One of the scariest things about being in a manipulative relationship is that a lot of the people are not even aware that it is happening. Manipulative people are great at twisting your desires, wants, actions and thoughts into things that suit them and the way they perceive the world. They will mold you into a person who will serve their personal purposes.

Here are some of the biggest signs you are in a manipulative relationship and what you can do about it.

  1. THE CLASSIC BULLYING

This is one of the easier and more obvious methods of manipulation. For instance, your partner is asking you if you want to clean their car to which you obviously want to say no. Although you want to say no, they give you a look and speak to you in a tone of voice which warns you that if you do not clean their car, something bad will happen later.

This person is making use of threat and violence to get you to do what they want you to do. They may tell you “you really shouldn’t have done it,” making them look like a good person.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

This answer is a tough one because most people find it easier to do as they say because they do not want any confrontation with them. However, you should try and say  “no” to things you don’t want to do. If you find yourself fearing for your personal safety whenever you say or want to say no, it is imperative for you to get out of the situation as soon as possible.

  1. ADVANTAGE OF HOME COURT

The main purpose of manipulation is to control, and one of its most important tactics of gaining control is by taking the individual out of his or her element. Take a moment to consider where it is that the two of you go on dates, the friends you visit, the places you hang out and where it is that you live. Do they include places you love? Is it your friends you visit or his? Are your dating places your choice or his? This could be one of the techniques of manipulation which have been designed by your partner so that they can have more control. It is easier for them to control you when you are not in a place of comfort.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Equal your home court advantage to 50/50. Both of you should live life for each other. The places you go for dates should be chosen by both of you. You should both be going only to those places where both of you feel equally comfortable. This is what entails an equal, and a healthy relationship.

  1. TUGGING AT YOUR HEARTSTRINGS

Take for example your partner came across a puppy. A non-manipulative person would take your opinion about getting the puppy, discuss things like whether or not you can afford the food and vet care, find out whether or not your landlord likes puppies and determine whether or not it is best for the both of you as well as for the puppy.

The manipulative partner will try to tug at your heartstrings. He or she will make you feel guilty for saying no. They will use tactics like “he is homeless, just look at him! are you going just to let him die alone and cold out in the streets? Where is your love?” there is a huge difference.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Do not let them or anyone make you feel guilty for choosing what is best for you. If you are not in a position to pet a puppy or you just don’t like pets, it is not your responsibility to ensure their survival. You can meet most of these manipulative tactics with reasonably acceptable alternatives like taking it to the nearest adoption shelter or finding another home for it.

  1. YOU WOULD DO THIS IF YOU REALLY LOVE ME…

This is the worse. A manipulative partner is practically asking you to prove that you love them over and over again with the intention of letting you give them whatever they want. “you would go get ice cream for me at the store if you really love me!” or “If you really love me you would rethink your decision about having babies.” Here your partner is using emotion and guilt to shame or prod you to do anything that they want. Irrespective of how innocent it may sound, it is a technique of manipulation.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Simply put a stop to it. Tell them you can still love them in so many other ways without having to go and get ice cream at the store. You can also directly tell them to simply ask them a favor without staking your love for them on it.

  1. EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL

It is an ugly thing to use emotional blackmail, and no part of it contributes to a healthy relationship. It goes something like “if you leave I will kill myself,” or “without you, I will surely commit suicide.” It can either be casual or dramatic. Here your partner is using shame, guilt and fear tactics to keep you under their control. Are you just in a relationship because your partner is threatening to kill themselves if you leave? No one’s well being or life is your complete responsibility.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Don’t fall victim to it. Most times, it is more a form of manipulation than a real threat to self-harm or suicide. Just try and be on the safe side by telling them you will call an ambulance or the police if they are feeling suicidal because it is not your responsibility to deal with it. It may sound harsh, but often, this is the best thing that you can do both for your partner as well as for you.

Remember that if you stay too long in a manipulative relationship or let yourself be manipulated into doing things that you do not like at all, it will lead you to depression as well. Keep in mind that your well being is your priority.