Manifestations of love and manipulation are so similar that sometimes it becomes very difficult to figure out which of them we are looking at. And if we take into account those famous “rose-colored glasses” that don’t let us look at a relationship soberly, then the chances of understanding the real situation fall to a minimum.
WeGoRo is not trying to provoke you to look for signs of manipulation in any gesture of care. We have simply collected a list of situations where manipulators show themselves most often.
Referring to a concern for your safety, your partner offers to activate the service of location tracking that your mobile operator provides. Moreover, checking in at public places became your habit a long time ago. Ask yourself if the situation in the city is really so dangerous that you can’t go to the bakery without any control from your beloved one? If no, then the signs of mistrust are there. Your partner wants to be aware of any step of yours because they don’t trust you and want to control your whereabouts.
Love should make a person better. But if he becomes unbearable, aggressive, and dangerous, it’s not love but a rude attempt to control a partner, justified by crazy passion. This often occurs with jealous people. They can change their mood drastically if you changed your plans or if a new handsome colleague appeared at your work, or if a nice passer-by gave you a smile... It’s impossible to predict the moment when this jealousy will appear or its outcome.
When all interests are focused on the partner and he or she becomes the meaning of life, not only does it irritate and frighten but it also shows that you are dealing with a manipulator and blackmailer. Sometimes this behavior is spiced up by pushing out your old friends. Respect is the foundation of healthy relationships, including respect to personal space.
The most pleasant things about presents are when your partner takes your tastes and hobbies into account to find something you will love, spending not only money but time as well. But a present is not always a sign of attention. If you are always given a pile of unnecessary stuff it can mean 2 things. The first is that they want to make you feel the urge to return a present. The second is that your partner is trying to change you as per his/her taste, choosing the “right” clothes and interior decorating items.
It might seem crazy, but such a simple thing as the wish to bring up children together with your beloved person can become a reason for manipulating. However, both partners’ plans for the future can differ. You shouldn’t manipulate each other with the idea of children. If a career is more important for one partner and for the other it’s family, then it means that if the latter doesn’t compromise on his wish to have children, the first partner may not compromise on their career.
Flattery is the most powerful weapon to get someone’s favor. But when it goes together with hard artillery in the form of flattering comparisons, there can be no doubts: your partner is chasing some goals that only he/she knows about. If you learn to see the line beyond which a compliment becomes ingratiating and hypocritical, then you will be able to avoid many unpleasant consequences of communication with manipulators.
Though only adult and mature people usually go for relationships, some of them behave as if their partner is a 5-year-old child. In bringing up this “child,” they use a system of punishments and rewards. Moreover, they can use insulting and aggressive jokes and get very surprised when the “baby” partner finally gets offended. The goal of such behavior is to make you doubt your strengths and skills and realize your dependency on a “wise” advisor-manipulator.
There are no relationships without quarrels. They say that the one who takes the first step and apologizes appreciates the relationship more. However, there are different types of apologies. Manipulators like to apologize so that you feel guilty. You won’t have enough strength to discuss the past quarrel because you will not want to look like a drama queen. As a result, the situation will keep repeating again and again.
It’s important to recognize situations and behaviors where your interests, safety, and rights are out on a limb. Have you ever noticed and stopped them? Please let us know in the comments!
Illustrated by Igor Polushin for BrightSide.me