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Are You Falling For These 3 Methods of Emotional Manipulation?

Emotional Manipulation Is More Common Than You Think

Do you ever feel like someone is taking advantage of your good will, your generosity, or your kindness? Do you ever feel as if you want to do one thing, but someone else is pressuring you to do another?

The tools of manipulation are very common and blatant, while some are more subtle in their execution, despite their common use.

Learn to identify the tools of manipulation so that you may avoid abusive situations and relationships. You might find that you are experiencing manipulation every day situations without even realizing it. Free yourself from manipulation and from abusers.


“I’ll get you for this.” / “You’ll be sorry.” / “Just wait and see.”

Threats can be thinly veiled or blatant. Manipulators use threats as a means of intimidation to incite fear, anxiety, and insecurity.

Abusers of threats prefer to call them “warnings”, but use them as means to get their victims to do something as to avoid the “consequences”.

Threats can include acts of violence, verbal abuse, and hostage situations in which the individuals hold something for ransom until they get their way. Emotional and physical abuses are not the only types of people who use this tool. Threats can take place in work situations. For example, “If you don’t do this, I’ll report you…”

Threats must not be confused with warnings where both parties agree upon the terms of “punishment” or “consequences”. Abusers employ threats as a unilateral way of getting a desired outcome against the other’s will.

Silent Treatment

The silent treatment is used hand in hand with a bad attitude because the abuser is employing a non-verbal way to exert control over a situation. They hold their communication hostage to make the other person feel guilty, insecure, and afraid.

The silent treatment is also tied with avoidance and denial. Some abusers use avoidance as a way to deny their victims a chance to discuss issues and solve problems in a cooperative way.

The silent treatment tells others that the abuser is not emotionally mature to conduct a win-win conversation, nor can they handle their emotions to discuss difficult subjects. The silent treatment prolongs disagreements and causes grief, pain, and insecurity.


“You don’t belong here.” / “Out of sight, out of mind.” / “You don’t fit in.”

Exclusion is used as a means of “removing the problem from the situation”. When emotional manipulators don’t get their way, they seek to “make an example” of an outcast to show others what happens when they don’t fall in line.

Exclusion does not happen mutually, as the “perpetrator” is forced out of the group on the grounds that they “don’t fit in” with the rest of the group.

Emotional manipulators feed off of the insecurity of the weaker or fearful of the group to gain their power for control. Due to the support they have from the indifferent or fearful individuals, they may divide and conquer while they exclude non-welcome members.


Leslie, Inc. offers solutions for finding happiness through one-on-one coaching, mindful leadership retreats, and digital products. If you’re ready to GET HAPPY, check out Leslie’s guide packs. For more tips on achieving your state of happiness, sign up for Leslie, Inc’s weekly newsletter.

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