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Manipulation Tactics

Chapter 3: 15 Signs That Youre


Being
Manipulated

30 COVERT
EMOTIONAL
MANIPULATION
TACTICS
How Manipulators Take Control
in
Personal Relationships
by
AB Admin
2014 AB ADMIN,
PSYCHOPATHS AND
LOVE
All rights reserved, including
the right to
reproduce this book or portions
thereof,
in any form. No part of this text
may be
reproduced in any form without
the
express written permission of
the author.
CONTENTS
Chapter 1: About Covert
Emotional
Manipulation
Chapter 2: 30 Covert Emotional

CHAPTER 1: ABOUT COVERT


EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION
If you know the enemy and
know
yourself, you need not fear the
result of a
hundred battles. If you know
yourself but
not the enemy, for every
victory gained
you will also suffer a defeat. If
you
know neither the enemy nor
yourself, you
will succumb in every battle.
Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Covert emotional manipulation
tactics are underhanded
methods of
control.
Emotional manipulation
methodically
wears down your self-worth and
selfconfidence,
and damages your trust in
your own perceptions. It can
make you
unwittingly compromise your
personal
values, which leads to a loss of
selfrespect
and a warped self concept. With
your defenses weakened or
completely
disarmed in this manner, you
are left
even more vulnerable to further
manipulation.
A skilled emotional manipulator
gets
you to put your sense of selfworth and
emotional well-being into their
hands.

Once you make that grave


mistake, they
methodically and continually
chip away
at your identity and self-esteem
until
theres little left.
In order to be successful, a
manipulator must conceal their
aggressive intentions and
behavior,
know your vulnerabilities, and
be
ruthless enough not to care
what harm
the manipulation causes you.
This
explains why manipulation must
be
hidden, or covert.
Why do manipulators do it?
There
are several reasons, and none
of them
are good.
A psychopathic manipulator has
to
fulfill strong needs for control,
power,
and superiority. They will also
manipulate for material gain.
Some
simply grow bored and see
manipulation
as a game, one thats played at
your
expense.
Manipulators affected with
borderline personality disorder
or
narcissistic personality disorder
will
manipulate for attention,
approval,
control, and narcissistic
supply, which
is the sustenance drawn from
others that
is essential to their self-esteem.
Even people without serious

psychological disorders use


manipulation from time to time
to get
what they want.
Manipulators are willing to
advance
their own purposes and
personal gain,
no matter what the cost is to
someone
else.
Learning various manipulation
tactics
opens your eyes so you can
identify
them. But its not always easy,
because
manipulators count on strong
emotions
such as guilt, fear, love, and
shame to
prevent us from thinking clearly
and
seeing what theyre up to.
Thats how
manipulators get away with it.
They
often create these emotions for
that
reason. Thats why it is
important for
you to recognize when youre
experiencing an emotion that
makes you
vulnerable, and to acknowledge
that
youre a prime candidate for
manipulation.
Awareness is a primary defense
against covert manipulation.
With that
thought, what follows are 30
covert
emotional manipulation tactics
used in
personal relationships.
CHAPTER 2: 30 COVERT
EMOTIONAL MANIPULATION

TACTICS
Intermittent
Reinforcement
This is an extremely effective
manipulation tactic.
Intermittent
reinforcement occurs when an
abuser
only gives his victim positive
reinforcement (attention,
appreciation,
praise, adoration, declarations
of love,
etc.) on a random basis. This
will create
a climate of doubt, fear, and
anxiety,
while compelling you to persist.
Youll
know hes withdrawing and
youll fear
youre losing him, but hell deny
it. This
replays over and over until
youre riding
an emotional roller coaster,
with no way
to stop the ride and get off. He
or she is
doing this on purpose to
increase his
power and control over you and
to make
you even more desperate for
his love.
You have become the proverbial
lab rat
frantically pushing the lever for
a
randomly dispensed treat. The
rat thinks
of nothing else, and neither will
you. The
bond can become even
stronger during
this phase, believe it or not. Its
a wellknown
psychological phenomenon
known as traumatic bonding.
Negative Reinforcement

The manipulator stops


performing a
negative behavior (such as
giving you
the silent treatment, acting
angry, or
staying out late every night)
when you
comply with his demands,
whatever they
may be.
Not Allowing Negative
Emotion
The victim is chastised for
emotional
behavior. When you get upset
and
question the manipulator or
complain
about something theyre doing
that
bothers you, the focus is put on
your
emotional upset instead the
issue causing
it -- which conveniently takes
the focus
off of them and the real issue.
He or she
refuses to hear what it is you
want to talk
about; instead, the issue
becomes your
emotion to it, which the
manipulator says
is unacceptable. In fact, the
manipulator
will tell you, this negative
emotion is an
issue you need to work on, and
one he or
she finds highly unattractive.
The silent
treatment usually follows, which
increases your frustration (and
your
emotionality) at not being able
to
express your thoughts and
feelings. You

are unwittingly put into a


vicious cycle
with no way out. The more you
are made
to suppress your emotions, the
more
frustrated and emotional
you will
become, which starts the
process all
over again.
Indirect Aggressive Abuse
Name-calling is direct and
obvious, but
an underhanded way to make it
much
less obvious is to drop the
angry tone of
voice that usually accompanies
it, and
disguise the insult as teaching,
helping,
giving advice, or offering
solutions. It
appears to be a sincere attempt
to help,
but its actually an attempt to
belittle,
control and demean you. For
example, a
manipulator may tell you that
you would
come across as much more
likeable if
you would drop your habit of
needing to
assert your needs and opinions.
Premature Disclosure
Manipulators share intimate
information about themselves,
their
lives, and their families early on
to
create a false sense of intimacy.
Youll
automatically feel obliged or
free to
respond, and afterward youll
trust him

or her more and feel closer than


you
really are. Later, you might find
out that
most of what he or she
disclosed wasnt
true, and that the manipulator
will later
use everything you told them
about
yourself to manipulate you or
hurt you
later.
Triangulation
This is a common and effective
tactic in
a manipulators arsenal. The
manipulator introduces other
men or
women into the relationship in
any way
they can by talking about
someone at
work, talking about an ex,
flirting with
someone in front of you, or
comparing
you unfavorably to someone
else just
to hurt you, knock you off
balance, and
make you feel insecure or
jealous. In a
normal relationship, most
people will go
out of their way to show theyre
loyal to
you. You will always know
where you
stand with them. The
manipulator does
just the opposite, and enjoys
watching
your pain and angst. He may
even be
grooming his next target, who is
conveniently used to
manipulate you
devalue you. For example, he
may flirt

with another woman in front of


you so he
can build his relationship with
her while
making you feel insecure at the
same
time. And hell deny the whole
thing
later, of course, and say the
real problem
is your insecurity.
Blaming The Victim
This occurs when a victim of
wrongdoing is held partially or
totally
responsible for the harm they
suffered.
This tactic is a powerful means
of
putting you on the defense
(which makes
you look guilty) while
simultaneously
masking the aggressive intent
of the
abuser. It usually occurs when
the
relationship ends and the
abuser claims
that the victim was the one at
fault. Just
when the victim needs support,
others
may turn away and believe the
abuser
instead.
Shifting The Focus
The victim shares a concern
with the
manipulator, such a suspicion of
infidelity. Instead of dealing
with the
stated concern, the manipulator
says the
problem is actually the victims
insecurity or some other
character
flaw, which they say has
nothing to do

with their behavior or with


reality. The
manipulator makes it clear that
they find
this flaw unacceptable. Since
this is
very unpleasant, the victim
learns not
ask questions, and silently puts
up with
bad behavior in the future. It
usually
happens along with the tactic of
not
allowing negative emotion, but
it can
happen even if you dont show
negative
emotion, and talk in a matterof-fact way
about something he or she
wants to keep
hidden.
Insinuating Comments
The manipulator will make
carefully
chosen insinuating comments
to evoke an
uncomfortable emotional
response or
even several responses at once.
He
knows your weaknesses and
your hotbuttons,
and he will enjoy dropping a
bomb like this and watching the
fallout.
If someone says something that
has
multiple negative meanings and
causes
negative emotions while leaving
you
flummoxed and without a
meaningful
response, youve experienced
it. An
example is a man who says
You know

what? You could make a lot of


money as
a prostitute! after you make
love, or
says I wonder why no one ever
loved
you before? There are many
ways to
look at comments like these,
and you
will look at all of them,
repeatedly.
Guilt
A skilled manipulator can make
you
feel guilty for just about
anything. Guilt
is a negative emotion we
experience
after weve done something
wrong. We
can also experience it when we
havent
really done anything wrong, but
the
manipulator wants us to believe
we did.
For example, you may suspect
your
partner is cheating on you.
When you ask
her about it, she denies it and
then acts
offended and hurt that you
could even
think such a thing. Or if you
complain
about anything she does, she
will remind
you of all the wonderful things
she has
done for you. Many of us are
conditioned by our family,
religion, and
society to feel guilt, so its easy
for the
manipulator to make us feel it,
too.
Being able to feel guilt means
we have a

conscience. But when we feel


guilty
about something were not
really
responsible for, it is destructive
and
counter-productive. We feel
guilty
because we believe something
weve
done causes someone thinks
poorly of
us. Our natural reaction to that
is to
apologize, make amends, and
act in a
way that will make the
manipulator think
highly of us againwhich
means to act
in the way they want us to act.
Shame
When a manipulator
communicates to
us that we are not worthy of
respect -such as by expressing disgust
or
disappointment, using sarcasm
and putdowns,
or comparing us to someone
else
they claim to think is better in
some way
-- we feel shame. Shame is a
very
powerful tool for a manipulator.
Few
emotional states are more
painful than
shame. We feel guilty for what
we do,
but we feel shame for what we
are.
Shame is a feeling of deep
humiliation,
and one thing a manipulator
loves to do
is to make their victim feel
humiliated.

According to clinical
psychologist
Gershen Kaufman, "Shame is
the most
disturbing experience
individuals ever
have about themselves; no
other emotion
feels more deeply disturbing
because in
the moment of shame the self
feels
wounded from within."
In relationships, we feel shame
with
any event we believe weakens
the bond
or indicates rejection. Shame is
the
pervasive belief that one is
somehow
inherently defective or
unacceptable, so
this manipulation tactic causes
serious
harm.
Empty Words
The manipulator can turn on
the
charm and tell you exactly what
you
want to hear: I love you,
youre so
special to me, youre so
important to
me, Ive waited my whole life
for
you, etc. The problem is these
are just
words, backed up by nothing.
Filling
your need for approval, love,
validation,
admiration, and reassurance
with these
empty words gives him or her
incredible
power over you.
Crazymaking

The manipulator says


something and
later denies they ever said it.
This could
happen a month later or five
minutes
later.
You know she said it, she knows
she
said it, and she knows you know
she
said it. But none of that
matters. If you
feel you need to have a tape
recorder
running every time you talk to
this
person, youre a victim of
crazymaking.
Gaslighting
Denying, and therefore
invalidating,
reality. Invalidating reality
distorts or
undermines the victims
perceptions of
their world. This is an especially
frustrating manipulation tactic.
You
know you saw him do
something, but
when you confront him he
simply and
emphatically denies it. The
deception
seems like it would be obvious
enough,
but if its repeated often victims
can
begin to question their version
of
reality and let these absurdities
slip by.
This tactic is related to
crazymaking.
Minimizing
The manipulator will tell you
youre
making a big deal out of
nothing, or that

youre exaggerating when you


question
him or confront him about
something
hes done.
The Silent Treatment
Supposedly because of
something you
did, the manipulator refuses to
communicate and uses
emotional or
physical withdrawal as
punishment. This
is commonly called the silent
treatment,
stonewalling, or withholding. It
conveys
contempt and communicates
that you are
not worth the manipulators
acknowledgement of your
existence, let
alone her time, love, attention,
or
consideration. According to
Steve
Becker, LCSW, the silencer's
aim is,
above all, to silence
communication.
More specifically, it is to render
the
other invisible and, in so doing,
induce
feelings of powerlessness and
shame.
Becker says the silent
treatment is a
technique of torture. This may
sound
hyperbolic, but human beings
need (on
the most basic level)
recognition of their
existence. The withholding of
this
recognition, especially if
protracted, can
have soul-warping
consequences on

personality.
Lying
A lie is a false statement
deliberately presented as the
truth.
Some manipulators will say
anything to
get the results they want. Many
are
expert liars who are very
convincing,
and who lie frequently and with
impunity.
Lies of Omission
Lies of omission are a more
subtle
form of lying. Instead of making
a
deceptive statement, the liar
withholds
the truth. For example, the
manipulator
may not tell you hes married if
he thinks
it would stop you from
becoming
involved with him.
Denying Responsibility
Nothing is ever the
manipulators fault,
and he or she will find some
crafty way
to make you or someone else
responsible instead. The
manipulator
may refuse to take
responsibility for his
behavior, for the state of the
relationship, or for your
reactions to it.
He or she finds a way to make
you take
the blame for whatevers
wrong. You are
stealthily made responsible for
the
relationships ultimate failure or
success.
Diversion and Evasion

When you ask the manipulator


a
question, instead of answering
it he or
she may use diversion (steering
the
conversation to another topic)
or
evasion (giving an irrelevant,
vague and
often rambling response)
instead.
Selective Forgetting
The manipulator pretends she
forgot
something important she once
said, such
as a promise or commitment
she made,
even though her memory
seems pretty
good in general.
Turning the Tables
The manipulator turns the
tables and
make you look like the abuser.
Skilled
manipulators have an arsenal of
tactics
at their disposal, and they will
be
pushing as many buttons as
possible to
get you to lose control. They
can inflict
so much psychological warfare
and
make you suppress so much
emotion that
you can be backed into an
emotional
corner.
When this happens, the intense
frustration you feel -- but are
not
allowed to express through
normal
communication -- will cause you
to

blow up in a reaction of selfdefense.


Emotional reactions in selfdefense
to an abusive situation do not
make you
an abuser.
Brandishing Anger
The manipulator will put on an
act of
intense anger for the purpose of
shocking
you into submission. This is also
called
traumatic one-trial learning,
because it
will quickly train you to avoid
confronting, upsetting or
contradicting
the manipulator.
Scapegoating
A scapegoat is also known as a
whipping boy or a fall guy.
Scapegoating is the process of
making
someone the focus of negative
treatment
and blame they dont deserve.
Manipulators usually do it on
purpose,
although some people
unconsciously
project their unwanted thoughts
and
feelings onto another to make
them a
scapegoat for their own
problems.
Diminishing And
Belittling
The manipulator will diminish
and
belittle your opinions and ideas
either
verbally or non-verbally, by
using eyerolls,
scoffs, smug smiles, sarcasm,
etc.
This tactic induces shame,
crushes your

self-esteem, and makes you


less willing
to voice your opinions and ideas
in the
future.
Putting You On the
Defensive
Many of the covert tactics listed
here
will put you on the defensive,
meaning
that they cause you to feel you
must
verbally defend who you are,
what you
believe, and what the truth is.
Covert manipulation tactics
trigger
you to react emotionally instead
of
responding rationally, which is
exactly
what the manipulator wants:
Calm,
rational conversations arent
good for
someone with something to
hide. In
addition, they can use these
emotional
reactions against us if they
choose to.
Creating Fear
What these manipulation tactics
have in
common is that they make us
feel fear
the fear of losing the other
person and
the relationship. We dont want
to lose
them, so we act the way they
want us to
so we can avoid that loss. In
this
situation, the person who
creates our
fear is the only one who can
relieve our

fear, so we end up unwittingly


playing
along with their game.
Playing the Victim
The manipulator will inspire
your
pity by making themselves look
like the
victim of circumstances or of
some
unfair persons or organizations
behavior. This elicits our
sympathy
and our cooperation because
we cant
stand to see someone else
suffering.
Rationalization
This is also known as
justification or
excuse-making. The
manipulator creates
reasons for their behavior that
make
their actions more
understandable,
acceptable, and appropriate.
They do
this to get you off their back so
they can
continue doing what they feel
they are
entitled to do.
Flattery
Flattery is excessive or false
praise
and compliments given to
advance the
manipulators own interests.
Manipulators can sense our
insecurity or
pride and tell us exactly what
we long to
hear. We want to feel good
about
ourselves, and we like others
who make
us feel that way. Flattery can
make us

feel beautiful, intelligent, and


lovable.
Often, we long to be
appreciated. When
we think someone recognizes
our good
points, it can have a powerful
effect on
us. Suspect flattery.
Trance
If the manipulator is a
psychopath,
trance will come into play.
Trance is a
very powerful manipulation tool
in a
psychopaths arsenal. The
technique of
trance induction comes
naturally to the
psychopath. Its an effect of
their intense
presence and laser-like focus on
you.
When youre in a trance state,
your
attention is hyper-focused on
the
manipulator. Trance leaves you
psychologically defenseless.
Messages
and experiences youve
internalized
during trance states become
fixed in your
psyche and are especially
persistent.
CHAPTER 3: 15 SIGNS THAT
YOURE BEING MANIPULATED
Manipulation can be so subtle
and
undercover that it can control
you for
quite a while before you figure
out
whats happening, if you ever
do. Some

manipulators are highly skilled.


Theyre
described by some as puppet
masters,
and you could unwittingly
become a
puppet if you dont know the
signs.
As your strings are pulled this
way
and that, you do just what the
puppet
master wants you to do. You
think youre
acting from your own free will,
but the
truth is youre not. Once the
relationship
ends, many victims finally see
they were
under a manipulators control.
If youre a victim of
manipulation,
you may know something is
wrong but
youre not quite sure what the
problem
is. You may be manipulated into
believing the problem is you. Or
you
might suspect youre being
manipulated,
and you want to know how to
tell for
sure.
Its actually easier and more
obvious than you might think.
You dont have to know
anything at
all about the techniques of
covert
emotional manipulation to know
if your
strings are being pulled
(although the
more you know, the better).
You only need to look at
yourself to
know if manipulation is at play.

If youre in a relationship
and notice
the following signs, theres
a high
probability youre being
manipulated:
Your joy at finding love has
turned
into the fear of losing it. You
will start
feeling stressed at this point.
Your
feelings have gone from
happiness and
euphoria to anxiety, sadness
and even
desperation. (This is known as
the
manipulative shift.)
Your mood depends entirely
on the
state of the relationship.
Youre unhappy in your
relationship
most of the timeyet you
dread losing
it. You feel like youre screwing
up the
best thing that ever happened
to you, but
youre not sure how.
Your relationship feels very
complex, although youre not
sure why.
When talking about it, you
might find
yourself saying Its hard to
explain. Its
just really....complicated.
You obsess about the
relationship
constantly. You endlessly
analyze every
aspect of it as you desperately
try to
figure it out. You talk about it
constantly, to whomever will
listen.
None of this gets you anywhere.

You never feel sure of where


you
stand with your partner, which
leaves
you in a perpetual state of
uncertainty
and anxiety.
You frequently ask your
partner if
somethings wrong.
You always seem to be on
the
defensive. You find yourself
feeling
misunderstood, so you
continually feel
the need to explain things and
defend
yourself.
Youre frustrated about
ongoing
issues that come up repeatedly
and are
never resolved. Conversations
about
these issues always seem to
end up
being about your problem with
mistrust
or insecurity.
You feel that you just dont
know
how to make your partner
happy. You
try hard but nothing seems to
work, at
least not for long.
Expressing negative
thoughts and
emotions feels restricted or
even
forbidden, at times causing
you to
experience extreme frustration
and even
hostility.
You feel inadequate. You
dont feel
as good about yourself as you
did before

the relationship. You feel less


strong,
less confident, less secure, less
intelligent, less sane, or in some
way
less than anything you were
before the
relationship.
You always feel youre
falling short
of your partners expectations.
You often feel guilty. You
continually try to repair the
damage you
believe youve caused. You
blame
yourself for your partner pulling
away
from you. You cant understand
why you
keep sabotaging the
relationship.
You feel like youre walking
on
eggshells around your partner,
carefully
controlling your words and
actions to
keep him from withdrawing his
affection
again.
You might be wondering how
you (or
anyone else) could stay in a
relationship
that causes fear, anxiety,
depression,
self-doubt, frustration and
hostility.
Wouldnt you know something
is terribly
wrong?
There are two reasons people
stay.
First, the relationship got off to
an
amazing start. He or she
seemed like
your perfect partner your
soul mate,

probably and the honeymoon


phase
was idyllic. Since youve been
manipulated into blaming
yourself for
the problems, you stick with the
relationship and desperately try
to repair
the damage. Also, the
manipulator uses
intermittent reinforcement to
great effect.
After all, if the relationship was
bad one
hundred percent of the time, it
would
end.
Second, manipulation is an
evolving
process over time, according
to Harriet
B. Braiker, PhD., author of
Whos
Pulling Your Strings, Victims
are
controlled through a series of
promised
gains and threatened losses
covertly
executed through a variety of
manipulation tactics. In other
words, the
manipulation builds gradually
as the
abuser creates uncertainty and
doubt by
going back and forth from hot
to cold, by
going back and forth from
giving you
what you desire to taking it
away.
In the end, it doesnt matter
how you
got into that relationship, it is
the
realization that it is one-sided,
exploitative, and toxic. The
questions

that need to be asked are very


simple.
Are they using their charms or
behavior
to control you or others for their
own
benefit? Are they manipulating
you? Are
they doing things that hurt you
or put you
at risk? Do you feel like this
relationship
is one- sided? Are you hurting in
this
relationship? If the answer to
these
questions is yes, it is time to
untangle
yourself from the toxic strings
that
control you so you can get your
life
back. Take heed you have no
social
obligation to be victimized
ever.
~ Dangerous Personalities, by
Joe
Navarro, M.A., a 25-year
veteran of the
FBI
Emotional manipulation is
emotional
abuse; and emotional abuse is
abuse, just
as physical abuse is. If you
believe
youre in a relationship with an
abuser,
no good will come of it. An
abuser does

not respect you or care about


your wellbeing.
Dont let a manipulator waste
any
more of your precious time.
If you believe youre dealing
with a
more benign type of
manipulator, such as
a mother who guilt-trips you
into
spending the holidays with her
every
year or a friend who doesnt
return
favors, strong boundaries and
setting
limits may resolve the problem.
Only you can decide if a
relationship
is worthwhile or if its
detrimental and
needs to end.
Did you like this book? If so,
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Thank you.
For more valuable information,
visit the
website, Psychopaths and Love.
Other books by the author:
Boundaries: Loving Again After
a
Pathological Relationship
Psychopaths and Love
202 Ways to Spot a Psychopath
in
Personal Relationships