Psychological manipulation is the exercising of toxic influence on someone through mental and emotional exploitation, with the aim of controlling and coercing the victim into a position of disadvantage. The manipulator uses indirect, deceptive, or underhand schemes to serve his or her own agenda at the victim’s expense.
Psychological manipulation is damaging and can be subtle, making it hard to recognize it. But it’s essential to understand what’s happening and find ways to combat it. So if you know the kinds of psychological manipulation, and how they look like, then maybe you will find it easier to cope with.
5 Types Of Psychological Manipulation
1. The Guilt Trip
A guilt trip involves inducing feelings of guilt or responsibility, mostly unjustified, which are stirred up by the manipulator. Guilt-tripping behaviors are commonly experienced in close relationships, like romantic, friendly, professional, and familial relationships.
Someone Trying To Guilt-Trip You May:
1. Bring to your attention their own hard work and efforts, making you feel like you’ve failed to meet their standards.
2. Use sarcasm and passive-aggressive behavior to react to situations.
3. Ignore your attempts to discuss the problem.
4. Give you the silent treatment.
5. Deny they are annoyed, although their behavior says otherwise.
6. Show no eagerness to improve the situation themselves.
7. Communicate their irritation with you through their body language, like sighing, crossing arms, and slamming objects.
Call it out as soon as you notice that someone’s trying to guilt-trip you. This can help you combat it.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation where a person makes a victim doubt their own sanity, making them question their reality, perception, and judgment. This is done in order to keep the victim in control, so that the manipulator can exploit them any way they want.
Someone Trying To Gaslight You Might:
1. Tell blatant lies.
2. Openly deny their words and actions, even when you show them proof.
3. Use what is dear to you as a weapon.
4. Exhaust your energy and confidence over time.
5. Use confusion to weaken you.
6. Use positive reinforcement to control you.
7. Try to turn people against you.
8. Tell everyone that you are crazy.
9. Try to make you believe that the entire world is lying.
Recognize the pattern of belittling behavior. Gaslighting is effective only when the victim isn’t aware of it. Once you understand this form of psychological manipulation, it’ll be easier to fight it.
3. Peer Pressure
Peer pressure means when you are directly or indirectly forced to do something despite not being comfortable with it, by a peer or a group of peers. Peer pressure normally happens in friendships.
6 Types Of Peer Pressure:
1. Spoken Peer Pressure
Suggesting, asking, and persuading through words to engage another person in a particular behavior.
2. Unspoken Peer Pressure
Exposing a person to the actions of peers, who is then left to decide whether to follow along.
3. Direct Peer Pressure
A behavior-centric approach – can be spoken or unspoken.
4. Indirect Peer Pressure
Subtle but has a strong influence on the person, much like unspoken peer pressure.
5. Negative Peer Pressure
Trying to engage a person in something that goes against the moral code.
6. Positive Peer Pressure
The dynamics of a peer group can be a healthy influence if the activity is something positive, like encouraging someone to study.
Adolescents are highly vulnerable to peer pressure. But adults can be vulnerable to it too. To sum up: Be aware of it and choose the positive influences that lead to beneficial and happy experiences.