For the emotional manipulator, it’s all about power and control.
I'm pretty sure we all have at least one person in our lives who makes us feel bad about ourselves through the use of guilt. The mere mention of their name makes your pulse quicken with anxiety and frustration.
You aren't a doormat, so why do you keep letting them walk all over you? They're standing there continually ringing the doorbell, and every single time, you cringe. Know what this is called? Emotional manipulation.
If you're a people pleaser and/or someone who shies away from conflict, this is the hardest, most hurtful type exploitation — mainly because you're not actually doing anything to deserve it.
So what's the point? What's this person's angle and why do they keep doing it? For the emotional manipulator, it's all about power and control.
A one-time bashing, whether subtle or overt, is not good enough. It has to be continual so they know exactly where, when, and how to coerce you. What does this look like for you? Well, the emotional manipulator in your life is using you for their benefit through creating an imbalance of power.
They use negative humor to poke at your weaknesses and disempower you. These critical remarks, disguised as humor or sarcasm, are specifically targeted to break through your armor and make you feel sh*tty.
Preston Ni, a communication success specialist, talks about the signs of emotional manipulation. He states that by making you look and feel bad, the aggressor hopes to impose psychological superiority over you. And by continually taking it, you're allowing them to succeed.
Victimhood, guilt-bating, the silent treatment, and manipulation of facts are just a few more signs of an emotional manipulator. Sound familiar?
C. JoyBell C. said it perfectly: "There are those whose primary ability is to spin wheels of manipulation. It is their second skin, and without these spinning wheels, they simply do not know how to function."
In other words, it's not an accident. They know what they're doing to hurt you, and they'll continue to do it over and over until you put a stop to it. Whether it's a friend, co-worker or family member, remember your fundamental human rights.
You have the right to be treated with respect and to protect yourself from being emotionally and mentally threatened. These rights represent your boundaries. Enforce them, and you take away the emotional manipulator's power.
Just remember, YOU are NOT the problem.
In the wise words of one sexy Tom Hiddleston, "When people don't like themselves very much, they have to make up for it." And they usually make up for it by trying to make you feel worse about yourself. The worst person knows your weaknesses and exploits them, hurting you in the process.
Assess the situation, keep your distance, and remind yourself that there's a difference between forgiving someone while protecting and standing up for yourself, and allowing another human being to continually wound you.