Emotional manipulation is one type of emotional abuse where the perpetrator seeks to emotionally control, exploit, or influence the victim in a way that gives them an advantage. This behavior commonly takes place in abusive and toxic relationships, and it may be the only form of abuse present, or it may take place alongside other types of abuse such as physical and psychological.

Victims of emotional manipulation have a difficult time identifying it because part of the purpose for the abuser is to maintain power and control. It is important to recognize the red flags of emotional abusers so you can identify and handle manipulative tactics.

Here are some common signs of emotional manipulation:

Now that we have listed out what emotional manipulation looks like, let’s discuss some ways to handle it! Dealing with emotional manipulation is difficult because it can lead you to question yourself and your judgment. You may be experiencing a trauma bond which makes it more difficult to manage manipulation or know when/how to walk away (especially in romantic relationships).

Emotional manipulation is a serious form of emotional abuse. When reviewing these signs, consider whether you have experienced patterns of ongoing manipulation. It can be hard to spot, but with the right support and skills, you can handle it and effectively heal. You deserve to be safe, respected, and appreciated.

And remember… you don’t need more of a reason to leave a relationship than it isn’t serving your overall mental and emotional wellbeing. You may feel insecure, hurt, and confused and doubting your own judgement. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist to help guide you through the process of extricating yourself from any emotional abuse.

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