If you are easily hurt, feel like :
How could anyone fall for that? How could I have been so foolish? Why do they believe such lies? How could we have been conned like that?
There are emotionally manipulative people of varying degrees all around us. When we are young we like to think that we are immune to the psychological pressures that confuse, manipulate and condition other people. We are not so gullible, are we? But part of truly maturing as an individual involves understanding how you too are led by the environment, influenced by others, and driven by the needs you have as a human being.
Human beings can be manipulated precisely because we share innate psychological characteristics that render us ALL susceptible, to a point. Although, like any other weakness, some people are naturally more prone to succumb, while others have higher levels of immunity to the external pressures that can make us do things we would normally never think of doing.
Here are 9 ways to spot emotional manipulation and protect yourself from it:
1. Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability.
They take no responsibility for themselves or their behavior – it is always about what everyone else has “done to them”. One of the easiest ways to spot an emotional manipulator is that they often attempt to establish intimacy through the early sharing of deeply personal information that is generally of the “hook-you-in-and-make-you-sorry-for-me” variety. Initially you may perceive this type of person as very sensitive, emotionally open and maybe a little vulnerable. Believe me when I say that an emotional manipulator is about as vulnerable as a rabid pit bull, and there will always be a problem or a crisis to overcome.
2. Learn to ground yourself.
Meditate, read, write, pray, exercise, or just zone out in front of the tube. Whatever it is that makes you feel steady and stable, doing it is a grounding experience.
3. Create protective strategies
Set limits and boundaries for yourself and those you love. If someone crosses your boundary and makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t let it go. Tell him or her that the situation is not working for you and try to find a way to alter it..
4. Avoid late night video or reading that may be disturbing.
If you read or watch something violent or scary before bed, you can take it in and may dream about it as well as think about it the next day.
5. Give yourself uplifting experiences.
Go for a moonlight walk on the beach or in the forest. How about a spa weekend? Do something that will feel significant to you.
6. Spend time with loving people.
If someone doesn’t reinforce and support you, why hang with them? Spend your time with people who treat you well. If you don’t think you have friends, make them by being one first.
7. Don’t try to calm your nerves with food, alcohol, or drugs-it never works.
Develop new healthy coping mechanisms like being gentle with yourself and focusing on the positive. Support groups, therapy, and appropriate medication may be additional things to consider.
8. Give yourself some space.
Being with someone 24/7 is taxing, and in many cases, such as when you have small children, it can seem impossible to find any peace. Create ways to take care of yourself, so you don’t build up resentments toward those you love.
9. Avoid overwhelm.
Sometimes just putting things on hold for ten minutes will do the trick. Other times, you have to wait a lot longer. We can only deal with so much at a time. Pace yourself and don’t do things that feel inappropriate for you.
Empathy is a wonderful quality, but it can backfire and drain you if you don’t protect yourself. Just care for your well-being the same way you do for others.