Intimidation isn’t always with direct threats, but can be subtle.
Intimidation can be achieved with a look or tone and statements like: “I always get my way;” “No one’s irreplaceable.” “The grass isn’t any greener;” “I have methods and friends in high places;” “You’re not so young anymore;” or “Have you considered the repercussions of that decision?”
Another strategy is telling a story meant to provoke fear, such as: “She left her husband and lost her kids, their house, everything.” “I fight to win. I once almost killed a guy.”
6. Playing the Victim
This is distinct from blaming the victim. Rather than blame you, this “poor me” tactic arouses your guilt and sympathy so you’ll do their bidding. “I don’t know what I’ll do if you don’t help me.” More disordered personalities often threaten suicide if you leave.
It can also take the form of, “You don’t care about me;” “Why do you treat me like this?” or “Nobody helps me.” You compliance breeds your resentment, damages the relationship, and encourages continued manipulation.
Guilt over someone else’s behavior or predicament is irrational guilt.
These tactics are destructive. Don’t confuse forgiveness with forgetting. Manipulation will likely continue. Over time, this is traumatic and can severely damage your self-worth. Awareness is the first step. You may need help to see things clearly.
Write out conversations and try to identify abuse and all the tactics used. Harder still is not taking the words of the manipulator personally and learning how to respond. Find out how to Deal with a Narcissist and Difficult People, and Become Assertive and Set Limits.
Join my list and get free “14 Strategies to Handle Manipulation.” Also do take the steps to Raise Your Self-Esteem and find Freedom from Guilt. Often, childhood trauma is what made you deny and be vulnerable to such abuse in the first place. You may need to Conquer Shame if your self-worth has been damaged.
©Darlene Lancer 2019
Written by Darlene Lancer
Originally appeared in WhatIsCodependency.com
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