How can I avoid being a manipulator

On the couch - the expert tip - Manipulation in the partnership

We may not like to admit it, but we all try to achieve our goals to a greater or lesser extent with a hidden agenda. Often we don't say straight out what we need and what we think. This is especially the case when we go through life with deep wounds and trauma from our biography.

In order to avoid having to deal with fears and bad experiences ourselves, we rather try to get the partner to put band-aids over these wounds. When we are faced with a high level of emotional manipulation, very difficult relationships often develop. In these relationships, a partner tries hard and fast to assert his interests, but hides this behind certain behavioral patterns. Here are a few typical examples:

Passive-aggressive communication: Anyone who is angry or has certain wishes, but does not communicate these clearly, acts passively-aggressively. Instead, he “shoots” his partner as if from behind cover. That can be an ironic-sarcastic remark, which is later excused with the remark "That was just a joke". Or a partner is often late or forgets appointments. If the person concerned mentions the aggressive nature of the action, the other will mostly deny it.

The big drama: An excellent way to distract from your own depressive phases and inner emptiness is to bring about dramatic appearances in the relationship. This typically happens after a quiet phase in the partnership in which everyone is more concerned with themselves. Suddenly contentious issues are raised out of nowhere or everything is questioned. The unconscious goal is usually to completely redirect your attention.

Hidden Expectations: In these cases, one does a lot for the other - apparently selflessly. But then suddenly there is a heated argument when the same level of care does not come back. Some expect their partner to be able to read minds and get angry when the other doesn't sense their needs.

Reversal of debt: This is usually expressed in the fact that one partner does not take responsibility and always blames the other. This behavior can be very hurtful. Especially if it happens repeatedly.

Sacrifice attitude: Whenever you need support yourself, the other person makes sure that it's about him anyway - because he suddenly has something “much worse”.

Nothing is good enough: Some people are so injured that they literally soak up the attention and energies of others like a sponge without working through the basic problem themselves. That can lead to giving and giving as a partner - and yet it is never enough.

Words versus actions:Another sure sign of manipulative communication is when words and actions do not correspond. Typically, eternal, great love is conjured up in words, but the reality is very different (for example, missing obligations, you are not introduced to friends, family, children).

So what should you do if you discover manipulative behavior? Talk to your partner directly about it. If he wants to behave responsibly, he will have a conversation with you and also try to change his behavior.

Neither of us is perfect, and each one of us can tell these tendencies in himself. It only becomes problematic when the response only leads to new problems and, despite all assurances, nothing really changes in the manipulative pattern.

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By Christian Hemschemeier / RND