I had no idea that emotional manipulators existed. In my naïvity I have been completely unaware that people use emotions to manipulate. I understood to a point, I guess. Honestly though it has not been something that has crossed my mind. Why would it? I can barely understand my emotions I cannot possibly spend time trying to manipulate others. There have been a series of events that have led me to researching emotional manipulators, I am not going to go into them even though every fiber in my being wants to give every minute detail….Let me say, my brain takes a while to get things. It is like part of my brain is writing in the future and doesn’t understand what it is writing about until much later.
I came up with a title “Angel’s Brain Delay”.
Just because I am on delay does not mean that I won’t get it. I wish someone would help me get it a bit faster though! I guess I need to do my own process so I truly grasp what I am learning/seeing. There is a lot in all of this, but I feel like it is very important to write about. Especially for those on the autism spectrum or those who are their supporters. We need people to watch out for us! We need people who are trustworthy and are supportive. We need people around us who will act upon their “gut” feelings about others who come into our lives. People who love us and have our best interest in mind, not theirs.
Throughout my life I have had family and friends tell me about their doubts and concerns after the fact.
They have questioned and doubted their own feelings because I gave the perception of being happy. I wore masks because I thought that I was wrong about my own “gut” feelings. I sat in silence about my doubts and concerns about people in my life because everyone seemed to like them and think that they were great. My mind can get easily confused by people’s motives and being prone to thinking that I am the one who is wrong, I will default to how I perceive others acting toward that person. The problem is that the people that I trust most have the same issue as I do, they think that they are the problem.
It has taken me a while, but I have some real clarity about emotional manipulation.
It is like being brainwashed, in many ways you are. You lose identity, voice, confidence, and your brain becomes confused. For someone like me, I am a target for people like that. It is very clear if you have read my blog about relationships or anything about people that I am easily manipulated. However, when I see and comprehend something there is no turning back. It has taken years upon years for me to look at my life and get to this moment to say: “I am not the problem!” My goodness I have not done anything wrong. What really gets me and throws me into confusion are those who say: “Oh, no Angel you haven’t done anything wrong. I support you completely and want the best for you.” While they are saying and doing little things to trigger doubt and insecurity. It makes me feel like I am insane!
I know that there are many others who have felt this way.
We are not weak or insecure, but have been convinced that we are and finally give in and believe it. I would give examples of my own life, but I have plenty throughout this blog. Once you see the pattern and the signs you cannot help, but see it with clarity. I am going to share several resources that have great information. This is so important for a person on the autism spectrum, we can go from the extreme of trusting any and everyone to trusting no one and living just to protect ourselves. We are vulnerable because of our lack of social understanding, especially people’s intentions. Those who seem to be the most trustworthy and looking out for our best interest could be the worst possible person in our life.
I think the hardest part for me to grasp is that it is not on purpose.
Most people who are emotional manipulators do not set out to be that way. They are not trying to hurt others. They are operating out of their own hurt and insecurities. They are trying to control every aspect of their own emotions to ensure that they never get hurt. In the process they have become completely dependent on another person for their emotional gauge and happiness. With a person like me, these type of people are poison. They slowly kill me and cause me to waste away. I begin to shut down everything. I get so confused and sick that I cannot live unless I am numb. It was easy before when I thought everything was my fault, but now that I see it I cannot accept that it is my fault. I have had a flood of my past and recent experiences and I cannot accept that I am solely at fault for all that they claimed I was.
I have my own problems, I am sure some things are my fault, but I am not taking ALL the blame any longer.
I didn’t truly understand passive-aggressive behavior until several months ago. It is hard for me to comprehend people doing things like that so I have been digging around and found this article that I thought was very good in explaining aggression. Two Types of Aggression There is a section called “The Process of Victimization” that really helped me understand how I could fall into victimization. Here are some things taken from each section and my voice about it.
“But because we can’t point to clear, objective evidence they’re aggressing against us, we can’t readily validate our feelings.”
Oh, goodness! YES!! I think that Aspie’s can have an even greater challenge because of this.
“The tactics manipulators use can make it seem like they’re hurting, caring, defending, …, almost anything but fighting.”
I get taken every time I feel like someone is in need or hurting, I have mentioned before that I have a “help” trump card in my brain that will default my reason if I feel someone is hurting or in need. I get played.
“All of us have weaknesses and insecurities that a clever manipulator might exploit.”
There are many things deemed as weakness or insecurities in me that have been exploited. I believe the main problem is my lack of understanding and I think that those of us who are not as wise to social cues, unspoken rules and the ways of the world have more of a challenge here.
“What our gut tells us a manipulator is like, challenges everything we’ve been taught to believe about human nature.”
Ok, thank you. I am not completely blind here. My gut tells me one thing and my brain gets confused because I hear something that feels wrong, but it is said with a smile or with a “I only care about you and want the best for you.” kind of talk.
The whole article is quite insightful and very helpful. I suggest reading the whole thing. I did find a couple of videos that were good and several other articles. It is so strange when things get connected and become very clear. However, it is pointless to try to communicate to someone who is an emotional manipulator, it will always be your fault or someone else’s fault. They will confuse and distort words and what you are saying. For me, I just shutdown because I get so confused and mixed up. I tend to become very strange in my behavior because I am so utterly confused and do not know what to do. I will stop talking as well. I honestly do not know if people who are like this can change.
It seems highly unlikely, unless they are willing to recognize and take action on their part.
I understand that people operate out of pain and hurt themselves. I understand that people may have grown up in environments where that is all they know and it is the only way that they feel in control. I understand some people are just rotten. I understand it, but I do not fully grasp it. I guess all of us at some point manipulate others to get what we want. But I am truly clueless when I do it. It wouldn’t cross my mind to try to use someone to get what I want. Especially, their emotions. I see how it is a very good tactic though, emotions can make people do practically anything.
Oh, well here are some resources.
How to Protect Yourself From Emotional Manipulation (Seems cleaner than above version.)
Emotional Manipulation Disguised (A personal blog)
Emotional Manipulation (This was hard to read with all of the colors and fonts, but it had some good information.)
Recognizing Emotional Abuse Video (This video hit me hard because he first speaks about how our behavior is learned by our children.”To teach our children confidence we first need to have confidence.” I don’t want my kids confused like I have been or lacking self esteem. I don’t know about the woman in the beginning or the excerpt of song at the end though.)
Emotional Manipulation–What it is & Are You Using It? (This guy is a hoot! He was kind of hard to watch and listen to at times, but he had some good information too and I thought it was worth sharing.)