7 signs you’re in a relationship with an emotional manipulator 

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When you first fell in love, you would never have imagined that the person you trusted the most would hurt you. 

Why would someone build you up just to break you down? 

Emotional manipulators have the skill and prowess to deceive until they get what they want. They will pull the wool over your eyes for as long as they can get away with it, leaving you questioning what was real and whether you’re losing your mind. 

Emotional manipulators can make you feel loved and wanted one day and dejected and confused the next. That’s why it’s so hard to pinpoint. 

If you find yourself questioning the validity of your relationship, it’s important to recognize these 7 signs you’re in a relationship with an emotional manipulator. 

1) They trick you into trusting them

Emotional manipulators are skilled, and they have a way of quickly gaining your trust and making you feel comfortable. That’s when you let your guard down. Once you’re caught in their web of deceit, they manipulate you. 

How do you know if you’re being manipulated? 

This is the tough part. A manipulative person takes a keen interest in you, and at the time, it feels genuine. You think that they’re so into you and would go out of their way for you, but it’s all part of control. Their “love-bombing” doesn’t come from an authentic place. 

Look out for inconsistencies between what they say and do. Your intuition might be telling you that you can’t let your guard down, or maybe you feel like you can’t fully trust them. 

Stop and listen. 

Your gut could be telling you that something isn’t right about the person you’re with. 

2) They get really deep, really quickly

“I just feel like we connect on such a deep level.”

“You know, I’ve never met anyone like you.” 

You might have heard some of these “sweet nothings” when you first met your significant other. 

At the beginning of your relationship, they seemed to say all the right things, and maybe you got close incredibly quickly, faster than any other relationship that you’ve experienced. 

Red flag. 

Emotional manipulators accelerate the “getting to know you” phase. They make you feel special by sharing their deepest thoughts with you or secrets that no one else knows. 

As you become more at ease in their company, you feel safe enough to share your innermost thoughts and vulnerabilities. 

Once they’ve hooked you and know things about you, they’ll bring these matters up when you argue or when it suits them to control you

3) They create insecurity

How can the person to whom you’ve given your heart make you feel so insecure? Isn’t it all in your head

Emotional manipulators get you where it hurts the most. 

They will go out of their way to make you feel special like you’re the only one, and then play mind games to influence you. 

Remember that the goal of a manipulator is not to destroy the relationship. They want to reel you in so you feel like you need them, and that’s when they target your insecurities. 

Emotional manipulation is all about creating dependence while exercising control. 

If they can make you feel emotionally dependent on them but insecure at the same time, you fall deeper into their grasp. You reach a point where they have control over your emotions, and even if the relationship starts to feel one-sided, it’s difficult to let go of it. 

As an example, a manipulator will play a mind game to attack your intellect and create insecurity. Let’s say you’re working with numbers, and you ask for their help. They might respond, “Let’s go over this again slowly; I know you aren’t good with numbers.”

You react by getting upset or defensive, and now they know how to push your buttons. By making you feel insecure, they boost their egos. 

4) They twist information

It’s hard to admit that your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse is an emotional manipulator because their tactics are so underhanded. They lie, scheme, and alter statements to confuse and deceive you, and sadly, it works. 

Don’t ever blame yourself for falling victim to an emotional manipulator

They are smart individuals who can be very charming, so it’s easy to fall into their trap. They say all the right things so that you fall hook, line, and sinker, and then they change. Subtle behaviors and some of the things they say make you doubt yourself. 

Manipulators certainly have a way with words, and this includes twisting the truth or making themselves look like the vulnerable one in the relationship. 

When you’re dealing with conflict in your relationship, your partner might say, “You know, I cried the whole night and barely got any sleep.” 

They want to be seen as the “victims”.

This skewed reality leaves you second-guessing the part you played in the situation, and you end up sympathizing with them.

5) There’s deflection in your relationship 

Does your partner have the ability to turn a situation around and end up blaming you even when you did nothing wrong? 

It’s something called deflection, and it’s a nasty and scheming way to avoid accountability. Manipulators can’t be wrong, so when they feel like they’re about to be exposed, they will deflect so that you look like the guilty party. 

It is a psychological strategy they use by twisting your words while portraying themselves as the victim. When you confront them about a difficult situation, and you present them with the truth, they find a way to turn the conversation around and pin it all on you. 

This isn’t an obvious act, either. They are so persuasive in what they say that you end up believing them and questioning yourself. The best way to detect deflection is to become aware of patterns, especially when facing conflict. 

Look out for this…

If you and your person have a disagreement and they don’t really listen to your perspective and instead focus on ways of blaming you, it’s a sure sign that something is wrong. 

When you’re aware that they’re lying and refusing to handle conflict constructively, it’s a serious red flag. 

6) You feel guilty for voicing your opinion

In my previous relationship, we got along so well at the start, but over the course of a few weeks, I became aware of the fact that they would disregard or downplay my concerns. If I disagreed with something they said, I would feel guilty for expressing myself, like I’d said something wrong. 

Every time I expressed my sincere concern about their family, friends, or choices, it was met with aggression. I became hesitant to share my views or opinions and realized that this wasn’t a healthy relationship. 

Emotional manipulators don’t want you to think for yourself or express your opinion, especially if it’s going to put them in the spotlight. 

They’ll say things like, “I can’t understand why you don’t trust me,” or “You know that I worry a lot and just want you to let me know where you’re going all the time.” 

Once you start feeling guilty or confused for having an opinion, it’s time to rethink your relationship. 

7) They take all of your emotional energy

Your partner’s mood has a major influence on the way you feel. It has such an effect on you that even if you’re having a good day, everything changes when your significant other is in a bad mood. 

There are days when you wake up feeling emotionally drained, but you aren’t completely aware that it’s your partner who has you under their spell. 

All that matters to an emotional manipulator is how they feel. If they’re in a bad mood, they want everyone to know it, which actually makes you feel bad because they’re having an off day. 

Their attitude affects your emotions, and you find yourself trying to fix their situation even though you aren’t responsible for their mood. 

You’re being manipulated.

Final thoughts

It’s difficult to admit that someone you love and trust is responsible for lying to and deceiving you. Nobody should ever make you question your self-worth or create constant self-doubt because it is psychological torture. 

Emotional manipulators will lie and deceive you into thinking that they care. They want to control and influence you because this makes them feel empowered. Don’t give someone that kind of power over your life.  

You deserve more.

Find the courage to walk away from a toxic relationship. If they can’t manipulate you, they can’t control you. You should always have your own voice and feel truly loved. 

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