While returning home for the holidays might be exciting, it can also be stressful for many people in recovery. Why? Families are challenging! No matter how much you’ve changed since leaving the nest, returning to your parents’ home always brings up memories from the past. You could feel pressure to fulfill the role you once played in the household. When your family members are cunning emotional manipulator, this is very difficult.
Manipulation is a destructive behavioral tendency that has spread throughout families all over the world. Infuriating yet innocuous examples include your mother asking her to call her more frequently or comparing you to your relative. Other times, a family member may try to harm your feelings, control you, or force you to agree with their viewpoints.This typically entails:
- Making you feel tricked into performing favors;
- Interrupting you or speaking over you;
- Invalidating your feelings and experiences;
- Withholding affection and approval;
- Making fun of you when things go wrong;
- Reprimanding you in front of others;
- Criticizing you when you refuse to conform;
- Or threatening or intimidating you
Although these warning indicators can appear obvious, they might be concealed by family customs. It could be tough to address the situation as a result. How can you tell whether a parent, sibling, or other family member is toxic?
Emotional Manipulator Behaviour
It helps to be aware of the warning signs of manipulative family members so you can defend yourself. Check to see if any of the examples below sound similar.
You sense a power disparity.
People who suit this description want to dominate others. They gain power as a result, surpassing you and everyone else in the house. Every quality on the following list contributes to this imbalance by strengthening it.
They create issues, but they never resolve them.
Messy emotional manipulator! They are adept at leaving behind a trail of unresolved disputes and damaged bonds. Especially around the holidays, you could notice that they create drama in the house just to see what occurs.
Even though you shouldn’t, they make you feel bad.
The characteristic of manipulation is guilt trips. Particularly when they are in the wrong and have been pointed out, these people might readily accuse others. This can occasionally be done to stir up drama and conflict within families.
You’re not sure exactly what happened.
Do you notice that your language is frequently twisted? Do you tell your family members that you’re uncertain about what happened? If so, they might be trying to trick you. Because it minimizes your experiences, lies to you, rewrites history, and causes you to doubt reality, this is a particularly harmful practice. One of the most alarming indications of manipulation is gaslighting.
You don’t have time to think it out.
Hollywood movies are full of hasty, split-second choices, but decisions in real life are rarely that urgent. If you come from a manipulative household, you’re probably used to having your responses rushed. This tactic is to persuade you to submit to the other person’s will.
Always the victim or the bully.
Many people associate aggressive behavior with manipulation; you may envision someone berating their family members at a gathering.While this is occasionally the case, your manipulator may consistently insist on taking the side of the victim.This is a strategy they employ to deflect responsibility or shift it to you.
You simply can’t succeed.
Someone may also meet this description if you feel that you will never be able to win, or rather, if they will never allow you to win. No matter how diligently you attempt to obey their rules and anticipate their moods, they always reply by shifting the goalposts, using derogatory language, or disparaging you in front of your family members.If so, you need to take action against your controlling family members.
How to Deal with Abusive Family Members During the Holidays
Is there any way to deal with emotional manipulator? Fortunately, there are many strategies to safeguard yourself during the holidays from the impact of controlling parents, siblings, or other family members.
Establishing clear boundaries for what you will accept and what you won’t is the first step. You may, for instance, establish a no-goal for gossiping. “I am still not comfortable to tell my entire family about my addiction”. Be ready to deal with the repercussions if your manipulative family member decides to go too far.
Watch, don’t take in. Healthy escape from domestic negativity is made possible by mindfulness. Instead of taking the other person’s conduct personally, keep in mind that you are not accountable for their acts.
Don’t give the other person the advantage. For instance, it’s unhealthy if your mother keeps track of the favors you “owe” her in exchange for what she has done for you. Don’t agree to any favors that include conditions.
Practice not acting right away. You don’t have to make decisions immediately away, get into a quarrel, or consent to a trip when the other person requests it. Tell them you need to think about it over the course of the night if you’re concerned that your loved one is trying to influence you.
Getting assistance from others might be beneficial. You might first discuss the situation with your partner, best friend, or other family members. You might get the assurance you require from this. You can process years of manipulation and tension around the holidays with the assistance of a professional in the form of therapy.