In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the 14 tactics of covert manipulation.
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20 Signs You Are Being Gaslighted!
Is someone trying to manipulate you to doubt your own memory, perception, and sanity? Gaslighting is psychological abuse by Narcissists & Sociopaths Watch my video
Are you the victim of Covert Manipulation?
Are you in a relationship where you think you are mad or going crazy?
What about if you are not crazy, and your intuition is right?
Could it be your partner?
What Is The Intention of Covert Manipulation?
Covert Manipulation is a form of emotional abuse designed to control someone to take advantage of them.
The emotional abuser deceptively breaks you down, destroys your sense of self-worth, controlling the way you think, feel and behave, making you dependent on them and unable to escape their toxic power over you.
Here are 14 deceptive tactics of covert manipulation. They apply to all types of relationships – romantic, professional, or familial. I use the masculine gender in this article, because men engage in more covert manipulation than women do. However, the tactics can be used by men or women.
Gaslighting is psychological abuse aimed at convincing you that you are insane or mentally unstable. It is closely linked to covert manipulation. There are 20 signs that you are being gaslighted, and one key sign is when he denies that something ever happened and tries to brainwash you into thinking ‘It’s all in your head.’ He also invalidates your feelings, experiences, perceptions, and opinions.
In a court of law, you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Leaving out key information (“I am married…”) and being vague are also forms of lying. Lies include telling you the words he believes you want to hear: “I love you. You are my best friend. I can’t live without you…you are my soul mate…”
3. Denial And Avoidance
He denies making that promise or agreement. He minimizes your feelings or the abuse. He makes excuses for his bad behavior. He avoids accepting responsibility for his actions or even talking about them; “You are so negative and critical…you are too sensitive.” He might also avoid and deflect the abusive behavior by reinforcing verbally how much he loves and cares about you.
4. Playing Victim
Sometimes, he plays the helpless and dependent victim, “Poor, poor pitiful me.” He threatens to commit suicide if you leave; he cries out, “Why do you treat me so badly?” Playing the victim gives him power because he uses it to guilt you into doing things, he wants you to do.
5. Laying Blame – The Persecutor
He refuses to accept responsibility for any of his actions, and instead, he blames you for things that go wrong in his life: “It’s all your fault.” He lacks empathy and blames you for his outbursts, anger, aggression, or temper tantrums. And if he becomes violent or aggressive, he will say, “You made me do it. I have never done that with any other girlfriend.”
The manipulator reminds you of all the things you are doing wrong and looks for ways to guilt you into feeling bad about yourself and reminding you are not good enough. He might also try to make you feel guilty because you are not doing the things that he wants you to do: “If you really loved me, you would…” You will particularly fall prey to this tactic if you are a people-pleaser.
The manipulator wants you to believe that you are innately bad and flawed, i.e., you were born this way as a bad, inferior person. Additionally, he might try to shame you by comparing you with others, including his ex or other friends.
When you project a movie onto a screen, you are seeing on the wall what exists inside the movie. The same principle applies to covert manipulation: the manipulator projects his own self onto you. The very things he dislikes about himself are the things he accuses you of being or doing. For example, he accuses you of being unfaithful when in fact, he is cheating on you. He accuses you of being unable to control certain behaviors when he is doing the same but he is in complete denial. Therefore, take notice of the words and criticisms he launches at you; they apply to him; he simply cannot accept those things about himself and so, he projects them onto you. Read about Josh Duggar, Pedophilia and Projection.
9. The Rescuer
The manipulator wants you to feel helpless and powerless without him. He will remind you of his superiority, intelligence and how he knows what is best for you; he will be telling you the way you should be living and doing things. He might act as if he is your savior, teacher, or guru.
10. Punishment – Silent Treatment, Stonewalling
He scolds you for doing wrong or hurting him. Next, he shuts down emotionally and verbally. He ignores you and goes silent even as you stand in front of him. He does not respond to your messages; he might even block you on his phone or social media accounts. He might turn cold and withhold affection and physical intimacy. You feel ignored, invisible, worthless, and powerless.
11. Fear and Intimidation
The fear of loss is a powerful motivator -and manipulator. In this case, he will control you by threatening to end the relationship and abandon you. He might also threaten to cut off your financial resources or inform your friends and family of your bad behavior. Further, he might make physical threats, verbally abuse you, deliberately embarrass or humiliate you in front of others or assault you. Intimidation is designed to make you physically afraid of him.
Closely connected to fear, the manipulator wants you to feel insecure, jealous, and not good enough: He refers to a third person (real person or a deliberate lie) who is interested in or involved with him. He wants to control you be making you afraid you are going to lose his love and attention. He might use it to get you to do the things he wants or to isolate you so that you become more dependent on him. Another form of triangulation is using a third person to side with him against you and thus further reinforcing your insecurities and lack of self-worth.
13. Love Bombing & Intermittent Reinforcement
Intense attention might be the way he won you over in the beginning. Then, in between the abusive treatment, he intermittently and sporadically engages in endless attention, gifts, rapid escalation of intimacy, bursts of affection, a bombardment of text messages and calls, all designed into fooling you into thinking he loves and cares for you. In turn, you become attached and consumed, almost addicted to trying to get his approval and those rewards from him, hoping it might be the relationship might be the way it was in the beginning. Of course, he makes no changes to his behavior, and so the rewards are completely inconsistent and unpredictable.
14. Needling Your Insecurities
The skilled covert manipulator (Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, sociopath et al) knows you well. He understands what motivates you, and above all, intimately knows your insecurities; he may have opened-up to you just enough for you to reveal all of your pain, traumas and insecurities. Now, he knows how to push your buttons and make you feel worse about yourself. He might use your past against you (the very things you told him) or crush you by accusing you of being or possessing the qualities of the people that hurt you.
Covert Manipulation – You Cannot Change Them!
Covert manipulators lack self-awareness. Some manipulate you unconsciously, having become highly skilled at covert manipulation, while others consciously manipulate you. Either way, you are not going to change them. You are going to fail at helping them to change. You will destroy yourself while trying to save, help, change, redeem or simply love them. They were this way before you came along, and they will be this way long after you have gone. They don’t want to change even if they say they want to or are going to change.
If you need help to break free from a relationship of covert manipulation – particularly if your self-worth and confidence have been deeply damaged, do it now gently, easily, and quickly with my SRTT process. I am also available for executive coaching. Book an SRTT session and be set free from the past.
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.