Intelligent, capable, strong, people with high intuition find themselves in coercive abuse, (also known as manipulative abuse, emotional abuse, subversive manipulation, covert manipulation, subtle control, and psychological manipulation). The basis is always the same, control through.
Many coercive and controlling behaviors can easily be mistaken for signs of love and here are some of the signs:
1. They come on strong with the LOVE BOMBING
Love bombing is when you are showered with non-stop gifts, compliments, and attention. This begins a cycle of abuse where the love bomber later withdraws and withholds love and attention to manipulate you. Being showered with love can feel so good! It can be an instant confidence boost to feel so wanted and appreciated by someone.
2. They create a false sense of intimacy.
People who are controlling will attempt to lower your guard. One of the ways they do this is by telling you something about themselves that is very personal. You feel flattered, honored even to be entrusted with someone’s personal information and may feel the need toreciprocate to balance it out.If you do get into a relationship with an abuser who uses this tactic, you will later find out that what they told you was not the complete truth; it may have even been completely fabricated.
They will also test to see if you are willing to separate yourself from the crowd and isolate yourself acting as “your best friend”. This may be monopolizing your attention in what is supposed to be group activities, or by aligning your friends one by one.
3. They find your weak spots.
Abusers know that one of the best ways to exert control over you is to find out your weak spots and then use this knowledge to gain power and control over you. As mentioned before, they do this by prematurely disclosing some personal information, in the hope that you will give them something back. They are looking for Anything that makes you insecure; areas where you don’t feel whole, have unforgiveness, feel unfulfilled, your fears, your concerns about what areas in life you have or may fail or come up short. These will usually be easily found hidden within: 1) sore feelings and misunderstandings between you and your family or friends, boss or coworkers, 2) past failures, 3) areas of where you have a sense of shame, 4) unfilled desires.
4. They test your boundaries.
After you have invested in and trust them, Abusers like to test the boundaries of your internal code, to see how susceptible you are to being manipulated. This may be presented as something exciting, rebellious, or even bohemian but it will be something that causes you some discomfort. Not participating will be seen as being boring, conventional, pedestrian, and, especially if the boundaries being tested are seen as being too ‘vanilla’ causing you to feel insecure or ” scared”. The idea is to test if you are willing to trust them with something tests you. Abusers also test where your boundaries lie, when it comes to being ill-treated. Again, they wait until you have invested in the relationship, have fallen in love with them. It is when you are feeling secure in their love, that they will drop a bomb. They will instigate an argument that creates turmoil in your life, call you or someone you love, names, maybe storm out or reject you.
5. They manipulate your reality of them
Abusers won’t show you their true colors at the start of the relationship. If they punched you in the face on the first date, there would not be a second. So, instead, they charm to disarm. To do this, they will overwhelm you with love, attention, gifts, caring, attention and love. They aim to be your idea of a perfect person and to do this they listen to all your desires and carry them out, and mirror, or adopt, your interests.
All the while they will play emotional tests on a minor scale to see if you are aware of the shaming, scapegoating, avoidance/withdrawal, and even intellectual bullying; just to see how you react and groom you.
6. They appear to have lots of friends.
They appear to have a lot of friends for the sole purpose of convincing you how amazing they are. Controllers especially like to control the image the world has of them and to do this, they cultivate a lot of friends who can confirm their magnificence. They will be described as charming, helpful, kind, generous, and revered highly amongst both their peers and those in positions over them. Don’t be fooled by what is being said.
Ask yourself why they are saying it. Evaluate what others say about them. Do not make assumptions through your empathetic glasses. Have they fostered meaningful, life-giving relationships with quality people that interact daily in their life?
7. Dismissive and Entitled
Abusers want you to think you can’t live without them and without their love so they will deliberately create a fear that you could lose it.They believe that, if their needs are not being met they are being abused.
8. Coercive Entrapment:
This is the most extreme form of control. Strategies are put in place to deprive a victim of choices and resources. Isolation from family and friends is the start. There abuser alternates between showing kindness and being emotionally abusive in an attempt to form a trauma bond.
The victim has adjusted their life away from their picture of hopes of what it would look like and conforms to their partner’s views. They will start to have a loss of a sense of self, who they are, how they judged their decision and feelings as accurate as an independent person as their reality may now be constantly defined by the controller. This is known as PERSPECTICIDE – a type of emotional abuse where one partner is so controlling, the victim loses their grasp on what is true. It is similar to the Stockholm Syndrome experienced by some kidnap victims as they
identify with the person controlling them.