One of our most ugly ways of communicating with each other is through manipulation. Instead of owning our vulnerabilities and coming from the heart, we go into our heads and try to make others feel bad for our own insecurities. Now I have to hold my hand up and say I’ve used this on others and am in the learning process of eliminating it from my communication. But there’s a big difference between using controlling communication from time to time and doing it all the time. All of us can get fearful and lapse into trying to control but often we’ll notice it, stop ourselves and make changes. But for some people, it’s become such a deeply ingrained habit that this is the only way they know how to communicate. It can also be a form of abuse.
Here are some of the signs of being manipulated:
- You feel like you have to walk on eggshells
- You feel you have to choose your words very carefully to avoid upset
- You may feel pain or uncomfortable emotion in your body
- You feel a need to justify your actions
- You feel guilty
- You’re criticised for doing things you like to do
- You’re made to feel like you’re responsible for someone else’s pain
- You’re lied to
If you recognise any of these signs in someone around you now, it’s a good idea to create stronger boundaries and increase your protection. If this is how you are being treated daily by anybody, I want you to know that this is absolutely NOT OK and you deserve much, much better. You deserve to be treated with love, respect, honesty and openness.
I created a blog post on boundaries and protection here.
There is a chance that the person manipulating you is a narcissist. You can see details of my programme for healing after narcissistic abuse here and just reading this may help you understand your situation better and realise some changes you can make.
Wishing you all the love and kindness you truly deserve.