They’re like witches. They say a word that enchants you, strips you of your senses, puts you under a spell.
You have a single urge—to respond, to defend yourself.And that’s the trick.
You are suddenly in a defensive (submissive) position.
And you suffer for something that doesn’t exist at all.
“I Can’t” Leave
We can find manipulators (regardless of sex) in all types of relationships—with partners, relatives, friends and at work. They revel in them—like mould in a damp environment.The dampness is created by your tears—and mould never leaves such a favourable environment.“As long as it’s damp here, I’ll remain here too,” says the mould.Let’s think about this sentence.
They “are never the bad one,” they “are never the cause.” Their behaviour is “always only a consequence,” of what you cause “through your mistakes, your badness.”
And you can’t leave such a relationship.After all, you always owe the mould something.You keep hoping that things will improve between you, that “you will mend your ways.”But you don’t realise that such a state will never occur, because you’re not making any mistakes or doing anything wrong in reality.
It’s a trick by a manipulator that puts you in a defensive, or even subordinate, position; it gives you a feeling of guilt that gradually takes over your whole personality—the same as mould in the damp covers all the walls and the ceiling.
They will never leave you.Because you nurture them with your dampness.
And you “can’t” leave them.Because you’re afraid that without them it will be even worse—that you won’t be able to bear your loneliness and feelings of guilt.
Temporary Pretexts, Permanent Consequences
As I write in my book 250 Laws of Love, the danger of a relationship with a manipulator consists in particular of the fact that they always have only temporary pretexts, but these have permanent consequences for you.Immediate accusations give you the feeling that “you’re not enough,” that “they’re your saviour,” and that “you’re not independent, an almost legally incapable person, depending on others.”Internally you don’t agree with this, but it bothers you that your opposite number thinks it or that maybe everyone around you thinks it.And so you need their assurance that this is not the case—you become a person directly dependent on the opinions and valuations of others, without your own self-consciousness, self-awareness, self-acceptance and, progressively, self-worth.
With every reproach from the manipulator you fall lower and lower.You feel as though you don’t have the right to resist.You fall victim to the conviction that you’re genuinely worth nothing, that the other person is right about some things, that without them you won’t survive, that you should be grateful to them for not getting rid of you.
You think that the other person is the one that is suffering in your relationship.But you don’t see how the mould is doing well, how it is growing, how it is taking control of you.
How to respond?And how to identify a manipulator in time?
Because I pay attention to the topic in a wide-ranging manner in my book, I will give at least the five most frequent—because they are the most effective—things that can drive a victim to the edge of madness.This is why manipulators use them.And I’ll show you one terrible case; unfortunately not an exceptional one.
Why They Steal Reason
As I describe in one of my article, a manipulator’s main strategy is:To increase emotion, to reduce reason.People without reason act only on emotion.Emotions control them.Their reason doesn’t work.From outside it looks like they’re behaving irrationally, they’re losing the people around them, their friends, family, support.They remain alone.Alone only with their emotions.Only loving themselves.Only owing themselves.
They find themselves in their own emotional bubble, where not even a little rationality can get through.They remain with the person that is harming them, and devotedly serve such a person.They hope that their manipulator will start to treat them right and hold them in esteem at some point.They hope their whole life.In vain.
And everything starts with seemingly innocent things that are said:
“You didn’t understand what I said…”
That’s how a manipulator reacts in an important moment when you catch them in a situation where what they say and what they do are completely different.
Manipulators always defend themselves by making sure their defence doesn’t look like a defence.They try to turn the situation against you.To create doubts in your head.For example:
- Aha.What if they’re not the bad one, but I am?
- Aha.What if I’m accusing them unjustly?
- Aha.Should I not apologise to them and ask them for forgiveness?
Manipulation is the skill of transferring guilt and negative emotions.It works like a glass wall that reflects not only your every legitimate reproach, but your image.Yes, in the glass of the reply you always see yourself as the bad one—yes, your actions “show” that you are the bad one.
Shifting the guilt and negative emotions is intended to create confusion in the victim’s head.Your ability to resist the manipulator in the future is dependent at this moment, despite their efforts, on you not being confused in your head, but, on the contrary, convincing yourself that you are up against a manipulator and you are seeing things the right way.
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