8 ways to spot Emotional Manipulation
8 ways to spot Emotional Manipulation
1. There is no use in trying to be honest with an emotional manipulator. You make a statement and it will be turned around. Example: I am really angry that you forgot my birthday. Response - “It makes me feel sad that you would think I would forget your birthday,
tw/cw for abuse, child abuse, manipulation, i guess? I am putting this behind the cut because I feel wrong proclaiming it out on the dash. It was kind of hard to write. Uh, i guess feel free to reblog if it will be helpful to you, though.
My parents are both this in one way or another but I cannot believe it is on purpose most of the time. These guides are always written in ways that make it sound like the “emotional manipulator” is doing this totally consciously, doing this on purpose, often with implied planning and scheming. I really don’t think that is true in my parents case. I think it probably isn’t true in a lot of cases. I think in a lot of ways, all of these can be a learned system of interacting with people - especially if it was how you were raised or if you were raised by someone who make any direct expression of emotion or need could lead to other kinds of abuse, or anger (as was the case with my parents childhoods and to some extent my own.) These same kinds of things can be survival tactics when the alternative to playing the game of passive aggression is to be entirely passive and never get help or to face aggression.
The hard part is realizing that these are maladaptive ways of dealing with other people, that the way you were taught to approach relationships and problems, needs and wants was wrong and harmful - and then learn the healthy approach.
I’m sorry that happened to you. :( What kind of therapist was this? Because mine has NEVER said “you need to try harder,” or “choose between being normal or being crazy.” That seems… like a bad thing to say to someone with anxiety issues.
A bad one? No - um - eclectic adult psychologist and psychiatrist? I know he does some specialty work with addictions as well and he calls himself “actively engaging” and “not passive.”
But yes, those are very bad things to say. Very bad. Glad you have someone who isn’t very bad in that way. It feels absolutely terrible to hear, even when you tell yourself over and over that what he said was wrong and reassure yourself that your experiance of the session was valid.
Especially for me - it is really hard for me to accept that indeed authority figures said wrong things and I didn’t just “misremember” or “leave some part out” or “exaggerate” because my parents, dad especially would always tell me that I must be doing that whenever I would tell them such things.
I think the term is gaslighting, only I don’t think it was ever intentionally manipulative. I just think my father and mother were raised just as defensively as they raised me, and it basically ended up with me never being believed, and in turn coming to doubt myself - am I remembering only what I want to? Did I force him into a corner where he had to say these things? Am I twisting his words around?
I have been accused of all of these things by therapists, teachers, and parents, both in conversations I had with them, and in reference to conversations I was telling them about.
The only time it has ever happened with someone who wasn’t obviously an authority figure over me is with someone who was at the time, in a (half-subconscious) power play. This is the only reason I still have any faith in myself - because I only ever get accused of this by people trying to exert power over me - so I have slowly, slowly come to think that maybe I am not just prone to hysterical lying and misremembering, manipulation, and making people out to be horrible.
Maybe this was actually a form of control - maybe even abuse? It’s hard to say when it was conscious and when it was just how people were trained or raised to behave towards a child, especially “trouble children…”
The What and What to Do About Executive Dysfunction
Finally, some new content on my blog! Enjoy. - Elliott
What is executive dysfunction and what does it have to do with autism?
In short, executive dysfunction means that the brain has trouble managing the information that it is receiving. This affects areas such as attention, goal setting, planning, organization, processing, and memory. Many autistic people experience problems with executive functioning as one of the cognitive difficulties caused by the thinking differences of autism.
What specific ways does executive dysfunction affect someone’s life?
Executive functioning problems can affect someone’s relationships, education, healthcare, problem solving abilities, ability to function in the community, ability to function at home, and other aspects of life. It affects one’s ability to multitask, adapt to change, pay attention, complete tasks, use one’s working memory, keep things organized, planning how to do new things, achieving goals, and other areas.
So, how do we adapt to the challenges of executive dysfunction?
One way to meet the challenges of executive functioning difficulties is to use tools to help ourselves manage information. This is not the only way, and you may discover other ways that are effective for you as you pay attention to the differences in your thinking style.
There are ways that you can create stability in your life by creating structure in your life. You can do this by forming a routine, which will help you to make sure that the everyday tasks you need to do will get done. Forming a schedule will also help by helping you to plan ahead and plan for changes in your routine so that they are less disorienting.
First, in order to make sure that you choose the best tool for your needs, it is important to identify the ways that you prefer to take in information.
- Ask yourself if you pay more attention to sights, sounds, tactile sensations, or something else (or some combination) when you are taking in information from the environment.
- Ask yourself what you remember best. Is it information you received through sight, through sound, through touch, or something else/a combination?
- Ask yourself whether it is easier for you to take in words or information that is nonverbal, such as pictures.
- Ask yourself whether it is easier for you to remember information that is presented in words or in pictures.
You do not have to necessarily sit down and ponder these questions. Instead think about what has worked well and what hasn’t in the past. Also observe how you react to and process new information. This should give you some clue as to how your system best manages information and help you to identify what sort of tool might work best for you.
- If you prefer visual information that is verbal, you might want to consider using written notes, calendars, post-its, visual signs, or text message reminders.
- If you prefer visual information that is nonverbal, you might want to try using pictures, photos, visual schedules, calendars with stickers, PECS-type strategies, and color-coded schedules. This is the route I prefer. I find that pictures and colors stick in my head and are easier for me to comprehend than other methods.
- If you prefer auditory information that is verbal, you could try spoken messages recorded on your phone, computer, or another device.
- If you prefer auditory information that is nonverbal, you may wish to try using sound alarms on your phone in addition to a reminder or you could even use different sounds to mean different things you are trying to remember. Go, explore those ringtones! Or record your own!
- If you prefer tactile information, you may wish to pair your reminders with vibrating alarms.
- These are just a few examples. You really have to find what works for you, and that means you have to try new things until you find something that works well!
Because of the nature of life, we have to keep adapting to changes in the world around us. This means that it is super important to schedule in regular time to maintain the scheduling system you have in place. Also, make sure the method you choose is accessible, tailored to your needs, and capitalizes on your strengths.
Sources: Living Well on the Spectrum by Valerie L. Gaus. Copyright 2011 by The Guilford Press.
Can I just. I know this post is made entirely in good faith and I am sure it is going to be super helpful to a lot of people, but.
But as someone who was told since a very early age that being on a strict schedule is the “best” way to help me, or the only way to solve some problem, or the “most effective” whatever, I really want to add:
Schedules do NOT work for everyone. And a lot of people do not take that into consideration. Schedules are so often talked about as “regulating” and “calming” and “organizing” that it seems when someone like me tries to tell their experience of schedules as stressful and anxiety educing and restrictive and having an overall effect of reducing functioning, people (specifically people who have experience with treating mental illness, either as a professional or just tangentially) will tell me I must not be trying, or just dismiss my experience as not taking enough time to “let the schedule work.”
I really just needed to say this today, because I’ve been having a bad week, but NOT being flexible about time and task and ability can be a major source of stress for people with any sort of neural atypicality. Having a set schedule can mean that you are not able to take the extra time you need on one task because it makes everything else suffer. It can mean that instead of just skipping the dishes tonight, you have to spend hours and energy you might not have reworking your weeks schedule to fit that back in.
Schedules that are reenforced through behavioral “tools” especially by other people, can be outright abusive - punishing people for things they legitimately can’t do or coercing them past boundaries they set up for themselves. This is almost always what happens when a doctor/counselor tells parents to set a schedule for their child with executive functioning issues.
Not everyone can easily or happily work on a schedule. There is a myth that certain types of neuroatypical people will naturally form schedules and only thrive on schedules. The fact is, this completely ignores the stress and anxiety that schedules can cause.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I have long suspected that when professionals say “schedules help” what they really mean is:
1) giving neuroatypical people clear and specific times and requirements for what you will be asking of them is helpful (“I am coming over with my family at 7pm on Thursday, so please have a vegetarian friendly dinner ready for 4” is much more helpful than “I might be coming over with some of my family at some point later this week. I’ll let you know.”)
2) providing neuroatypical people with cues is helpful (A list of things that one might do before bed placed on the nightstand, rather than a strict time that one must brush teeth. Placing a picture of a person brushing teeth on the mirror by the bathroom sink is another cue.)
3) Some neuroatypical people might require additional reminders. (Setting an alarm or asking a friend or parent to let you know that it is 1am and you asked to be reminded that you wanted to start getting ready for bed VS. Having every hour of the day assigned to a task so if you are not sleeping by 1:30am you will not be able to get enough sleep.)
4) Some neuroatypical people have different ways of processing reward and enforcement of behavior. (Help the neuroatypical person set their own goals - preferably not highly time sensitive or things that contain the words “in a row.” The best goals would have to do with the person’s feelings of contentment and confidence such as “feel comfortable with state of cleanliness in room”. They should be rewards in and of themselves and the additional reward is helping the neuroatypical person enforce that in a way neurotypical people do just by reaching the completion of a goal. The reward should never be something that was needed and up until this point deprived - that is not reward, that is negative reinforcement and abusive. So a new video game might be a reward (purchased for oneself or by a friend helping with this reinforcement or by a guardian if you have one) but a pair comfortable, non irritating shoes that are seasonally appropriate, say, should not be reliant on these tasks. That makes them stress, not helpful.)
Anyway, this is the rant that has been building up for a long time.
If schedules don’t work for you, you are not alone. Maybe, like with me, people were mistaking schedule for lack of ambiguity and vagueness. Maybe they were suggesting it as a tool for reward encoding but forgot to mention there are other ways to do that. Who knows. I think “use a schedule” is such a pervasive bit of advice that people don’t always think about why it works.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I think it is also super popular in some cases because it helps NT people feel more in control of neuroatypical people - specifically when this advice is given to parents of neuroatypical children. Not that it is intended as controlling and abusive, but I doubt that isn’t part of it’s popularity as the number one piece of advice for most conditions.
I am putting this on my main blog because this is actually something I want people to see. Maybe I will delete it later when I am less fired up about it. I don’t know.
In a series of studies, scientists induced feelings of guilt in volunteers, presumably by forcing them to talk to their grandmothers about their career choices for 10 solid minutes. The participants were then given a candy bar that they were told was part of a taste study. Those who were primed with guilt reported that they enjoyed the treat significantly more than those who weren’t. A later study identified similar results in women who were given the opportunity to view the online profiles of men they might be interested in dating. Those who were made to feel guilty first ended up getting more enjoyment out of ogling some bros (brogling, if you will).
Scientists suspect that this effect is mostly due to societal conditioning. We’re still pretty judgmental of one another, especially when it comes to “moments of weakness.” As such, we experience guilt alongside or immediately after pleasure so often that we’ve gotten the two confused. We got our shame chocolate all mixed up in our orgasm peanut butter.— Cracked.com “5 Things Everyone Hates (Science Says You Secretly Enjoy)”
please tag your hannibal
reposting this because there are two more people I follow now posting stuff from the show.
A show about a therapist manipulating his patient is triggering.
please tag your stuff.
#hannibal is what I have blocked now.
Please tag your Hannibal stuff
there was already something about that show that seemed off to me, but someone had to go and tell me what it was actually about.
See, some people have actually be abused by their psychologists in the past. Some people have actually had people who were supposed to be the ones they trusted with their mental health abuse that and manipulate them through the sensitive relationship that therapy is.
Yeah, some of us would rather NOT be reminded about how “adorbs” you think that is.