Psychological manipulation refers to actions taken by a person to try and manipulate others, generally for their own purpose. The same techniques are used in emotional manipulation to purposefully elicit strong emotional responses in an effort to deplete another person’s energy or undermine their emotional stability. Any type of relationship, including ones with family, friends, partners, etc……, is open to manipulation.
Here are 7 signs of emotional manipulation:
- Been on a guilt trip
As a child, did you ever receive sarcastic comments about your work or progress, encounter adults who were frustrated but said nothing when you questioned them, receive harsh remarks about your body and weight, or be reminded of previous mistakes? This is called guilt tactics. It is done to manipulate somebody and make them feel guilty every time they say no to a request. Leaving the person mentally disturbed.
- Emotional punishment
A guilt trip is usually followed by emotional abuse to make children feel powerless. Adults manipulate children by doing emotional blackmail through affection, shame, patience, fear, or threats to manipulate the child’s emotions so that they will obey their demand.
- Gas lighting: psychological manipulation
Although manipulation has many sides, one of the most important is gas lighting. This psychological manipulation is done to control children by making them doubt what they know. This technique can impact any person’s self-esteem, affecting their emotional and mental health. Such as twisting the truth for their own reasons, neglecting the child’s experience and emotions, etc….
- Influence with gifts
Gifts can be a big influence on children’s behaviour. Often this is used by adults to manage and control children’s choices and actions. Giving them everything they want can keep them under your control, but it also prevents them from becoming independent. This may have an effect on a child’s development and, as an adult, may result in a lifetime of dependence.
- Adults not offering privacy
As the child grows up, parents try to control their lives to keep them obedient by denying them any privacy. Everybody needs some privacy as we grow up and learn things in our own way. Checking children’s belongings regularly, regulating who they talk to or how they talk, regulating their daily lives in their own ways, monitoring their timing in everything, etc…. will only make your relationship with children bitter, especially if they are teenagers, as they go through hormonal and physical change.
- Setting unreasonable standards
Setting high expectations for children in everything, comparing them with other kids, and rarely considering their age and abilities will not provide a good growing environment for children. Instead, children will be under a lot of pressure, which will affect their adult lives as they continue to validate their thoughts and success through others.
- Relationships based on conditions
The last thing a parent can do is show unconditional love to their children. Love with criteria or expectations is another manipulation to make children seek approval from parents, making them long for love and affection as they need to constantly meet their parents expectations.
Manipulation has the same devastating long-term effects on adults as it does on children if left untreated. These emotional and physiological wounds have a negative impact on our relationships, careers, happiness, health, etc…. when we carry them into adulthood. Hence, it is very much needed that these are checked and corrected on time. And we can do this by educating ourselves first and making others aware of it.
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