.
Let’s say that your partner started guilt-tripping you and you’ve decided to react because that situation was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Maybe you’d raised the tone of your voice, and boom, he was the victim and you were an abuser.
He’ll make you feel bad about your reaction and convince you that you actually did something to deserve his treatment. It’s pretty sick if you ask me.
The mentioned types of manipulation are just the tip of the iceberg, but they are actually the most common ones. None of them are easy to spot, so you should be extremely careful. If you notice that someone is mistreating you, respect yourself enough to leave.