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10 types of emotional manipulation tactics that we should be careful about

By, Delhi
Feb 01, 2024 12:02 PM IST

From generalisation to evoking fear, here are a few manipulation techniques commonly used in toxic relationships.

A relationship can very smoothly turn toxic because of certain behavioural patterns which can be harmful for the people involved in it. A relationship requires equal amounts of effort, understanding, trust and loyalty to create a healthy space for communication and exchange of feelings and emotions. However, in certain cases, it may not be a space for equality. "It is important to learn to distinguish emotional manipulation techniques as these are used often in relationships between two people. They can use your insecurity against you by playing with feelings or make use of the gaslighting technique by making you doubt your understanding of reality," wrote Psychologist Alf Lokkertsen.

10 types of emotional manipulation tactics that we should be careful about

Here are a few manipulation techniques that are often used in a relationship to control a person.

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Moving goalposts: In this case, the criteria to make the person happy constantly keeps shifting, making the other person overwhelmed and work harder to keep the satisfaction alive in the relationship.

Generalisation: Certain terms are used to stereotype a behavioural pattern to accuse the other person and make them feel bad about every move of theirs.

Changing the subject: Constantly changing the subject when a difficult conversation comes up in order to avoid it and escape from it is a classic red flag.

Gaslighting: Making the other person feel that their version of reality is wrong and trying to manipulate them to believe in another reality is known as gaslighting.

Passive-aggression: In this case, negative feelings are expressed in a indirect way instead of sitting down and talking about it to find a solution.

Lying or denial: Sometimes people may try to manipulate their feelings when they are in the process of lying or trying to cover up the truth.

Targeting insecurity: In this case, a person may try to zoom in and bring up the insecurities of another person with the intention of hurting them.

Ignoring: Constantly ignoring the partner as a way of punishing them can make them feel a sense of disconnect in the relationship.

Conspiring: This involves ganging up with other people with the intention of manipulating someone or making them feel bad about themselves.

Evoking fear: Using fear as a tool of manipulating someone to get things done in a certain way is toxic behaviour.

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