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Manipulative relationships can affect anyone. These toxic connections occur when one person in the relationship tries to dominate or control the other into thinking or acting a certain way.

Unfortunately, manipulators seek the power that comes with treating another person badly. This can wear on both the self esteem and the mental health of the victim. If the relationship gets to an unhealthy level because of manipulation, it may be the right time to walk away.

There is hope after being manipulated. Manipulation can be difficult to recover from, but it is possible to find yourself again. The first step is to realize what is happening so you can develop the tools to resist it.


Signs of Manipulation In A Relationship

It can be tough to realize when you’re being manipulated, especially if you’re in a romantic relationship with the person doing it. Here are some signs that someone is manipulative:

  • Gaslighting – making someone question their sanity
  • Blaming the victim
  • Withholding information
  • Minimizing others’ feelings
  • Shaming
  • Lying
  • Guilt tripping
  • Avoiding taking responsibility
  • Denying promises/acting confused
  • Ignoring the victim’s problems
  • Giving the silent treatment
  • Needing to be the center of attention
  • Anger & aggression
  • Seeking out trusting people
  • Micromanagement

Of course, each manipulative relationship is different, but these characteristics are common upon those who find satisfaction in treating others poorly. Many victims ask why they deserve this treatment; the short answer is, “you don’t.”


Why Would Someone You Love Try to Manipulate You?

There are many reasons that someone may manipulate a person they’re in a relationship with, and they usually have more to do with the manipulator themselves than the victim.

But how could someone you care about act this way toward you? Here are a few possible reasons: 

  • They feel helpless or worthless
  • They are scared you’ll abandon them
  • They have a need for control
  • They have low self esteem
  • They’re a narcissist – they’re obsessed with themselves
  • They always put their feelings first
  • They have borderline personality disorder (BPD)

While these are personal issues that the manipulator will have to sort out, they are not excuses for toxic behavior.

Manipulation can have lifelong effects on the victim, even after they end the relationship.


The Effects of Manipulation

Here are just some of the things that a person may feel even years after being manipulated in a relationship:

  • Fear of triggering the manipulator
  • Confusion
  • Questioning oneself
  • Anxiety or Depressive disorder
  • Passive behavior
  • Guilt and shame
  • Numbness
  • Seeking approval
  • Resentment

How to Heal From Being Manipulated

There is no linear path to healing, especially if you recently ended a relationship with a person who manipulated you. You have to simultaneously deal with a break up and the residual feelings that come with being manipulated and treated badly in a romantic relationship.

However, recovering from this relationship is very possible. Below are five tips that could help you get closer to healing and moving on from manipulation:


  1. Understand how manipulative relationships work. Researching this will give you the information you need to figure out why someone you love may act this way.
  2. Recognize you’re being mistreated. Despite what your manipulator might say, you did nothing wrong.
  3. Listen to yourself, not them. Being manipulated can mess with your head. Just remember to stick with your gut.
  4. Set boundaries. Leaving a toxic relationship is one thing, but setting boundaries to ensure this person cannot treat you that way again is essential for healing.
  5. Let yourself grieve. It’s okay to be upset, a relationship is ending. Give yourself some time to feel.


Reclaiming Yourself After Manipulation

Recovering from manipulation is a journey, but it’s one worth taking. Continue reminding yourself that this isn’t your fault. Uphold the boundaries you set. Get support of those close to you who understand your situation. And finally, when you’re ready, you’ll be able to forgive them. You won’t let them get back in their life or manipulate you again, but you’ll get to a point where the emotions they inflicted upon you will no longer hold you back.


If you’re trying to heal from a manipulative relationship, whether romantic or otherwise, reach out to us at 844-237-5762 . We can help you develop the tools and strategies you need to move on in a healthy way.