Manipulator in a relationship: How to recognize a manipulator and how to resist manipulation?

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The basis of a healthy relationship is trust, mutual respect and support. In a relationship with a manipulator, these important aspects are missing. The manipulator attacks the feelings, thoughts, behavior and self-esteem of his counterpart in order to achieve his goals. We will tell you what manipulation is, how to recognize the typical signs of manipulation in a relationship, and we will advise you on how to resist manipulation.

A manipulator craves power and full control
A manipulator is a selfish person who puts his own needs above the needs of others. He doesn't care about your opinion or your needs, so he doesn't hesitate to use manipulative techniques to help him get his way. The manipulator tries to weaken his "victim" in order to gain the upper hand over him. To do this, he uses various tactics and types of manipulation, which may not be obvious at first glance, and therefore the victim often does not detect them for a long time, or does not know how to defend against them. Most often, the manipulator attacks feelings - he tries to evoke a feeling of guilt, shame and other negative emotions with which he drives you into a corner. Also uses non-verbal gestures, manipulative sentences, changes tone of voice or facial expression. Certain types of behavior will reveal a manipulator, such as:

The need for constant control
Where are you? who are you with Why do you write as that person? A manipulator's need for constant control over your life is typical. It is also typical to be bombarded with text messages and phone calls if you go somewhere without him.

Emotional blackmail
Why are you bothering me so much? You could never do this if you cared about me. If you go there, it's over between us! These are typical manipulator sentences. Emotional blackmail and guilt-triggering are popular manipulation tactics. If you don't do what the manipulator wants, you'll get scoldings, intimidation, threats, or quietly moving scenes of crying and blackmail.

Isolation from family and friends
I don't want you to associate with that person. Why are you leaving me here alone again? Your parents can do without you for a while. A relationship manipulator will try to isolate you from your friends and family under various pretexts. He doesn't want you to be influenced by your surroundings because he wants to be in full control of you.

Throwing down and criticizing
But you are sensitive! Can't you do something right at least once? The manipulator is deliberately looking for reasons to ridicule and humiliate you. He criticizes you for little things and tries to knock down your self-esteem so he can control you better.

It's all your fault! You are completely crazy, you belong in a madhouse! You would be nothing without me! Gaslighting is a popular tool of individuals with personality disorders - narcissists, psychopaths, egocentrics or sociopaths. Their effort is to make the victim insecure, to ridicule, to question their common sense and ability to judge, to create a feeling of inferiority, and thus to strengthen their dependence on the manipulator. Typical manifestations of gaslighting in a relationship also include distortion of facts, gossip, repeated lying, or passive-aggressive behavior.

A manipulator can bring you to your knees
Life with a manipulator is not and will not be easy. It doesn't matter if the manipulator in the relationship is male or female. Love, relationship well-being and often even the self-esteem of a person who lives with a manipulator takes a serious beating. It can even lead to a psychological breakdown of the victim. At the same time, the manipulator does not have to be aware of his actions. We often observe patterns of behavior in our immediate surroundings and unconsciously accept them as our own. A manipulator in the family - it can be father, mother or other relatives - can influence the development of the child and his future behavior towards the partner. Psychological abuse in a relationship can be seen as normal by a person who grew up with a manipulator because they either experienced it themselves or witnessed it.

If you know that your partner is manipulating you, make a clear statement against such behavior. Try to talk and find a common solution. A high-quality therapist can help, who can root out what the tendency to manipulation in a relationship stems from and how to break out of experienced patterns of behavior. If the manipulator downplays or denies his behavior, puts the blame on you and doesn't want to deal with the problem, leaving the relationship is usually the only option.

TIP: How to leave a relationship and cope with a breakup?

Prepare for the fact that breaking up with a manipulator will not be easy. He will probably try to make you insecure and manipulate you with insults, reproaches and ridicule. Don't let yourself be told that you can't find anyone better, or that you can't manage without him or her in life. Every person has a soulmate waiting somewhere who will love you and see you as an equal partner. And if you have nowhere to meet? No problem, come to our dating evenings in Prague. In one evening, you will meet face-to-face several single counterparts who desire a serious relationship.

Autor: Jakub Žwak