A study carried out by scientists at Harvard University, USA, reveals some of the phrases that manipulative people frequently use to exert their control over their victims.
If you have felt that someone manipulates you in a relationship or you have noticed that your partner uses phrases that make you feel guilty, confused or insecure, it is likely that you may be facing a case of emotional manipulation.
It is a form of psychological abuse that can have serious consequences for your mental health and self-esteem. It is worth mentioning that People who engage in this habit use subtle strategies to influence another person’s behavior, emotions, or decisions..
The manipulator, who is usually insecure, selfish and with low self-esteem, seeks to obtain a benefit at the expense of the other person, without caring about the damage it may cause, he needs to control others to feel superior. And he does it with different techniques, such as lying, blaming, blackmail, intimidation or victimization.
The situation can occur in any type of relationship: couple, family, work, friendship, etc. Nevertheless, The most frequent and harmful cases are in relationshipssince it takes advantage of the emotional bond, as well as the trust that is supposed to exist between the two.
The phrases that manipulative people use the most
One of the most common ways manipulators exert their control is through language. There are certain phrases they frequently use to confuse, invalidate and control their victims.
Harvard University, United States, recognized for its research on issues of social relevance, has carried out an interesting study on manipulation in interpersonal relationships.
In this study, psychologist Cortney S. Warren, from Harvard Medical School, who specializes in love addictions and breakups, led the research.
In his work, he identified five common phrases that manipulative people use in relationships and proposed healthy responses that allow one to defend one’s own rights and limits without entering into the manipulator’s game.
1. You are crazy: This phrase is a way to make the victim doubt their own ability to think clearly. The manipulator tries to make the other person feel unstable, so that they are more susceptible to their influence.
How to answer: “Please don’t question my ability to think clearly” or “Even if we disagree, I see reality this way.”
2. Don’t worry: It should be noted that this phrase is used to minimize or invalidate the victim’s feelings. You try to make the other person feel that their feelings are not important.
How to answer: “I’m worried” or “Your feelings are valid”
3. It was a joke: Another of the phrases that justifies hurtful comments or behaviors. The goal is to make the other person feel guilty for being offended.
How to answer: “That comment was funny to you, but it hurt my feelings” or “I didn’t feel like it was a joke, I ask you not to talk to me like that.”
4. You made me do it: This phrase is to evade responsibility for one’s own actions and make the victim feel guilty for their behavior.
How to respond: “Actually, I can’t make you do anything” or “Your behavior reflects your choices, not mine.”
5. I don’t care: The manipulator tries to make the other person feel irrelevant or worthless. Use the phrase to dismiss feelings or needs.
How to answer: “You do care” or “I care.”
It is essential to note that if you feel manipulated, there are some things you can do, such as, once you are aware of the tactics these types of people use, it will be easier to identify and respond to them.
Additionally, you can tell the manipulator what you are willing to accept and what you are not.. One option is to seek support, whether you talk to a friend, family member, or therapist about what you’re going through. If none of the above works, it is better to go to a specialist or even to the corresponding authorities if the situation becomes violent.