By Monica Brown

Greetings Everybody.

Today we continue our journey with #manipulation and even myself while doing research about all of the unseen signs, were stunned. Being a survivor of #GBV in and outside of the workplace, really learned a lot.

In the intricate dance of human interactions, manipulation often conceals itself in the shadows, leaving subtle traces that go unnoticed. As we embark on a journey to decode the intricate language of manipulation, let’s pull back the curtain on the telltale signs that echo through our relationships, workplaces, and personal lives.

Join us in this exploration of awareness, empowering you to recognise, resist, and rise above the artful tactics that seek to control and deceive.

The Art of Gaslighting: Unveiling the Illusion

In the complex dance of human relationships, gaslighting emerges as a masterful manipulation technique, casting a spell of doubt and confusion upon the perceptions we hold dear.

Gaslighting is a form of manipulation in which a person seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, or sanity.


Gaslighting takes various forms in terms of manipulation, and it involves subtle tactics that aim to make the targeted individual question their own reality, memory, or perceptions. Here are some common forms of gaslighting:

  1. Denial and Contradiction: The manipulator denies that certain events or conversations took place, even when evidence suggests otherwise. They may also contradict their previous statements to create confusion.
  2. Trivialising Concerns: Gaslighters downplay the significance of the target’s feelings or concerns, making them feel as though their emotions or experiences are invalid or unimportant.
  3. Projection: The manipulator attributes their own negative traits or behaviours to the target, deflecting blame and making the target question their own character.
  4. Withholding Information: Gaslighters may withhold key information or details, making it difficult for the target to have a clear understanding of a situation. This lack of information contributes to confusion and self-doubt.
  5. Twisting and Manipulating: The manipulator distorts facts or events, presenting them in a way that suits their narrative. This distortion can be subtle, making it challenging for the target to discern the truth.
  6. Isolation: Gaslighters may isolate the target from friends, family, or support networks, creating a dependency on the manipulator for validation and information.
  7. Selective Amnesia: The manipulator pretends to forget or selectively remembers events to suit their narrative. This tactic undermines the target’s memory and confidence in their recollection of past events.
  8. Countering: Gaslighters may counter the target’s memories or perceptions by providing alternative explanations that contradict the target’s version of events.
  9. Minimisation: The manipulator downplays the impact of their actions or behaviour, making the target feel as though their concerns are exaggerated or unfounded.
  10. Diverting Focus: Gaslighters divert attention away from their actions by changing the subject, deflecting blame, or bringing up unrelated issues, preventing the target from addressing the manipulation directly.

Gaslighting is insidious and can occur in various relationships, including personal, professional, or societal contexts. Recognising these forms of manipulation is crucial for individuals to protect their mental and emotional well-being and maintain a sense of reality and autonomy.


Guilt-Tripping: The Weight of Unseen Burdens

Guilt-tripping is a manipulative tactic that involves making someone feel guilty or responsible for a situation, often to gain compliance, sympathy, or control.


Here are some common forms of guilt-tripping in terms of manipulation:

  1. Emotional Appeals: Manipulators use emotional pleas, emphasising how their feelings are hurt, or how they feel abandoned or unloved. This creates a sense of guilt in the target for causing emotional distress.
  2. Victimhood: The manipulator portrays themselves as the victim of the target’s actions, implying that the target is causing harm or injustice. This prompts the target to feel guilty about their perceived role in the manipulator’s suffering.
  3. Conditional Love: Manipulators may imply that their love or approval is contingent on the target’s compliance with their wishes. This creates a sense of guilt if the target does not fulfill the manipulator’s expectations.
  4. Comparisons: Manipulators may compare the target’s actions to those of others who are more compliant or considerate. This comparison induces guilt by suggesting that the target falls short of certain expectations.
  5. Silent Treatment: By withdrawing affection, communication, or attention, the manipulator makes the target feel guilty for an imagined wrongdoing, pushing them to seek forgiveness or validation.
  6. Over-emphasising Sacrifices: The manipulator highlights their sacrifices or efforts on behalf of the target, creating a debt that the target may feel obligated to repay. This can lead to guilt if the target resists the manipulator’s requests.
  7. Exaggerated Disappointment: Manipulators may express intense disappointment, as if the target’s actions have shattered their hopes or dreams. This can trigger guilt and a desire to rectify the perceived wrongdoing.
  8. Shaming: Manipulators use tactics to shame the target, implying that their actions are morally wrong or socially unacceptable. This induces guilt based on societal norms or personal values.
  9. Imposing Obligations: Manipulators may convey a sense of obligation, stating that the target owes them something for past favours or support. This obligation creates guilt if the target does not comply.
  10. Martyrdom: Manipulators adopt a martyr role, implying that they suffer for the target’s sake or that the target’s actions lead to their misery. This elicits guilt for being perceived as the cause of the manipulator’s suffering.

Recognising these forms of guilt-tripping is crucial for individuals to maintain their emotional well-being and resist manipulative tactics that seek to exploit their feelings of guilt or responsibility.

Love Bombing: When Affection Becomes a Weapon

Love bombing is a manipulative tactic in which an individual showers another person with excessive affection, attention, compliments, and expressions of love, often to gain control, foster dependency, or manipulate their emotions.


Here are some common forms of love bombing in terms of manipulation:

  1. Overwhelming Affection: Love bombers flood the target with expressions of love, compliments, and affectionate gestures, creating an intense and overwhelming emotional experience.
  2. Rapid Intimacy: Love bombers may quickly escalate the level of intimacy in a relationship, moving at an unusually fast pace in terms of emotional, physical, or even financial involvement.
  3. Excessive Gifts and Attention: Love bombers use extravagant gifts, constant messages, and persistent attention to make the target feel special and valued. The goal is to create a sense of dependency on the love bomber.
  4. Idealisation: Love bombers idealise the target, portraying them as a perfect and flawless individual. This idealisation sets unrealistic expectations and creates a sense of obligation in the target.
  5. Future Planning: Love bombers talk about a future together early in the relationship, making promises and commitments that may be premature. This gives the target a false sense of security and commitment.
  6. Isolation: Love bombers may attempt to isolate the target from friends, family, or other support networks, creating a dependence on the love bomber for emotional support and validation.
  7. Continuous Communication: Love bombers maintain constant communication, sending messages, calls, or other forms of contact throughout the day. This saturation of communication can be suffocating.
  8. Adaptation to Preferences: Love bombers pay close attention to the target’s preferences, adapting themselves to align with the target’s likes and dislikes. This creates a false sense of compatibility and shared interests.
  9. Compliance and Agreement: Love bombers often agree with everything the target says or believes, avoiding conflict to ensure a positive and agreeable dynamic. This may lead the target to believe they have found an ideal partner.
  10. Withholding of Criticism: Love bombers avoid expressing criticism or negative opinions, creating an environment where the target feels only positive emotions in the presence of the love bomber.

It’s important to note that while genuine affection and attention are normal in healthy relationships, love bombing becomes manipulative when used to exploit vulnerabilities and control the target. Recognising these signs is crucial for individuals to maintain a balanced and healthy perspective on their relationships.


Fear as a Tool: Unraveling the Web of Intimidation

Using fear as a tool in manipulation involves instilling a sense of dread, anxiety, or apprehension in the target to gain compliance or control.

Here are various forms of employing fear as a manipulative tactic:

  1. Threats: Directly threatening physical harm, emotional distress, or negative consequences serves as a potent form of manipulation. The fear of these repercussions can coerce the target into compliance.
  2. Intimidation: Employing intimidating tactics, such as aggressive body language, a raised voice, or other displays of dominance, creates an atmosphere of fear and submission.
  3. Gaslighting: Manipulators may use gaslighting techniques to make the target doubt their own perceptions, creating a constant state of uncertainty and fear regarding their grasp on reality.
  4. Emotional Blackmail: Leveraging the fear of emotional pain or loss, manipulators may threaten to withdraw affection, support, or even end the relationship to make the target comply with their wishes.
  5. Scapegoating: Creating a scapegoat and blaming the target for problems or negative outcomes instills fear of being responsible for undesirable consequences, even if the blame is unfounded.
  6. Isolation: Manipulators may isolate the target from friends, family, or support networks, fostering a fear of abandonment and making the target more dependent on the manipulator.
  7. Public Shaming: Threatening to expose personal information, secrets, or embarrassing details in public induces fear of humiliation, tarnishing the target’s reputation or relationships.
  8. Financial Threats: Using financial control or threats of economic consequences, such as job loss or withholding financial support, can create fear and dependency on the manipulator.
  9. Creating a Crisis: Manipulators may manufacture or exaggerate crisis, inducing fear of impending danger or disaster to make the target more compliant in solving the perceived problem.
  10. Invasion of Privacy: Invading the target’s privacy or threatening to disclose sensitive information creates fear of personal exposure, leading the target to comply with the manipulator’s demands.
  11. Physical Harm: The explicit or implied threat of physical harm, either to the target or someone close to them, can instill intense fear and coerce compliance.

Recognising these forms of fear-based manipulation is crucial for individuals to protect their well-being and make informed decisions about their relationships and interactions. Manipulators who use fear as a tool often seek to exploit vulnerabilities and control others for their own gain.


Final Thoughts

As we peel back the layers of manipulation, may this newfound awareness serve as a shield against the subtle forces that seek to control and deceive. Recognising the telltale signs is the first step to reclaiming your narrative, fostering genuine connections, and building a future where authenticity prevails over artifice.

Monica Brown, Changemaker, Activist And Social Entrepreneur, CRW NEWS Freelance Columnist

Article Reproduced with Permission from Monica Brown

To view the original article by Monica Brown on LinkedIn visit here

We hope you enjoyed the article, there will be more regular weekly articles from Monica Brown coming soon.