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Thread: Eight Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation

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    Default Eight Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation

    I wish I would have seen this article sooner, before I dated a girl which met 6/8 criteria on this article.
    What are you thoughts and opinions of this list? Have you ever met people who had these traits?
    Reposted from: Eight Ways to Spot Emotional Manipulation


    Emotional manipulators get extra marks for subtlety. A patronizing, mind-fucker can bend and twist and warp but somehow after a period of time they set off the ol’ bullshit meter. An emotional manipulator is smoother. You’ll have to adjust the sensitivity of your bullshit meter to escape unscathed. What is emotional manipulation? Well, emotional manipulation is a method of using words, body language and behavior for the purposes of provoking a particular reaction, getting a desired response or to just plain ol’ screw you over. If the emotional blackmailer is any good, he’ll having you offering to bend over for one more time, "anything you want dear." Lets talk about how an emotional manipulator works and how to recognize the game (because it very much IS a game) so you can reset that bullshit meter and safeguard against a possible attack.

    1) There is no use in trying to be honest with an emotional manipulator. You make a statement and it will be turned around. Example: I am really angry that you forgot my birthday. Response - "It makes me feel sad that you would think I would forget your birthday, I should have told you of the great personal stress I am facing at the moment - but you see I didn’t want to trouble you. You are right I should have put all this pain (don’t be surprised to see real tears at this point) aside and focused on your birthday. Sorry." Even as you are hearing the words you get the creeped out sensation that they really do NOT mean they are sorry at all - but since they’ve said the words you’re pretty much left with nothing more to say. Either that or you suddenly find yourself babysitting their angst!! Under all circumstances if you feel this angle is being played - don’t capitulate! Do not care take - do not accept an apology that feels like bullshit. If it feels like bullshit - it probably is. Rule number one - if dealing with an emotional blackmailer TRUST your gut. TRUST your senses. Once an emotional manipulator finds a successful maneuver - it’s added to their hit list and you’ll be fed a steady diet of this shit.

    2) An emotional manipulator is the picture of a willing helper. If you ask them to do something they will almost always agree - that is IF they didn’t volunteer to do it first. Then when you say, "ok thanks" - they make a bunch of heavy sighs, or other non verbal signs that let you know they don’t really want to do whatever said thing happens to be. When you tell them it doesn’t seem like they want to do whatever - they will turn it around and try to make it seem like OF COURSE they wanted to and how unreasonable you are. This is a form of crazy making - which is something emotional manipulators are very good at. Rule number two - If an emotional manipulator said YES - make them accountable for it. Do NOT buy into the sighs and subtleties - if they don’t want to do it - make them tell you it up front - or just put on the walk-man headphones and run a bath and leave them to their theater.

    3) Crazy making - saying one thing and later assuring you they did not say it. If you find yourself in a relationship where you figure you should start keeping a log of what’s been said because you are beginning to question your own sanity --You are experiencing emotional manipulation. An emotional manipulator is an expert in turning things around, rationalizing, justifying and explaining things away. They can lie so smoothly that you can sit looking at black and they’ll call it white - and argue so persuasively that you begin to doubt your very senses. Over a period of time this is so insidious and eroding it can literally alter your sense of reality. WARNING: Emotional Manipulation is VERY Dangerous! It is very disconcerting for an emotional manipulator if you begin carrying a pad of paper and a pen and making notations during conversations. Feel free to let them know you just are feeling so "forgetful" these days that you want to record their words for posterity’s sake. The damndest thing about this is that having to do such a thing is a clear example for why you should be seriously thinking about removing yourself from range in the first place. If you’re toting a notebook to safeguard yourself - that ol’ bullshit meter should be flashing steady by now!

    4) Guilt. Emotional manipulators are excellent guilt mongers. They can make you feel guilty for speaking up or not speaking up, for being emotional or not being emotional enough, for giving and caring, or for not giving and caring enough. Any thing is fair game and open to guilt with an emotional manipulator. Emotional manipulators seldom express their needs or desires openly - they get what they want through emotional manipulation. Guilt is not the only form of this but it is a potent one. Most of us are pretty conditioned to do whatever is necessary to reduce our feelings of guilt. Another powerful emotion that is used is sympathy. An emotional manipulator is a great victim. They inspire a profound sense of needing to support, care for and nurture. Emotional Manipulators seldom fight their own fights or do their own dirty work. The crazy thing is that when you do it for them (which they will never ask directly for), they may just turn around and say they certainly didn’t want or expect you to do anything! Try to make a point of not fighting other people’s battles, or doing their dirty work for them. A great line is "I have every confidence in your ability to work this out on your own" - check out the response and note the bullshit meter once again.

    5) Emotional manipulators fight dirty. They don’t deal with things directly. They will talk around behind your back and eventually put others in the position of telling you what they would not say themselves. They are passive aggressive, meaning they find subtle ways of letting you know they are not happy little campers. They’ll tell you what they think you want to hear and then do a bunch of jerk off shit to undermine it. Example: "Of course I want you to go back to school honey and you know I’ll support you." Then exam night you are sitting at the table and poker buddies show up, the kids are crying the t.v. blasting and the dog needs walking - all the while "Sweetie" is sitting on their ass looking at you blankly. Dare you call them on such behavior you are likely to hear, "well you can’t expect life to just stop because you have an exam can you honey?" Cry, scream or choke ‘em - only the last will have any long-term benefits and it’ll probably wind your butt in jail.

    6) If you have a headache an emotional manipulator will have a brain tumor! No matter what your situation is the emotional manipulator has probably been there or is there now - but only ten times worse. It’s hard after a period of time to feel emotionally connected to an emotional manipulator because they have a way of de-railing conversations and putting the spotlight back on themselves. If you call them on this behavior they will likely become deeply wounded or very petulant and call you selfish - or claim that it is you who are always in the spotlight. The thing is that even tho you know this is not the case you are left with the impossible task of proving it. Don’t bother - TRUST your gut and walk away!

    7) Emotional manipulators somehow have the ability to impact the emotional climate of those around them. When an emotional manipulator is sad or angry the very room thrums with it - it brings a deep instinctual response to find someway to equalize the emotional climate and the quickest route is by making the emotional manipulator feel better - fixing whatever is broken for them. Stick with this type of loser for too long and you will be so enmeshed and co-dependent you will forget you even have needs - let alone that you have just as much right to have your needs met.

    8) Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability. They take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior - it is always about what everyone else has "done to them". One of the easiest ways to spot an emotional manipulator is that they often attempt to establish intimacy through the early sharing of deeply personal information that is generally of the "hook-you-in-and-make-you-sorry-for-me" variety. Initially you may perceive this type of person as very sensitive, emotionally open and maybe a little vulnerable. Believe me when I say that an emotional manipulator is about as vulnerable as a rabid pit bull, and there will always be a problem or a crisis to overcome.

    Some would say it is possible with time, a great deal of honesty and communication to work through emotional manipulation. Personally I think life is short and precious - the only worthwhile thing to do when confronted with an emotionally manipulative person is to broom their ass to the curb! A relationship with an emotionally manipulative person is similar to re-exposing yourself over and over and over to a highly toxic and potentially fatal virus. Each brush with it reduces your immunity and weakens your defenses. It can take more time for someone that has been in an emotionally manipulative relationship (read: abuse) to recover than it does for someone that leaves a physically abusive one. At least you can name that punch that hit you. Emotional abuse is subtle. It is insidious. It is dangerous. If you are in it - walk away and never look back. Make it a rule!

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    Also, if you find yourself getting pissed for no particular reason around certain people, and not understanding why, that's a good indicator.

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    Uh... When you're around someone like that, doesn't you instinct kick in? I just don't waste time with people that suck
    maybe a saint is just a dead prick with a good publicist
    maybe tommorow's statues are insecure without their foes
    go ask the frog what the scorpion knows

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    Déjà vu, I have seen this on separate forum…somewhere.

    What kind of emotional manipulation is it when you have what appears to be a handful of faceless men on the internet behaving like jealous girlfriend towards you? They’re really sensitive too.
    I’m not kidding. These men jump OUT of the darkness and act like you’re cheating on them or have some kind of relationship with them and you have no idea what it is that you have done wrong.

    What is that?
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscorey View Post
    Déjà vu, I have seen this on separate forum…somewhere.

    What kind of emotional manipulation is it when you have what appears to be a handful of faceless men on the internet behaving like jealous girlfriend towards you? They’re really sensitive too.
    I’m not kidding. These men jump OUT of the darkness and act like you’re cheating on them or have some kind of relationship with them and you have no idea what it is that you have done wrong.

    What is that?
    enfj's?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Arendee View Post
    enfj's?
    Angry ENFJs... They throw shoes.
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    yeah i know one.

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    Don't need a list for this, I spot them right away and hate them with a passion.

    Maybe there IS some grudginly respect sometimes if they get away with the shit and screw people over royally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reficulris View Post
    Don't need a list for this, I spot them right away and hate them with a passion.

    Maybe there IS some grudginly respect sometimes if they get away with the shit and screw people over royally.
    Why would you have any respect for a person with such low standards for life? It doesn’t take genius. You know what it takes? A piece of shit with no morals. That’s all it is. Anyone can do it, most people won’t and don’t.

    It’s brain damage.

    Save your respect for those who deserve it.
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    One thing I would add to this list: tells others exactly what they want to hear to gain their favor or support. It's means of positive emotional reinforcement, but it's ultimately deceptive and misleading. Good friends will be frank with you even if it's upsetting and won't let you wallow in unrealistic fantasies. If changing your opinion you see the other person adopting and fitting in with it, that's a red flag marking someone who is potentially manipulative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by silke View Post
    One thing I would add to this list: tells others exactly what they want to hear to gain their favor or support. It's means of positive emotional reinforcement, but it's ultimately deceptive and misleading. Good friends will be frank with you even if it's upsetting and won't let you wallow in unrealistic fantasies. If changing your opinion you see the other person adopting and fitting in with it, that's a red flag marking someone who is potentially manipulative.
    It’s basically anyone who tries to influence the atmosphere in their favor.
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chriscorey View Post
    It’s basically anyone who tries to influence the atmosphere in their favor.
    yup

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa View Post
    yup
    I watched the movie "Devil" yesterday morning and there's an extremely good example of a emotional manipulator in the film. I would say she ends up being the most hated person in the elevator.

    Pretty good movie and I liked this quote:

    "You're never going to get these people to see themselves as they really are, 'cause it's the lies that we tell ourselves, they introduce us to him."
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    dugga dugga dun Narc's Avatar
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    That list describes a bunch of Fe-bases that I've worked with over the years.

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    but marista is Fi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Narc View Post
    That list describes a bunch of Fe-bases that I've worked with over the years.
    I wonder if this is why I have such a hard time getting along with my "ESFj" mother.
    Amber casts infinity of shadows, and my Avalon had cast many of its own, because of my presence there. I might be known on many earths that I had never trod, for shadows of myself had walked them, mimicking imperfectly my deeds and my thoughts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevero View Post
    Some would say it is possible with time, a great deal of honesty and communication to work through emotional manipulation.
    Glad you put that in.

    note: not willing to be a 24/7 charity

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allie View Post
    Uh... When you're around someone like that, doesn't you instinct kick in? I just don't waste time with people that suck
    Not right away, no.

    Isn't that the whole point of manipulation that they make it seem like everything is ok and make you doubt your own emotions and choices?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blackburry View Post
    but marista is Fi.
    my ex partner was SLI if I'm typing her right and she could rope in almost any guy

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    I'm gonna play devil's advocate here and say this makes me be on the side of emotional manipulator, cause I've been accused of doing a lot of the things in the article.

    I think the 'opposite' of being an emotional manipulator -like too far in the other direction, is somebody being so obnoxiously independent and asshole-ish that they never cave in to what the person wants. Omg of course I try to influence the mood to my own advantage, doesn't everybody do this? I guess that makes me a big bad manipulator. =(

    I'm sorta with you guys on about half of this, but some of the stuff y'all are saying just seems to be personal stuff you personally disliked in other people that you're trying to make 'objective' and that's what I don't like.

    Is it such a sin to once in awhile, be somebody else's sock puppet? Real tangible objectives have to be made into account as well. Somebody trying to influence how you feel isn't gaslighting you to stab somebody else in the throat , necessarily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by truck View Post
    I'm gonna play devil's advocate here and say this makes me be on the side of emotional manipulator, cause I've been accused of doing a lot of the things in the article.

    I think the 'opposite' of being an emotional manipulator -like too far in the other direction, is somebody being so obnoxiously independent and asshole-ish that they never cave in to what the person wants. Omg of course I try to influence the mood to my own advantage, doesn't everybody do this? I guess that makes me a big bad manipulator. =(

    I'm sorta with you guys on about half of this, but some of the stuff y'all are saying just seems to be personal stuff you personally disliked in other people that you're trying to make 'objective' and that's what I don't like.

    Is it such a sin to once in awhile, be somebody else's sock puppet? Real tangible objectives have to be made into account as well. Somebody trying to influence how you feel isn't gaslighting you to stab somebody else in the throat , necessarily.
    The way I see it is that it depends on how far you're willing to go. In social interaction each person leaves their trace, but what this article is talking about is someone who wants to get a bigger cut of the pie and will use any methods at their disposal to get it. It's a very cut throat approach: in the end they get 90-100% and the other person gets nothing. This is the way that my past partner has been in most of her relationships. I was foolish not to listen to my friends who questioned her motives. I defended her in this at the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by truck View Post
    I'm gonna play devil's advocate here and say this makes me be on the side of emotional manipulator, cause I've been accused of doing a lot of the things in the article.

    I think the 'opposite' of being an emotional manipulator -like too far in the other direction, is somebody being so obnoxiously independent and asshole-ish that they never cave in to what the person wants. Omg of course I try to influence the mood to my own advantage, doesn't everybody do this? I guess that makes me a big bad manipulator. =(

    I'm sorta with you guys on about half of this, but some of the stuff y'all are saying just seems to be personal stuff you personally disliked in other people that you're trying to make 'objective' and that's what I don't like.

    Is it such a sin to once in awhile, be somebody else's sock puppet? Real tangible objectives have to be made into account as well. Somebody trying to influence how you feel isn't gaslighting you to stab somebody else in the throat , necessarily.
    Te/Fe clash. It seems pretty bad on my end.

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    One thing I've noticed about emotional manipulators is that when they do something wrong, somehow by the end of the whole ordeal you're the one apologizing to them.

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    I feel like this whole thing could be called into criticism. I mean I know several times in traffic there is a jerk riding two inches from my ass and it just irks me the wrong way instinctively. That's kind of what emotional manipulation is. People get an emotional response from you and they manipulate it. What happens when out of anger you speed up to get the jerk off your ass, he accelerates, and gets back on your ass. He continues to follow you, because now your reaction is serving his benefit to get to his destination faster and in fact your are in front and will get the ticket if a cop shows up. Most people in my experience act like that jerk, and its not personal. From their point of view they are being reasonable and its your emotional reaction that is improper, to them your emotions inconvenience them so they are trying to find a way to turn it into a personal benefit for them.

    If you take a step out of your carebear fantasy dream land you'll quickly realize that this is incredibly common. Even in a situation of romance, or what appears to be a romance, its not some rationally guided responsible thing. It's just so happens by dumb luck the two people's emotional needs coincide. He wants to fuck her, she wants to fuck him, so they fuck. Most people take very little time weighing their emotional desires against others and look for how to resolve challenging disputes. Most people in fact are likely to when confronted with such challenges simply call the other person a label like an emotional manipulator. But really, whats the difference! Isn't throwing around some psychological disease to get the one up in an dispute just as emotionally manipulative?

    In almost every situation I can simply criticize the other person's emotions as improper, or say its a personality disorder, or say they aren't normal. I could be completely off, statistically I'm actually the odd one with 1% minority and they are 99% majority. But I could still claim the other person isn't normal, start saying their emotions are improper and so forth. Also who is to say under rational examination that my feelings are all valid and correct? I'm sure no matter what decision I make; move, stand still, or be obedient... someone will still find something at fault with what I do. Should I adjust my own identity to fit theirs? Whats the standard? The fact is there is no standard, its all functional. I can choose to sell out to someone else's wishes or I could resist and both have consequences.

    This entire labeling of "flaws" just seems like the meek backlashing against the strong. You need some article or psychologist to give you a little gold star so you can actually feel like the victim rightfully. Who is to say the psychologist or article writer isn't playing a hand on you behind your back? I just flat out don't think harmonizing feelings is all that simple, and the simplicity of these sorts of things just end up pissing me off for some reason.

    I think what people really want are more positive relationships, but instead they get stuck into this bog about trying to find labels to justify their victimization and thus continually perpetuate a never ending mantra of letting people in if they reinforce their victimization, and potentially opening themselves up to more abuse. People really need to just own up to reality; if you want to be an individual, be one but don't bitch about how no one gets you, and if you want to sell out to someone else, then do so but don't bitch about you never have time for yourself and your own needs. The gold is somewhere in between, where you can be yourself and still connected to other people, and guess what motherfucker! You aren't going to get that sitting around throwing labels out about how X person is an evil person, step out of the delusion and start looking for those double rainbows and try not to get ran over by a bus in the process.

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