Manipulation in friendships is more common than people think as no one wants to believe that a friend can manipulate them as a lover can. They have the power of subtle persuasion and before we know it, we have been pulled into situations we wish we hadn’t encountered.
It will start with little things and before you know it you have been pulled in deep to their mind games and the hurt runs deep.
When you see clearly what has been going on you feel violated and taken back that someone who is supposed to be your friend is, in reality, your enemy.
The signs that you have been manipulated are similar to those used by the narcissist in a romantic relationship.
They ‘joke’ around you and about you, they are not laughing with you like your other friends do when some ‘in-joke’ is said, they are actually laughing at you.
They use a certain tone when talking to you and they make you do things you would prefer not to. They have a look in their eyes that tells you that you best do what they demand which leaves you feeling used and abused. This is bullying plain and simple.
- You can’t say no
You feel unable to say no to them, and to say no to them fills you with dread and they scare you as you are unsure how they will react to you when you say no, but you know it won’t be good.
At times the things they ask of you seem crazy and when you say no, they lose their temper or sulk until you give in to them, sometimes they use threatening behavior towards you or even say they will reveal a closely guarded secret so you give in to them.
- You justify your actions
They make fun of you and what you say and do. You end up feeling you have to explain all your actions to them as if you need their approval, they have without you knowing almost programmed you to act this way and it is soul-destroying.
If one of your other friends notices this and talks to you about it you defend your actions and explanations by saying your other friend is a sounding board and everything is okay.
- If you really cared me…
They always pull this one when you are not doing what they want you to do. They lay a guilt trip on you and make you feel that the only way to prove you’re a good friend and care about them is to do exactly what they say.
They resort to blackmail and play on your emotions leaving you feeling the worst friend in history.
- You blame yourself
You know it isn’t your fault but they lay the blame for everything that is wrong with their sad existence on you. They often tell you that if you were a better friend you would make life better for them. They can’t take responsibility for their own actions they have to blame someone else and you are the easy target.
As a result, you are left feeling guilty and your mind is left in turmoil and you struggle to make sense of all that is going on.
- Emotional blackmail
They use this tactic and disguise it as caring about you and it really is one of the worst tactics they use. They are very good at sensing that you are getting to the end of your tolerance for them, so they make up some wild sad story that leaves you feeling sorry for them.
They will say that if you were not their friend, they would have no one and if they ever lost your friendship, they couldn’t carry on without you, nasty shit like that.
One of the most common manipulations and they use it to make you think you are crazy a good example is when you challenge them about something, they have said they will deny they ever said it or that you misunderstood what they said and that you are too sensitive.
Sometimes you will hear them telling someone else a story about past events and you were there and you voice that it didn’t happen that way and they will turn on you in front of everyone and say you have a bad memory which you know deep down isn’t true.
- Convenient neediness
This is a common and extremely irritating tactic they use. You can go weeks without hearing from them much to your relief for them to suddenly pop back into your life. What has really happened is you stopped serving their needs and they latched onto someone else and now they have decided you can give them what they need hence why they are back in your life.
If you recognize a friend in your circle after reading this time to clean house on your inner circle.