BASED ON: “30 Red Flags of Manipulative People”
You will find that many of these Red Flags are contradictory – which is part of the psychopath’s bag of tricks. Don’t be fooled, because if you believe their initial con-job, then they can keep you off balance, & you stay hooked.
★ We always need to be awake for what people are telling us about themselves – in all relationships. One Red Flag to look for is:
Always be suspicious of anyone who comes on too strong, too attentive & complimentary, too easily ‘attached’ – almost as soon as they meet you, even if some of what they say about you is accurate. They simply don’t know you yet, so all their sweet-talk is a form of manipulation & narcissism. It’s creepy!
Healthy people are not taken in by this – they can ‘feel’ such a person’s inappropriateness, whether from neediness or as a self-serving hook. They take the time to slowly get to know others, allowing the process to unfold the truth. This is especially important for ACoAs, who are looking for a symbiotic, instant attachment – but which makes us vulnerable to being used & then thrown away!
1. RELATIONAL Manipulation
• Declare you are their soul mate – in the beginning: psychopaths will tell you how much you have in common, they just can’t believe how perfect you are for them, let you do all the talking…. so you’re enchanted
• Flatter your deepest insecurities, mirroring your greatest fantasies, playing whatever role is necessary to win your heart. EXP:
— If you’re self-conscious about your looks, they’ll say you’re the sexiest person in the world
— If you have a need to be entertaining, they’ll say you’re the funniest most interesting person they’ve ever known….
• Over-emphasize emotions, verbally, but not ever show any themselves. Make passionate statements like “I’ve never felt so happy in my life”, but in a robotic, detached voice – like an alien trying to imitate human feelings
• Bait & Switch. After the initial seduction & idealization phase, they stop the compliments & flattery, then undermine your self-esteem by being degrading & belittling
• Ultimate hypocrite. Psychopaths expect you to be their perfect mate, demanding total fidelity, respect & admiration – while they cheat, lie, steal & use you emotionally
• Withhold attention. Once you’re hooked they suddenly become withdrawn & physically uninterested – without any obvious reason or explanation. They act bored, like it’s a chore to be intimate, completely annoyed that you expect to continue the passionate relationship they started.
It make you desperate & needy, ensuring that you’ll always be the one to initiate contact
• Provoke emotional reactions – deliberately setting you up. EXP:
— call you jealous after blatantly flirting with their ex on social media
— call you needy after intentionally ignoring you for 3 days straight…..
• Non-reactive – they’re cool, calm & collected & want you to feel inferior or over-sensitive for having normal human emotions & reactions
• Insult you in a joking but condescending way, subtly minimizing your intelligence & achievements, such as smirk any time you try to express yourself
• Controlling – They tell you what to of, say & feel. The try to ‘fix’ you up, obsessed with your appearance, making comments about what you’re wearing & how you look, always picking at you, pointing out flaws that don’t even exist
• Teasing you becomes their major style of communication – “just joking”! If you point this out, they call you hypersensitive, paranoid & crazy
• Silent treatment: If they stop talking to you for several days, it’s to show their displeasure because they want you to believe that it was your fault for expecting too much from them, for ruining their plans, for not being available when they wanted you…. & they’ll play the victim as an excuse for not telling you
• Spotlight – always shining it on your faults and ignoring their own. If you point out their mistakes, they’re quick to point the finger back at you.
— If they’re 2 hours late, they remind you that you were once 5 minutes late to your first date
— If they’ve forgotten to keep a promise, they remind you of the time you didn’t buy the milk you said you’d pick it up for their breakfast…..
• Gaslighting. Psychopaths blatantly deny their own manipulative behavior, ignoring clear evidence when confronted with it. They get angry if you try to disprove their denial / delusions using facts
NEXT: Red Flags, #2