5 Types Of Psychological Manipulation And How To Deal With Them

types of psychological manipulation

4. Negging


Negging is a form of emotional manipulation where a person uses backhanded tactics to make you feel bad about yourself, increasing your dependence on the manipulator’s approval.

Negging can take place in a few different ways:

They make backhanded compliments:
“Now, don’t you look dashing?” I would never find the courage to style my hair that way!”

They compare you with others:
“Your cousin looks so fit. You should follow in her footsteps and start working out.”

They always respond with “just joking” when you confront them:
“Take it easy! Where’s your sense of humor gone?”

They use the disguise of “constructive criticism” to insult you:
“The project report was horrible, but it’s clear that the subject went over your head.”

They disguise jibes as questions:
“Don’t get me wrong, but will you have all that food by yourself?”

They’ll try to make you feel bad for voicing your views:
“He might have molested you, but filing the police complaint will destroy his life.”

5. Emotional Blackmail

Emotional blackmail

Emotional blackmail is the act of controlling someone by taking advantage of that person’s feelings of fear, guilt, and obligation. In this style of psychologocal manipulation, the blackmailer threatens and places demands to get what they want. The underpinning for emotional blackmail is ‘if you don’t listen to what I say, it means you don’t love me.’

The emotional blackmailer doesn’t have any healthy methods to interact and communicate. They rely on giving threats, stonewalling, slamming doors, and other disturbing behaviors to have it their way. They lack the tools needed to understand how to convey their needs in a healthy manner.


“Stop loving me and I will kill myself.”

“I have had a discussion about this with my family/friends/therapists and they all agree that you’re being illogical.”

“You agree to come with me or not- I’m going for this trip.”

“How can you maintain that you have feelings for me and still be friendly with them.”

Related: Emotional Blackmail and Its 7 Signs

How To Deal With Manipulative People

Deal Manipulative People
Psychological Manipulation

1. Disengage.

Manipulators typically try to extract a particular emotional response from you, but you must not give in to their demands. For example, if a manipulative friend has a habit of flattering you before asking for an impossible favor, don’t give in- reply politely and change the topic of conversation.

2. Be confident.

A devious thing manipulators often do is make another person doubt their intuition, abilities, and reality. If you ever experience this, stick to your opinions. And if this happens regularly in your relationships, it’s a sign that maybe you should leave them for good.

3. Address the situation.

Call them out for their manipulative behaviors at the time it is happening. When you speak up about it, focus on how their behavior is affecting you rather than using accusatory remarks, but emphasize that their tactics won’t work on you. This may aid in reaching a resolution.

Related: 15 Red Flags Of Manipulative People

Mental Impact Of Manipulation

Mental Impact Manipulation
Psychological Manipulation

Victims Of Long-term Manipulation May:

  • Have depression
  • Experience anxiety
  • Resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms
  • Develop a habit of pleasing the manipulator
  • Hide their feelings or lie about them
  • Constantly prioritize other people’s needs over theirs
  • Find it hard to trust anyone

In certain cases, manipulation can be so chronic that victims begin to doubt their perception and sense of reality.

Related: How To Spot Manipulation

It’s Possible To Protect Yourself And Stay Safe

Psychological Manipulation help

Always remember that you are not alone. Communicate with others. Sharing what you’re going through with someone you trust helps to understand, validate and cope with your emotions. It can help you stay hopeful during the darkest times.

Confiding in a trusted person has two-fold benefits: You find a support system that helps you process what you’re experiencing, and you can spend time with a friend away from your abuser. Work towards forming your own group of people who will always be there for you.

To connect with a crisis counselor text “Hello” to 741741. ( Keeping your own safety in mind, it is advisable to delete the texts after the conversation, especially if your abuser has access to your personal devices)

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