Although it is everywhere around us, emotional manipulation is difficult to spot. This is particularly the case in romantic relationships.
Even if you doubt that your partner is an emotional manipulator, it is something that is difficult to accept.
Sometimes the manipulators are perfect at first, but only show their true faces when they are sure that you have invested emotionally.
The first step in protecting yourself from manipulation is knowing how to recognize it.
Therefore, if you think your boyfriend is manipulating you emotionally, here are 5 warning signs that it’s true.
1. He’s blackmailing you
One of the most powerful forms of manipulation is emotional blackmail.
Not all manipulators will use the same type of blackmail, but they will all make you feel like you’ve been trapped and have no more options.
Your partner knows that you have a strong conscience and when he blackmails you, he relies on your fear, your guilt and your sense of obligation to manipulate you.
He may threaten to leave you if you don’t do what he wants or he may even threaten to harm you if you abandon him, but the fact is that you become his hostage and he puts you under pressure from him to obey.
If you are dealing with this type of manipulator, the most important thing to do is not to give in to his demands, because that would only encourage him to continue his blackmail.
2. He plays the victim
Most of the manipulators play the role of victim. Whatever the situation and whatever the cause, a manipulator will always find a way to present himself as a victim.
He will rarely take responsibility for his words and deeds and will always try to make you wear the hat.
According to him, he behaves perfectly and you are the bad guy who constantly ruins your relationship.
Even when he sometimes admits to saying or doing something wrong, he will try to convince you that it was you who caused him to behave like this, and it will all be fundamentally your fault.
If you are careful, you will notice that this guy never apologizes for what he did.
Instead, he is constantly trying to justify himself and is trying to make you feel guilty for whatever is wrong with your relationship.
3. He has passive-aggressive behavior
Passive-aggressive behavior is never direct, so when you’re dealing with a manipulator, it’s one of the hardest things to spot.
When you have a passive-aggressive partner, they will rarely tell you what is really bothering them.
Instead, if he is angry with you, he will give you the silent treatment and willfully ignore you, or he will just become grumpy and cold towards you, expecting you to know by magic what is wrong not.
You may think that your partner does not know how to verbalize his emotions very well, but he does it just to punish you for what he considers that you have done wrong.
In this way, he manipulates you and you are afraid to do or say anything that could annoy him because you want to avoid his potential passive-aggressive treatment.
4. He highlights your insecurities
If your partner is manipulative, his first target will be your self-confidence.
He cannot allow you to be strong and confident because otherwise, he will have a hard time handling you
So, he uses your fears and insecurities to make you a victim of his manipulation.
A competent manipulator will recognize your insecurities and bring them out whenever he needs to put you down.
He will suggest that he is above you, patronizing you and belittling you. Of course, all of this is subtle at first.
This guy will insult you and try to present him to you as a joke or convince you that he is only giving you advice for your own good.
But before you know it, it will really convince you that you are good for nothing and that it is doing you a favor by being with you.
A manipulator behaves this way because he is afraid that you will see his true intentions and that you will leave him, so he wants to reduce your self-esteem to the bare minimum.
Therefore, you end up believing that no other man would want you and you continue your relationship with the manipulator.
5. He confuses your mind
This is one of the most successful forms of manipulation that any skilled manipulator uses.
By confusing your mind, your manipulator plays with your head, making you doubt your sanity.
If your boyfriend uses this manipulation technique, he will always distort what you say and try to present a reality different from what it really is.
This guy will never lie to you directly, but he will exaggerate and deny that he said or did something, trying to convince you that you are imagining things.
Over time, his behavior will exhaust you, you will begin to doubt your perception of reality and you will end up believing everything he says.
Therefore, you become the ideal candidate for other manipulations.