Manipulation is designed to be stealthy. We hardly recognize it when it's happening to us because our abuser has forced it to appear under wraps.

But when we recognize it for what it really is, we really feel like we've been smacked across the face. There is no other descriptor for it. Usually we've trusted and loved those that manipulated us.

u/GaryHippo asked:

[Serious] When did you realise you were being manipulated by someone you trusted?

Here were some of those answers.

A Platitude Of Pleasing

You never know where the next blowout is coming from. Any time something needs to be addressed, you might try to bring it up once, gently, if you're feeling brave. If you meet the slightest bit of resistance, or you don't feel like that fight in the first place, you just go "okay dear" instead. You find that you'll put the argument off until next time, and hope that whatever you thought to bring up won't have any consequences, because you'll be hearing about those, too. It sucks, and I'm glad you can speak about it in the past tense.


Wrong Or Right Or Just Not Agreeing?

When I started realizing that I was feeling like I was constantly walking on eggshells. I never knew which version of my friend I'd get when we saw each other, or when we hung out. I also just completely stopped disagreeing with them because I didn't want to hear them tell me how wrong I was if we didn't share the same viewpoint.


Being Used

My best friend suddenly distanced herself from me. But every now and then she'd call and ask if I wanted to do something, and I was encouraged because I thought it meant that things were still good between us. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that she only called when she wanted to do something that required a ride, since she didn't have a car. The only thing I can say in my defense is that I don't use people that way so I didn't recognize user behavior. You can bet I do now.


Hiding The Receipts

I was living with my former best friend and his gf at the time. When I asked for grocery receipts (I trusted him & his ex to buy groceries bc I didn't have a car at the time + our work schedules were different so I couldn't go with them) and they wouldn't provide any. The only reason I became suspicious was bc they started asking for a ridiculous amount of money for my half and the actual amount of food wasn't adding up. Up until that point they never asked for a crazy amount and I was content with our groceries, but I noticed they became extremely greedy. When I then asked to see a banking statement, they wouldn't even provide me with that either.

At that point I just realized they were finessing me out of extra money and I started buying my own food. I just bit my tongue bc we only had like 2 months left on the lease. They tried to gaslight me and make me seem like the bad guy any chance they had (almost the entire time I lived with them actually). Eventually, I grew apart from him once I moved away and the only reason he hit me back up was bc she cheated on him so he probably didn't have anyone else to turn to (go figure). We don't talk anymore.


Ah Yes, Good Old DARVO

My mother and I have always had a rocky relationship. She's always encouraged me to tell her what's wrong, however, any time I would she'd immediately go "sorry I'm such a terrible mother, I give you everything you want and it's still not good enough! Why don't you just go live with someone you don't hate?" Keep in mind this happens over small things such as "mom, I'd appreciate it if you'd knock before coming into my room. You know how easily I startle and you barging into my room really upsets me"


How Do You Do This To Someone

8 years into the relationship. As we're sitting down he explains to me that the "first couple years" we were together he only saw me as a place to crash and free rides, but he loved me NOW, and even though I accomplished all the goals HE set for ME so we could get married he said "I never really thought you could do it". Oh and also you got fat, but don't worry we can fix it! It was like a magic veil lifted and I finally saw who he really was. F**k you James.


Be My Friend And Not Theirs

She always managed to make me do things I didn't really want to do but the last straw was when she decided I had to stop being friends with two mates of mine over something stupid that offended her.

Cut her off over that and she then proceeded to act derisively ("you'll come back"), then badmouthed me and then begged me to take her back. Ten years later I am still friends with those two guys and she's still out of my life.


Victim Time

When literally every time me and my mom talked she played the victim.

I was trying to help her raise me, ask me about my grades and stuff. For her I just existed, she wasn't responsible at all.

I grew up watching her play the victim to others, and I was always on her side, cuz she's my mom you know. Also I never really understood what was going on.

I started getting older and older, and seeing sh*t after sh*t she did. I understood what she did to my father, to my step-dad, to my sister, to her friends.

Probably I'd be the next one who she would use and throw away.

I talked to her... and you know the result. The victim. Nothing it's her fault.

The last time we talked, I was expecting the victim card. When she started speaking, I already knew what was going to happen. I didn't even said a word, I just agreed with her, and the next day I moved out. I'm not wasting my time.

It was the last day before quarantine, I remember it as if it was yesterday. Friday night: saturday morning I was packing my stuff.


Sixteen Years Of Made Up Lies

After 16 years of marriage I realized my now ex was manipulating me. I would work and take care of the house and if I asked him to do something like get a job or clean up he would stage a mental breakdown and make me feel bad for asking him for help.

He would play up a horrible childhood or PTSD from the military to make me feel like I need to take care of him. Then would play on his computer all day and smoke while I worked.

Found out that a lot of his horrible childhood stories were made up and that he never made it through basic training in the military. I am happily with someone now but still catch myself cringing when he does things like cook or clean thinking that he is going to yell at me for being lazy. Meanwhile he loves me and is just doing things to take care of me. I'm working on deprogramming myself.


Sometimes It's The Mother-In-Law

Took me until after the engagement to realize that my cheating ex fiancee was trying to browbeat me into submission.

Anywho, I quickly recognized emotional blackmail and manipulation from my MIL after getting married to a different girl years later due to that experience. I called her out on it.

She... Doesn't like that. But since my wife and sister-in-law and brother-in-law also recognize it they've got my back.


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