Your relationship with your significant other is supposed to be built on love and trust. When it is built on manipulation, it is doomed to failure. It may last a while, but manipulation and deceit are not the bedrock of a solid relationship.
Manipulation can take many forms. Don’t always cast yourself as a potential victim of manipulation. Honestly assess yourself and make sure you’re not the manipulator. Many people resort to manipulation for a variety of reasons. It may be to get what they want, to keep a relationship alive, or to hurt their significant other. They may have manipulative tendencies they don’t even consciously recognize.
Don’t confuse manipulation with positive influence. That is a different concept. It is present in most relationships. What distinguishes it from manipulation is that it is done with the benefits of the recipient in mind. Manipulation is done with the benefit of the manipulator at the forefront.
- What are the characteristics of manipulation?
A manipulator looks for the weakness in his/her prey. They use the weakness against the person. They scheme and connive to get the person to give up an element of themselves to serve their selfish purposes. Once they’ve done it once, they will continue to repeat their behavior until it is put to an end.
- Why do some people resort to manipulation to get what they want?
Becoming a master manipulator requires an element of self-centeredness. A manipulator knows what they want, and they’ll resort to ‘dirty’ play to get it. They’ll trample on the feelings and needs of their partner to serve themselves. This often comes from a deep-rooted need to get their own way that stems back to their childhood.
- Why does manipulation cause a relationship to fail?
When you manipulate someone close to you for your own gains, you will cause them an incredible amount of emotional pain. It’s a total betrayal. A partner has made themselves vulnerable emotionally to be in a relationship. Instead of reciprocity, all they get is hurt. They’ll eventually reach a point where they can no longer take it anymore, and then the relationship will break down.
- What to do if you realize your partner is manipulating you
It’s important to be able to see the manipulation your partner is subjecting you to. Once you recognize it, you can set about addressing it. Call your partner out on their behavior. Show them why it’s manipulative and why you don’t like it. Many manipulators are surprised by their actions when a mirror is held up to them to expose them.
Explain to your partner that you don’t accept being manipulated. Learn to distance yourself from that type of behavior. If your partner isn’t getting the desired result, he/she is likely to abandon this approach. You need to be responsible for refusing to accept your partner’s attempts at manipulation. Set limits and consequences, and then stick to them.
- Time for a change
If you can’t change your partner’s behavior, it’s time to change your circumstances. Do not settle for a life where you become a shadow of yourself due to the manipulations of your partner. You should be making decisions and doing things because you want to, not because your partner has made you think it’s what you want.
If you realize that you’re the one who’s been doing the manipulation, examine your motives. Once you understand why you do the things you do, you can set about changing your approach. If your partner points out manipulative tendencies in how you treat them, take it seriously. Step back and reflect on what you’ve done and how you’ve made your partner feel. Think about what you can do to change it. New behavior can be learned, but only if it’s what you truly want.