The Four Types of Emotional Manipulators In Our Relationships


This is the second article in a series of articles titled 'Christian relationship help' which will discuss ways of helping strengthen the Christian relationship by offering advice, or bringing hitherto unminded issues to our attention and generally helping us to have and relate better with neighbors and fellow Christians. This particular Christian relationship help will enable you recognize the four types of emotional manipulators.

When sin entered the human race through disobedience, relationships were affected because people became self-centered. [Gen 3:8-11 -- And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?] Rather than being transparent, cooperative, and honest, people began to cover up and hide their motives and their intentions to get what they wanted. Emotional manipulators do this on a regular basis because they have become adept at being able to exploit the weaknesses of other people to get their way.

Types of emotional manipulators

In this article, we will discuss the various types. Understanding them is essential to recognizing them, and resisting them. Here are four types of emotional manipulators:

The Four Types of Emotional Manipulators

1). Intimidators.

The Intimidators use their power and position to threaten you into compliance. They do this through threats, anger, withholding, and punishment. They know how to exploit your doubts and weaknesses to get you to give in. When people use their power to get you to give in to their demands, they are using intimidation.

2). Dependents.

These people project their helplessness onto you and make you feel responsible for them. When you try to hold them accountable for themselves, they make you feel guilty for expecting them to take care of themselves. They may try to make you feel sorry for them by reciting their bad luck, difficult circumstances, and a "woe is me" attitude. When you accept their incompetence and helplessness and let them get away with being irresponsible, you are being emotionally manipulated.

3). Pretenders.

These people pretend not to understand what you are saying or to hear your concerns. They may accuse you of saying and doing things you aren't saying or doing. They are experts at changing the subject, turning things against you, and making you the bad guy. They will call you a nag for bringing things up about them; call you selfish for asking for what you want; and call you controlling for confronting them. They are experts at using manipulation to convince you that they don't get your concerns, and as a result, will never deal with them.

4). Projectors.

The projectors accuse you of being emotionally manipulative and of having the characteristics that they have. An angry person will accuse you of being angry, an unfaithful person will accuse you of being unfaithful, a selfish person will accuse you of being selfish, a liar will accuse you of lying, an avoider will accuse you of avoiding, a controller will accuse you of being controlling, and a mean person will accuse you of being mean. When you find yourself being accused of something you aren't and recognize the person is actually that way instead, you are dealing with a projector.

Manipulation happens when humans take control of their own circumstances in order to have their own selfish needs met. In childhood, we see children throw tantrums to get their way. By adulthood, many have mastered the art of manipulation. In fact, you could be a manipulator, or the one being manipulated, and not even realize it!

Manipulation is not wrong only because it is dishonest and selfish, but also because it robs us of that needful dependence upon God Almighty, which is one core reason He created us in the first place.

Christian relationship help: How to Deal With Alcoholism in a Loved One
Helping one another in love, as Christ loved us first
This Christian relationship help article will enable you to recognize these four types of emotional manipulators around you. By recognizing them and their style of manipulation, you will be empowered to resist their devices, and instead realize that they actually need help without giving in to their unwholesome acts.

On the other hand, if you have read through this article and discovered (to your shock) that you, knowingly or unknowingly, are one such person engaging in any one of these manipulative behaviors, you will need to thoroughly search yourself honestly and seek the help of God so that through His Holy Spirit, you may be empowered to overcome and live above this despicable habit.

You may read the PREVIOUS article here: How to Deal With Alcoholism in a Loved One. Or the NEXT article here: Learning Jesus' Model of Dealing With Difficult People.

God bless us all!

Also read: The Habits That Built King David's Faith

Author Bio
Written by Karla Downing with editing and contributions from Ikenna Adimekwe.
Karla Downing offers relationship help as a speaker, author, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Bible study teacher, and mentor for women and men in difficult relationships. She grew up in a dysfunctional family and found herself in a difficult marriage. Through her personal struggles and professional experience, she discovered Biblical and practical principles that she now teaches to others to change their lives and relationships.