Effects Of Psychological And Emotional Manipulation

Effects Of Psychological And Emotional Manipulation

In the case that someone is physically or sexually abused, you will most likely be able to see its effects. When it comes to emotional and mental abuse, this isn’t true. The scars are not bodily, but they can affect the abused person for the rest of their life. This is especially true for those who do not seek help from a professional. Mental manipulation can lead to problems with intimacy, trust, respect, and security, just to name a few.

Check out Episode 26 of our Finding Peaks Show – Helpful Ways To Identify Manipulation and Set Positive Boundaries

Short Term Effects

Surprise and confusion – feeling like whatever is happening can’t possibly be so, wondering why the person who has been a friend or loved one is now acting as a complete stranger.
Questioning self – you may find yourself wondering if you really remember things right or if something is wrong with you. This is a result of everything you do is questioned or being told that you remember things wrong and the manipulative party is right.
Anxiety and vigilance – in order to avoid future manipulation, you may become hypervigilant toward yourself and others. This is a means of avoiding behaviors that might rock the boat or looking for behavior in others that points toward an outburst.
Being passive – as taking action can lead to more pain in an emotionally abusive relationship, being passive can become the default. It is something that can be hard not to do when you are in a situation as stressful as one can be.
Shame and guilt – you may find yourself feeling guilty or blaming yourself for setting off the manipulative presence in your life. As they may blame you, it can become harder not to take that out on yourself, which leads to feeling even worse.
Avoiding eye contact – you may end up avoiding eye contact and becoming smaller inside of yourself in order to take up less space and feel less likely to be picked on by the manipulator.
Walking on eggshells – not knowing what will cause a spike in behavior from the other person can lead to thinking excessively about every little thing you do in order to ensure you don’t upset or anger the manipulator.

Long Term Effects

Isolation and numbness – you become an observer rather than someone who acts. You may feel little to nothing at all, even in situations that should make you joyful. This can make you feel hopeless and damaged, unable to ever feel emotions again.
Requiring approval – this manifests in ways like excessive accomplishing, being nice to everyone, being a people pleaser, and being focused on appearance. After feeling like you were not enough for a long period of time, your instinct is to make yourself seem perfect so others will appreciate you.
Feeling resentful – this can show as frustration, impatience, irritability, and blame. Resentment inevitably requires release, but this can be hard to seek and allow. After someone treats you badly, it can be hard to see anything but that bad behavior.
Excessive judging – you may find yourself watching for what others are doing and holding people, including yourself, to very high standards. This is a means of feeling in control after not being in control. This often requires time and self-compassion to move past.
Depression and anxiety – following manipulation or other emotional abuse, there are so many lies that have been told that you can often believe them yourself. However, the good news is that it can be healed, over time.

In addition to these signs, Stockholm syndrome is also common in these types of situations. The person who is being abused by the abuser will become accustomed to the abuse, and will even defend their painful actions.

Signs Of Manipulation

There are many ways in which an emotional manipulator will seek power by treating another party badly. Some of these are extremely common and may be familiar if you have ever been in a situation such as this. Common tactics include withholding information, gaslighting, blaming the victim, pretending to be confused, shaming, minimizing feelings of others, and lying. More comprehensive explanations of common signs are listed and explained below:

Shirking Responsibility

A person who is looking to manipulate you will often avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Instead of doing so, they will take your own words and flip them to make you the “bad” or guilty person in the relationship. Rather than taking ownership of a situation and actions, the manipulator will attempt to twist the situation so something you did actually led to the problem.

Denying Past Promises

Someone who manipulates you may promise to do something or offer an affirmative when asked something, but they will never do what they said they would. However, if you bring this up, it will be turned back onto you. They will swear that you didn’t understand what they said and are being forgetful or ridiculous. This can lead to you questioning yourself and your own memories.

Not Using Their Words

Instead of speaking with you about something bothering them, a manipulator may talk behind your back or use other passive-aggressive solutions. They may give you the silent treatment, pout, or otherwise show their disapproval without talking about it. They may also choose to say something supportive while showing that support is not actually there through their actions.

Anger and Aggression

Intimidation is something many manipulative people rely on. This may be in the form of anger, veiled threats, or aggressive actions or language. This is even more true when the manipulative party knows the other person does not like confrontation. By causing you fear and discomfort, you may do whatever is needed to make the situation more comfortable, which usually means doing what they wanted in the first place.

Guilt Tripping

A manipulator is a king or queen of being a victim. Rather than engaging indirectly aggressive behavior, they may choose to use passive aggression. An example of this might be something like, “It’s fine if you go out with your friends. I’ll just stay here at home alone and clean up the house.” This makes you feel bad and puts them in the role of the sensitive victim who has to give everything up for you.

Ignoring Your Problems

Rather than empathizing with you and any issues you may be dealing with, a manipulator may use the time to talk about their own issues. For instance, if you complain about having a fight with a family member, this might turn into a diatribe about how at least you have a family to fight with or how their own fights with their family members happen much more often so you should be grateful.

Dark Clouds

Manipulators like to be the center of attention and may stop at nothing to do so. If they are upset, they want to ensure everyone knows it. They may do something to show this just to have people try to make them feel better. It can lead to a very draining and oppressive atmosphere to try to deal with, especially if this happens frequently.

Seeking the Trusting

Manipulators often seek out people who are insecure, sensitive or trusting. They know these people are more vulnerable to manipulation and less likely to put a stop to it. By being kind and thoughtful but slowly becoming more manipulative, they can begin to exploit the person, who is likely already attached to them and wants to avoid making waves.

Why People Manipulate

There are many reasons that people choose to manipulate others and these can vary based on the person. Most people engage in manipulation at times, but those who primarily interact with manipulation often share some traits among themselves.

Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness
Fear of being abandoned
Need for power and control over others
Willingness to put their feelings over the well-being of others.
Need to raise their individual self-esteem.
Anxiety person

More On Psychological And Emotional Manipulation

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Peaks Recovery Centers’ can help family members better understand:

Healthy boundaries
Family issues and patterns Codependency
How to develop methods for lasting recovery
Education surrounding the nature of addiction

4 thoughts on “Effects Of Psychological And Emotional Manipulation”

  1. This information onManipulators has been extremely helpful. My mother used this technique very effectively. I still feel I should have done more for her 10 years after her death. My husband and siblings say we did everything we could. This information will help me to heal and stop feeling guilty.

  2. Ironically I grew up with a professional manipulator, they used what they call “the craft” to gaslight people. I was punished for things I had no control over, bad-mouthed behind my back and all the other things on the list, my chances of survival were slim, let alone recover, but little did I know all that treatment was just a runner up for what was to come. A company I worked for was doing unlawful activities and I found out and turned them in, the gaslighting from that event was even worse than my childhood trauma. The narcissists can only practice the craft if it is kept secret, the best thing to do is spread the word and get help like I did to learn to live again.

  3. Thank you so much..this has been extremely enlightening. Now is the time for healing and loving myself unconditionaly.

  4. I’m in a remote relationship with someone whose ex is this manipulative person, at least that’s what I’ve been suspecting for some time now. This summary made me see my partner differently, now I understand why he was not able to close that relationship definitely. And I am so angry and helpless… But I trust my partner so by time and patience it will be better. And it’s easier for me too, now that I understand what’s behind his behaviour.

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