Manipulation to forward one’s own interests has been going on since the time of the most of ancient of epics – from the Iliad and Odyssey to the Mahabharata, we can see characters influencing others to get their own ends done. That is, after all, the foundation of the political life of man.
Manipulation can however be harmful for the person at the butt end of it. They can be made to do things they don’t want to do that they will invariably regret them later.
Manipulation in romantic relationships especially can be damaging and besides, it is very denigrating to the person being manipulated.
If it becomes a gimmick, you should consider leaving the relationship. You matter, your life does too and so does your peace of mind.
Here are 7 analyses of the most common of phrases used to manipulate you. Understand them to fight them off.
1. “I don’t know what I might end up doing if you leave.”
It’s a trap. Run. They love themselves far too much to do themselves any hurt. As a lovely dramatic touch, leave them a note with a therapist’s number or a suicide awareness hotline.
2. “I know what’s best for us.”
No. Every individual is different. This statement is nothing but outright dismissal. Make sure to not budge from your ideology/ ideal all the time. This would make them think that you are a pushover or a doormat who will agree to their whims ALL THE TIME. The fact that you have an individual personality should be made clear.
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3. “I know you want to have kids, but it’s not something I agree with. Bear with me.” Or the other way around.
Starting a family is something that is the most serious step someone can take. If someone continually refuses or dismisses discussions about it, it means it’s time to smell a rat. Similarly, if someone forces their motive to have children upon you and asks you to sacrifice your life, career and ideals for the process, try and look through it.
4. “I know you have a career, but it would be better if you took care of the kids. They need at least one parent around.”
Exactly what you shouldn’t do. Child-rearing is a two-parent job and it can never, nor should ever be done by a single parent, especially at the cost of a full-time job and a career. You worked hard all your life to get where you are now. Make sure you don’t just throw that away without a fight.
5. Quite literally anything that encroaches on your privacy.
This might range from “I don’t like you talking to him/her” to “Don’t wear that to the party”. Do not just give up on your own individual choices and social life. Yes, relationships come with commitment and compromise but not to the extent that you totally give up on your social life altogether and become something or someone you are not fundamentally.
6. “How can you still be mad at me after I bought you _________”
This is a classic manipulative tendency of quantifying a relationship. Relationships are not sports – logistics and statistics don’t work here. And prices of gifts definitely don’t. If someone messes up in a relationship, they sit down, apologize and make big gestures. They don’t tell you to stop giving them trouble just because they bought you an expensive gift.
7. “Look what you made me do!”
Nobody makes anyone do anything. There is something called free will in this world. They could have chosen to act/react/reply in any other way but the way they did, and it’s not on you. It’s on them and them alone. Make sure they know and understand this.