Psychology: When love turns into manipulation

the most important information at a glance

  • Emotional manipulation is when someone puts pressure on you based on your feelings and emotions.

  • Whether it’s a friendship, a relationship or a family: emotional manipulation can occur in any type of relationship.

  • There are various signs of emotional manipulation and tips you can use to protect yourself from emotional manipulators.

How we feel in a relationship has a huge impact on our self-confidence and well-being. If you feel unfairly treated, anxious or even afraid that you will not meet the other person’s needs, it may be emotional manipulation. You can learn about the warning signs and how to protect yourself here.

This may have happened to you before: you meet up with a friend, you catch up, but then you feel bad and exhausted. Do you feel like she told you things that weren’t true? Or maybe you revealed information that you really wanted to keep to yourself? Then you should rethink your encounter: Can your girlfriend manipulate you? These warning signs and tips will help you recognize emotional manipulation and protect yourself.

6 common signs of emotional manipulation

Whether it is a relationship, friendship, family, or even work, emotional manipulation can occur in any interpersonal relationship. If your partner insults you, lies to you or even blackmails you, you should question your relationship. Because in the long run, emotional manipulation can undermine our self-esteem and make us question our own mental health.

Note: Are you dealing with a toxic relationship? Is it time to break up? Thanks to this, you will find out whether your relationship still has a chance.

Sign 1: Lying truths

Of course, we all don’t want to be lied to and it’s not always easy to recognize a lie. However, if you feel like the other person is telling you things that never happened or is denying facts that actually happened, this may be a sign of emotional manipulation. Manipulative people are adept at lying. Often they don’t even feel guilty about lying. You want to change the perception of others, convince them of something and put yourself in the right light.

Our tip: If you think they are lying to you, be wise to question the stories. If he needs explanations, becomes upset, tries to justify himself, or withdraws, it is a lie.

In the clip: How to recognize liars by body language

Sign 2: Feeling anxious

At first glance, emotional manipulators seem very open, good-natured and sociable. They try to develop compassion and sympathy and build (supposed) trust in order to reveal their vulnerabilities and secrets to others. However, if you notice that the other person is looking for certain information that you really don’t want to reveal, hold off, otherwise the manipulator could have his hands on you later.

Our tip: Be careful who you trust with what. Defend your needs and only say what you really want to reveal. Don’t let yourself be blackmailed and distance yourself from this person if you feel manipulated.

In interpersonal relationships, we should take care of ourselves to be well. These tips will help you: How to spot toxic friendships. and that’s how you know someone is jealous of you. Do you suffer from fear of loss? Watch out for these red flags in on-off relationships. Is your loved one controlling you? This way you can recognize jealousy and respond to it appropriately. Are you a match? Every couple should ask themselves these questions.

Sign 3: Assignment of blame

Do you feel like you never do anything right in your relationship or that you are to blame for all the problems and conflicts? Then you should adopt an observer’s perspective and try to look at the situation neutrally. Manipulative people do not admit to mistakes, do not deny guilt and do not dramatize other people’s small mistakes. As a result, affected people develop feelings of guilt and remorse. You want to make amends for what (allegedly) happened – and the manipulator benefits from this.

Our tip: Stay true to yourself and become aware of your emotional world. If the other person takes on the victim role, ask them reflective questions such as, “What do you mean, blaming me?” or “is it fair to treat me this way because of a small mistake?”

Signs of bad people

Sign 4: Disrespect

In a healthy relationship, you must show respect in your interactions. If-then statements, insults, and disappointed comments show a lack of consideration for your own needs. So if you feel that your interlocutor is putting pressure on you to meet his expectations or you will suffer the consequences, it means that you are exhibiting manipulative behavior.

Our tip: Try not to make threats or pressure. Respond to disrespect objectively and, in the worst case scenario, cut off contact. No one deserves to be mistreated by their loved ones for no reason.

Sign 5: Comparisons with others

Sentences like: “If my friend had done that, this wouldn’t have happened!” or “My friend could solve this much better than you!” it can put you and your behavior in a bad light. Outsiders and you even doubt your own common sense. A manipulative person hopes that you will change yourself and your behavior.

Our tip: Insist on not being compared, because after all, you are an individual and you don’t deserve to be hurt by comparisons. Set boundaries and defend yourself.

Hurt by bad people? You can now post these sayings and quotes on Instagram – after all, we can better overcome frustration with encouraging words.

Sign 6: Excessive charm

If the other person often showers you with compliments before your wish or request is made, you may suspect that he or she is manipulating those around you. Behind the revealed gesture there are selfish motives to influence you and gain an advantage for themselves.

Our tip: Favors and gestures from other people should not be conditional. Question your motives and don’t be blinded. If you feel like someone is manipulating you, don’t be afraid to say no.

Have you perhaps already ignored some warning signs while dating? Here you will learn what red flags mean and why we often do not want to accept them.

Emotional manipulation: how to protect yourself from it

Emotional manipulation can have serious consequences and wreak havoc on our nerves. If you feel like you are being emotionally mistreated in a relationship, you should set boundaries early on. Here are some tips to protect yourself from emotional manipulators:

  • Step away as soon as you notice signs of emotional manipulation. After all, you deserve someone better!
  • Don’t trust your interlocutor too quickly and only reveal what you really want to reveal.
  • Take the observer’s position and ask about the situation: Is the emotion coming from you, or was it influenced by another person?
  • Set boundaries that no one can cross and stay true to yourself.

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