Thursday, July 23, 2020

8 Hidden Ways You Can Be Manipulated and How to Avoid It


Psychological manipulation in relationships is a way to show power and control over another person. You can learn, prevent, and stop it if you don’t want to be a victim. However, it’s important to know that we need to be careful and polite because there’s no goal to make the situation worse and ruin your relationship.





We are all for healthy and balanced communication. In this article, you can find 8 hidden forms of manipulation and ways to avoid it.




1. They overwhelm you with facts and their personal statistics.




It’s called “intellectual bullying”. In simple words, your partner can shower you every day with plenty of interesting information and show off their knowledge and skills. In this situation, you can feel stupid if you don’t know how to protect yourself.

How to avoid it:


1. First of all, you should understand that maybe your partner is good in some areas, but you can be awesome in others.

2. Suggest talking about something you have in common.

3. Don’t let anyone say that you’re stupid. Ask for respect, but do it in a calm and polite way.




2. They let you know that they’re happy with you, however, it means setting aside what they really want.




“Yes, I am happy for you that we met with your friends, but I was a bit bored.” This kind of phrase is a way to make you feel guilty.

Manipulators always try to show that they’re doing the best job and you just don’t see it or appreciate it.

How to avoid it:


1. Focus on the manipulator, not on your guilt. You can ask a question like, “Are you really expecting me to...?” or “Are you asking me or telling me?”

2. Remember that you have a right to be happy.


3. They don’t give you time to decide.




It seems you have a choice but actually you don’t. There’s something urgent to do, otherwise, your partner will be upset. This situation can happen often.

How to avoid it:

1. Remember you have your own personal borders.

2. Ask your partner, “Does what you want from me sound fair?”

3. There’s no need to explain yourself in many words if you can’t do something right now. You may say that you love your spouse but now there are other important things to do while still keeping their wishes in mind.


4. Negative humor can also be manipulation.




There is a kind of manipulator who likes to make critical remarks and funny jokes that can humiliate you. Sarcasm in daily life from your beloved can slowly turn you into a ticking time bomb.

How to avoid it:

1. Don’t feed the manipulator with tears. Stay cool.

2. Try to ignore it.

3. Respond with contentment, not with an angry tone of voice.


5. They make you believe that you want exactly what they want.




There’s no room for compromises in this case because the only thing you can do is try not to offend your partner. Only their wishes are important, so you sacrifice yours.

How to avoid it:


1. First of all, try to analyze if your desires are really being acknowledged. Maybe you want something else.

2. Don’t be afraid of telling your partner that you have other plans or a different opinion, but there’s always a nice way to compromise so that nobody will feel offended.


6. Using the silent treatment when there’s a problem




Silence can be a form of passive manipulation. If you have a quarrel and your partner doesn’t respond to your messages or calls, even if you live together, they don’t want to talk.

How to avoid it:


1. Don’t confuse silence with shyness.

2. Try to find out your partner’s feelings and share your own. Try saying, “Maybe you’re afraid to talk or feel lost but I feel the same. I guess it’s better if we communicate and solve the problem.”




7. Your partner is trying to compel you.




Coercion is an expression of dominance. It can start with small things and then slowly grow like a snowball if you let it. For example, your partner can tell you what to wear. It can start with a comment about how they really like it when you wear those jeans and finish with a straight forward demand about how there’s no place in your wardrobe for tights and short skirts.

How to avoid it:


1. You should recognize it right away and stop overcontrolling and abusive behavior from the beginning.

2. To build healthy borders, you can advise with a psychologist.

3. It’s better not to respond with aggression.




8. Passive aggression when they’re not right.




You may be quarreling when suddenly your partner, instead of having a constructive conversation with you, can say ironically, “Yes, sure. You’re just always perfect and right!” This is a form of passive aggression and it leaves you not knowing how to answer.

A person who is passive-aggressive needs to make others feel inadequate or play dumb.

How to avoid it:


1. Ask the manipulative person if they can tell you directly what they want.

2. Respond with humor but not with sarcasm.

3. Be direct, clear, and honest.


Have you ever felt that you were being manipulated? What helped you to avoid it? Please share your stories with us below!




Illustrate by Ekaterina Gandrabura