Christian Relationship Help: Recognizing Emotional Manipulation

Christian Relationship Help: Recognizing Emotional Manipulation   by Karla Downing

This Christian relationship help will enable you to recognize emotional manipulation. Dysfunctional people often use tactics to manipulate you to get what they want. These people are usually skilled at recognizing the weaknesses they can exploit. The only way to counter their ability to get to you is to recognize the tactics so you can stand against them. Jesus warned that we should be on our guard because some people will want to hurt us and that some of them will be from our own families (Matthew 10:17; 35).

Emotional manipulation occurs when someone deliberately manipulates another person into feeling a certain way that can then be exploited. Here are the ways you can recognize emotional manipulation:

Threatening to take away something that you value or want is used to get you to do what the person wants. Threats can include loss of the relationship, financial ruin, revealing secrets, holding resentments, imposing consequences, treating you badly, or blaming you for the outcome. An example would be, "If you don't continue to give me money, I will never see you again. I will be forced to live on the street and will resume my drug habit. If I die, it will be your fault." Threats induce fear of loss in you that makes you want to give in to avoid whatever you dread.

When people want you to feel guilty, it is because they are using the guilt to convince you to do what they want. The guilt is usually focused on an area that you have self-doubt in and already feel guilty about. Here are some examples: "A loving Christian wife wouldn't treat her husband this way." "You don't love me or you would help me. What parent would throw a child out on the street?" These will get to you if you already doubt that you are a good Christian, a good wife, or a good parent.

It is easier to get you to back down or give in when you feel you are outnumbered. By bringing in another person to support his/her position, you will be more likely to question and doubt yourself. This uses the power of another person to get to you. Here are some examples: "I've talked to all my friends and none of their parents do this." "Dad agrees with me." "The pastor/elder says you are wrong."

The emotional manipulator can actually pretend to be the victim of mistreatment by wallowing in self-pity. If you begin to see the person as a victim of poor circumstances, mistreatment by others, bad luck, or hurt by your actions, then you will likely give in because you feel so bad. Some examples are: "No one helps me." "I always get bad breaks." "I'll never be able to survive this." "No one understands."

This Christian relationship help will enable you to recognize emotional manipulation so you can stand firm against it.

About the Author

If you need more practical tips and Biblical truths to help you change your relationships, get my FREE "15-Day Relationship Challenge" designed to give you back the power over your life. Just click here: Free 15 Day Challenge Karla Downing is an author, speaker, licensed marriage and family therapist, and Bible study teacher. Karla's passion is to help people find freedom in Christ in the midst of their difficult relationships and circumstances through Biblical truths and practical tools.

Find us on Facebook: