Individuals who have a Narcissistic Manipulative Personality (or traits) can be dangerous to your health. Emotionally, psychologically and physically. They may never resort to physical violence but the psychological damage and trauma can be hurtful and traumatic. Even strong individuals can be damaged but you CAN MINIMIZE IT IF YOU EMPOWER YOURSELF.
Manipulative Personalities are often associated with the Cluster B Personality Disorders, though not always. (Narcissistic, Histrionic, Borderline, Anti-Social (formerly known as Psychopathic & Sociopathic personalities)
Some individuals who are manipulative have traits and others have a full-blown disorder. Personality Disorders often run on a spectrum from mild to moderate to pathological. Unfortunately, even on the lower end of the spectrum, they can still cause havoc and distress to those they target. By putting you in a one-down position makes them feel superior, powerful and in control.
If you believe you may be with a Manipulative Individual ask yourself:
Are you jumping through hoops to please a partner? Are you experiencing a sense of “never being good enough” no matter what you do? Are you trying to enforce boundaries that are dismissed by your partner? Are you the recipient of either rage or silent treatments? Are you coming to the unfortunate realization that a special someone in your life is trying to control you? Make you doubt your perceptions (Gaslighting)?
Do you feel on edge, more anxious or confounded? Does your partner often act charming, caring and then switch?
Do you feel devalued?
More questions to ponder:
Is that special someone showcasing signs of Jekyll & Hyde behavior, the mean/sweet, hot/cold behaviors that leave you feeling unhinged, confused, unworthy? Is this person well-liked by those who know them superficially? Ask yourself honestly, are you feeling as if your special someone is in direct competition with you? Creating envy, jealousy, and triangulation?
If you have answered yes to even just a few of these questions, you ARE BEING MANIPULATED. The more you answered “yes”, the higher probability that your partner or romantic interest may have traits of a personality disorder.
In my best-selling books Lessons for an Urban Goddess and The Urban Goddess Lesson,
I discuss in-depth the psychological underpinnings of these destructive personality types and suggestions.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, victimized and want to quickly turn the tables to empower yourself,
here are 3 steps you can take right now to get started. (Please note this is just a starting point).
SPEAK UP. Manipulators are often bullies. Some are dangerous, some are not. If you feel you are in danger, leave the situation quickly and seek help. If you do not believe you are in danger, find your inner strength and voice. Here are some examples:
“I will not tolerate you speaking to me that way”.
“I am not going to discuss this any further, I will let you know when I am ready”.
“My feelings and needs matter just as much as yours”.
“Stop it.” I will only talk to you if you are respectful”.
For those who have difficulty with conflict or fear it, this will be a tough lesson. You will need to throw the victim mentality away, ignore, ignore, ignore the victim mentality in your partner and stand strong. Envision yourself with an armor around you that destroys any negativity or psychological bullets headed your way. Often the manipulator/bully will eventually back down or come around to their more charming (temporary) selves. If they give you the silent treatment, so be it. Do not take it personally. This how the Narcissist/Manipulator copes with life and stress. They are not able to “own up” to taking responsibility.
LEARN TO SURRENDER THE OUTCOME WITH STRENGTH.
Yes, we are all aware that this is often easy to say and difficult to incorporate. When dealing with a manipulator, you may want to consider this route. Meaning, say your peace, don’t try to influence them or change the outcome, don’t stick around for more emotional battering or a silent treatment. Be sure to get some space and then go about business as usual. Manipulators and bullies often want you to make them the CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE. They often thrive on your emotional reactions. It gives them a sense of power. Think of them as a 3-year-old in an adult body having a tantrum. Believe it or not, they will respect you more if you stand up for yourself.
YOU ALWAYS HAVE A CHOICE
Let’s face it, it is not always easy to just walk away from a relationship. There are often many, many factors involved. Yet, there often comes a time it is clear that the manipulator has no intention of improving their behaviors and in order to save your life (and your children), you may need to walk away. Seek guidance and help. Reach out. Incorporate self-care into your daily life whether you decide to stay for now or leave. Start to put yourself first and stop walking on eggshells all the time. Research and statistics confirm that high-stress levels can cause severe illnesses, even death. Don’t let that be you. You are worthy of taking care of yourself and being treated well!
Go for walks, massages, yoga, meditations, exercise, listen to music, get together with caring, trustworthy friends. Join a support group, get coaching or counseling. Talk to a spiritual mentor. LET GO OF THE VICTIM MENTALITY! That is the greatest ammunition against a manipulator. The minute you wrap your head around the fact that there are individuals in the world who don’t have your best interest at heart is the minute you begin to heal.
Take charge of your life and empower yourself. No-one can do it for you.
Stop wasting time. Stand up to the manipulators in your life!
LANEY ZUKERMAN, BEST SELLING AUTHOR, “THE RELATIONSHIP COACH” ON PSYCHOLOGY TODAY.
HER WORKS AND INTERVIEWS HAVE BEEN PUBLISHED IN REDBOOK, BRIDE’S NBC, FORBES, MINDBODYGREEN, THE HUFFINGTON POST.