Emotional Manipulation and Coercion: Your Guide To a Healthy Relationship.

I believe that when -most of us- fall in love, we get blinded. We only see the good in our partners and ignore the bad. We refuse to believe that the person we fell for would hurt us in any possible way. However, eventually -and perhaps after a very long time- we receive it and we feel it all. Everything we chose to ignore comes rushing and overwhelms us with emotions (mostly pain) So maybe this is your sign today, if you’re ignoring the red flags and ignoring your friends constantly telling you that you’re in fact not in a perfect relationship, then maybe this is for you…

One of the most important things that we fail to acknowledge while in a relationship, is when we are being emotionally manipulated. Someone who is a manipulator always makes you doubt yourself. They force you into saying “yes” to things you don’t want to do and you do it because they make you feel bad if you choose not to.

So what are the signs of emotional manipulation?

1. Moving Miles in Too Fast:
Meaning, they skip the get to know you part and overwhelm you by moving very quickly in the relationship. Doesn’t give you or them the time it needs to be comfortable around each other.

2. Playing on Your Insecurities:
For example, they may make you feel that no one else will ever love you.

3. Lying:
No surprises here, a manipulative person is a liar. When they are caught, they deny everything and lie to you so that you actually believe them and start doubting yourself.

4. Changing the Topic:
When you’re arguing, they tend to attack you. For an example -and we see this in all movies and tv shows- if a kid is on drugs and the parents are arguing about it, one of the parents always attacks the other’s parenting skills.

5. Gaslighting:
It is basically when they make you trust them over yourself. Hence, if they abuse you then deny it, you blame your own memory. This is called gaslighting.

6. Passive-aggression:
This is when they freeze you out, guilt-trip you or make indirect critical comments.

On another note; coercion is also a way some people use in a relationship that is just as bad -if not worse- as manipulation. It is when your partner persuades you to do something by force or threats.

What are the signs of coercion?

1. Isolating You From Your Support System:
They tend to try to cut your relationship with your friends and family to stop you from receiving the support you would, and will need.

2. Denying You Your Own Freedom:
They might deny you the freedom of movement and take away your independence.

3. Gaslighting:
Yes, gaslighting again

4. Threatening Your Children or Pets:
They might and could use threatening to harm your children/pets if other ways of controlling don’t prove to be effective on you.

5. Name-calling and Putting You Down:
This is simply bullying you to put you down and make you lose your self-confidence.

6. Making (Jealous) Accusations:
They comment on how much time you spend with your family and/or friends for instance.

Now how do you get out of this?

• Make your boundaries clear, even if it feels rude to do so; just do it.

• Speak to others about the emotional manipulation and get their validation.

• Take your time instead of rushing into decisions you may regret.

• Maintain communication with your support systems whenever possible.


Finally, as a general note, always remember your worth. You deserve to be loved and respected from everyone around you! So, it’s okay if you’re still figuring it out; it’s okay if you want to talk to someone professional about what you went/are going through. Do whatever feels comfortable to help you move on for good. And don’t forget to stay safe. Always.

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