How To Break Free From Manipulative People
How to Get Rid of a Manipulative Boyfriend
Manipulation can be a major betrayal of trust. If your boyfriend has been manipulating you, it's a good idea to end the relationship. It's hard to repair trust after manipulative behaviors have occurred. End things as clearly as possible. Make it clear to your boyfriend the relationship is over. From there, manage your emotions. Give yourself as much time as you need to cope emotionally. Work on keeping your distance. Remind yourself of why you ended things so you don't end up returning to a manipulative partner.
Ending Things Clearly
Accept the relationship for what it is.The first step to ditching a manipulative boyfriend is to step away from denial. If you're still hesitating at all, strive to see the relationship for what it is accurately.
- Think about how you feel around your boyfriend. If he's , you're likely drained or exhausted in his presence. You probably feel like you cannot trust him. You likely often catch him lying or stretching the truth.
Be direct.You want to make sure you don't leave things ambiguous. A manipulative person is likely to try to find a way back into your life, so make it very clear the relationship is over. Find a time when you're both free to have a sit down talk about why things are ending.
- Do not beat around the bush. Get right to the point during the talk. Say something like, "I wanted to talk to you because I don't want to see you anymore. This isn't working and I'm not happy."
- With a manipulative person, it may not be worth it to get into the nitty gritty details. If your boyfriend is manipulative by nature, he may try to deny what you're saying. Try to keep things simple. Say something like, "I don't feel comfortable in the relationship anymore and I think we would both be better off with someone else."
Try to avoid direct blame.Even if you truly believe your boyfriend is manipulative, finger-pointing may not be worth the trouble. Your boyfriend is unlikely to accept blame for his behavior if he has not done so in the past, and you don't want the situation to turn into an argument.
- Avoid bringing up past hurt feelings or arguments. This will only fuel feelings of negativity on both sides, leading to a needlessly aggressive breakup.
- If your boyfriend asks questions about your decision, firmly restate that you simply don't feel the relationship is working for you anymore.
Cut off contact right away.A manipulative person is likely to try to get you back under their influence as soon as they can. A manipulative boyfriend will show off his softer side when he realizes you're pulling away. Your boyfriend may try to get you back on his good side through uncharacteristically kind gestures if you keep up contact.
- Do not text or call your ex. Try not to engage with him on social media. If necessary, delete him on social media outlets and block his number.
- If you're in a situation where you have to see your ex, keep conversation cordial but do not engage more than you have to. If you, say, work with your ex, be polite at business meetings and offer a friendly "Hello" in the morning, but do not engage in small talk during downtime at the office.
Keeping Away from Your Ex
Prevent your ex from contacting you.A manipulative boyfriend may try to stay in touch with you, even after you've made it clear things are over; therefore, it may be necessary for you to prevent your ex from contacting you.
- Block his number on your phone.
- If you've changed addresses, don't let him know where you are.
- Block him on all social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Disengage from your ex's mind games.Manipulative people will pretend to change to get you back in their good graces. Remember, your ex-boyfriend is likely very good at mind games. Try your best to disengage to prevent yourself from being tempted into returning to a negative relationship.
- Oftentimes, if you're with a manipulative person long-term, you will learn to seek out their approval. Even after your ex is gone, you may hear his voice in your head. This can tempt you to return to him. You will be especially tempted if your ex is trying to contact you.
- Learn to shut out his voice in your head. Remember, you do not think highly of this person anymore. You have recognized him as manipulative. Why does it matter what he thinks of you?
Seek support from others.If you have friends and family members looking out of you, your ex will be less likely to try to mess with you. Surround yourself with supportive people who will protect you from your ex.It's also important you speak with a therapist or counselor to help you as you try to keep this person out of your life. It may be difficult for you to distinguish between the truth and manipulation when you have a history of being manipulated. A therapist can give you an educated, experienced, and outside perspective. They can also offer support and help you learn how to avoid manipulative people in the future.
- Let people know what's going on. Make it clear you're escaping from a dysfunctional relationship and you need support.
- Have people you can turn to if your ex tries to contact you. Have a game plan in the event your ex tries to get in touch again. You can, for example, have a friend agree to come over in the event your ex starts calling you excessively.
Stay in the present moment.Do not look back on your time with your ex. This can tempt you to get in touch with him for things like closure. A manipulative person is always looking for ways to get back in your life. Stay strong by staying in the present.
- When ruminating over your ex, it can help to find ways to physically ground yourself in the present. Pay attention to your physical surroundings. Tune into things like your breath, the temperature, what you're looking at and touching, and so on.
- Keep in mind that you don't need to interact with the other person to experience closure on a relationship.
Managing Your Emotional Reaction
Accept you will experience pain.If you try to ignore pain, you're only likely to feel it more. Instead of completely ignoring your pain, or trying to push it away when you feel it, accept the fact that breakups come with pain. Even when it's for the best, you will feel sad after you leave someone.
- Remember, it's better to feel the pain now than let it come out in different ways later. Allow yourself to cry, be angry, feel regret, or experience any other negative emotions. It's better to feel such things than trying to push them down or ignore them. While these emotions are painful now, remember they are temporary.
- If you don't deal with the pain directly, you may end up in a rebound relationship. You may also end up going back to your ex to avoid the pain. Even when the pain is very hard to live with, remind yourself how much healthier it is to embrace the pain.
- Take the time to process your emotions. Before you distract yourself with a movie or video game, ask yourself what it is you are feeling and what it means. Feel the sensations in your body and how they are connected to your emotions. Identify the emotions you are having — are you sad? Angry? Relieved?If you are sad, ask yourself what you have lost. If you are angry, ask how you or your values have been attacked. Try writing about these feelings or expressing yourself through art. Meditate, exercise, and talk to your therapist or friends about how you feel.These are all good ways to cope with the pain.
Get back in touch with your old self.In a bad relationship, you often lose your sense of self. You end up putting your own wants, needs, and passions on hold for another person. When recovering from a bad breakup, it can help to remind yourself who you are. Take this as an opportunity to rediscover yourself.
- Is there anything you gave up for the relationship? For example, maybe you had friends your boyfriend did not want you to see. Maybe you had hobbies he was threatened by.
- Get back to your old self. See friends you did not have time for before. Take up a hobby or interest that went neglected during your relationship.
Avoid self-blame.Manipulative people are very good at blaming others for their problems. After a bad breakup, you may feel that you were to blame for your boyfriend's bad behavior.
- Remember, a manipulator will be good at identifying your weak spots and exploiting them. Even though you may really feel you were at fault, your boyfriend is probably picking at your insecurities. You may, for example, worry you're a little emotionally distant at times. Your boyfriend may have picked up on this and claimed your emotional distance is what made him cheat, as he did not feel valued enough.
- Remind yourself you deserve love and respect. If your boyfriend was not providing that, that is his problem. He cannot blame it on your behavior. Your boyfriend is responsible for how he treats others.
Set standards for future relationships.You should see this an opportunity to grow as a person. Now that you've experienced a negative relationship, see it as a way to learn. In the future, set higher standards in regards to what you expect out of a relationship.
- Make a list of behaviors you will no longer tolerate. Use this relationship as a guide to better your standards.
- For example, you can start you list with something like, "I will no longer go out of my way to please someone who has unreasonable expectations for my behavior."
Moving On Without Him
Embrace being single.You want to make sure you avoid the temptation of letting the manipulator back into your life. While no one enjoys feeling lonely, loneliness is often part of the breakup process. If you don't embrace being on your own and process feelings of loneliness, you're more likely to go back to a manipulative boyfriend.
- Remind yourself loneliness, like all emotions, is temporary. You will be lonely for awhile after a breakup. This is a normal part of the process, even if it's a difficult one.
- Remember that you will not always be lonely. After you've taken time to heal, you will find a new relationship. Hopefully, this new romance will be healthier for you than your last one.
- Whenever you experience loneliness, try to express gratitude. You can think something like, "I am so grateful that I escaped the pain of that relationship. This feeling of loneliness means I was strong enough to leave someone who didn't treat me well."
- Being alone can actually be fantastic. Use your fee time to pursue your interests and find new things you enjoy. Take time to reflect on what you've learned from this relationship.
Stick to a plan.In order to avoid being dragged back into a negative relationship, stick to a specific action plan. Think about what you'll do to avoid the temptation of contacting your ex again.
- Try to figure out how to handle negative emotions in a healthy way. For example, when you're feeling lonely, what will you do? You do not want to resort to calling your ex out of loneliness.
- Make a plan regarding how to deal with loneliness that does not involve contacting your ex. For example, you can say to yourself, "If I'm lonely, I'll call a friend and make plans" or "If I'm lonely, I'll read a book or watch a movie."
Reward yourself.It can be very hard to walk away from a relationship, even a bad one. It may sound strange, but many people find that rewarding themselves helps. You can set a specific goal and give yourself a reward for completing it.
- For example, challenge yourself to avoid checking your ex's social media for a week. If you pull it off, buy yourself a new outfit.
Have confidence in your decision.Remember, you did the right thing. You cannot remain in a romantic relationship with a manipulative person long-term. It simply will not work. When things get rough, remind yourself that you made the right decision.
- Remember why it ended. If feelings of regret creep in, go over the various betrayals and manipulations in your mind. This will help you accept that the relationship is over and move forward.
Seek support from positive people.It's best to surround yourself with positive people after a bad breakup. You want to be around people who support and care are about you. This will help you remember your own value. A strong support system is important to keep you away from a manipulative person.
- Do not, under any circumstances, communicate with your ex. A manipulative boyfriend may try to suck you back into a bad relationship.
- See if you can find support groups in your area for people leaving bad relationships. A group like Love Addicts Anonymous might be helpful. Sometimes, it can be helpful to know you are not alone.
Video: How to Deal with Manipulative People
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