Even though it's all around us, emotional manipulation is hard to spot.
This is especially true in romantic relationships. Even if you have doubts that your partner is an emotional manipulator, it's hard to accept.
Sometimes manipulators are perfect at first, but only show their true colors when they're sure that they are you are emotionally attached to them.
But the first step to protecting yourself from manipulation is knowing how to spot them.
So if you think your boyfriend is emotionally manipulating you, here are 5 warning signs that he is actually doing it.
1. He's Blackmailing You
Emotional blackmail is one of the most powerful forms of emotional manipulation.
Not every manipulator will use the same type of blackmail, but they all will make you feel like you've been backed into a corner with no options.
Your partner knows you have a strong conscience and by emotionally blackmailing you, they are counting on your fear, guilt and sense of responsibility to manipulate you.
He's cold. could threaten to leave you if you don't do something he wants, or he could even threaten to harm himself if you leave him, but the point is the same – you become his hostage and he pressures you to obey him.
When dealing with such a manipulator, the most important thing for you is not to comply with his demands, as that would only motivate him to continue his blackmail.
2. He plays the victim
Another thing most manipulators do is play the role of the victim.
Independent regardless of the situation and regardless of who caused it, a successful manipulator will always find some way to present himself as a victim.
He will rarely take responsibility for his words and actions and will always try to pin the blame on you.
In his opinion, he behaves perfectly and you are the bad guy, the keeps ruining your relationship.
Even if he sometimes admits that he said or did something wrong, he will try to convince you that you were the one who made him behaving like this, so basically it's all your fault.
If you look closely, you'll see that this guy never really apologizes for anything he's done.
Instead, he'll constantly try to justify himself and make sure that you feel guilty about everything that is wrong in your relationship.
3. He is passive aggressive
Passive-aggressive behavior is never direct, so when you're dealing with a manipulator it's one of those things that's really hard to spot.
When you're with a passive-aggressive partner , he will rarely tell you what's really bothering him.
Instead, when he's angry with you, he'll give you the silent treatment and willfully ignore you, or he'll just get cranky and being cold towards you and expecting you to magically realize what's going on.
You may think that your partner just doesn't know how to express their emotions well, but they actually do it to punish you for what you've done and what they hear wrong; lt.
This is how he manipulates you and you are afraid to do or say something that might upset him because you want to avoid his eventual passive-aggressive behavior.
4. He emphasizes your insecurities
If your partner is manipulative, their first target will be your self-esteem.
Your manipulator can't let you feel strong and confident because then you wouldn't allow him to manipulate you.
So he uses your fears and insecurities to get around you a suitable victim of his manipulation.
A skilled emotional manipulator will recognize your insecurities and address them whenever he needs to humiliate you.
He will indicate that he is above you by belittling and demeaning you. Of course, it will all be subtle at first.
This guy will insult you and try to present it as a joke or convince you that he is only giving you advice on your own Sure there is.
But before you know it, he'll really convince you that you're good for nothing and that he's actually doing you a favor by being with you .
An emotional manipulator does this because they are afraid that you will see their true intentions and leave them, so they want to lower your self-esteem to the bare minimum.
As a result, you end up thinking that no other guy would ever want you, and you continue to be in a relationship with that manipulator.
5. He gaslights you
Gaslighting is one of the most powerful forms of manipulation any skilled manipulator will employ.
By gaslighting you, your manipulator will play with your mind and confuse you, causing you to doubt your own sanity.
When your friend uses this technique of emotional manipulation, he will always become his and yours Twisting words and trying to make reality look different than it actually is.
This guy won't always lie directly to you, but he will exaggerate and he will deny that he is anything said and try to convince you that you are imagining things.
Over time, his behavior wears you out so that you begin to scrutinize your perception of reality to doubt and you end up believing everything this guy says.
Thus you become the perfect candidate for further manipulation.