I had a bigger reaction than expected to my recent blog Guys PornStars Should Never Date and received a few e-mails from readers, asking me questions about all kinds of problematic relationships. I will address a few of these issues in this blog, which will help you identify any master manipulators and control freaks in your life and provide advice on what to do if you find yourself being manipulated. It could be a partner, a friend, family member or even a colleague and this article will help you identify them.
There are a lot of sinister types in the adult industry so this blog would be beneficial for new models starting out who may be deemed as easy prey, as well as anyone who feels they might be being manipulated.
The following are red flags that you are being manipulated by someone close to you.
They Demand All Of Your Time
They will want your undivided attention and make demands on your time. Your needs will come secondary. They will try to convince you that it is in your best interest to help them. If that fails to be effective, they will pull out the worlds smallest violin and attempt to emotionally blackmail you into doing things their way. You may hear their tales of woe, how everything has gone wrong for them, or in extreme cases that they don’t think they have long left!
Advice: Once they have hooked you, they want to keep you hanging and don’t want their prey to escape their villainous clutches. Their mental grip will be tight, so your mental grip on yourself will need to be strong. More on this later on in the blog
They Are Dismissive Of Any Interests Or Hobbies You have That Doesn’t Include Them.
You like to write? Or paint canvases? Perhaps you love to make jewellery or something else creative that relaxes you. The control freak will look upon your hobbies with contempt and will tell you that they are a waste of time. If it doesn’t benefit them in anyway then it’s not worth doing in their opinion.
Advice: Do not lose your sense of identity and stop doing things that you are passionate about. If you give these up to please a manipulator, you will find life empty and pointless and are at risk of depression.
Explain how important it is to you to express yourself creatively and have ‘you time’. If they don’t understand this, then tell them to get lost.
Everything Has To be Their Way
Whether it’s where you go or what you plan to wear they will have an opinion. ‘That dress is too slutty’ ‘I don’t want to go there and don’t want you to go either’.
Expressing basic needs will be seen as an attack on them. Here’s an example:
Tom: “Babe I would love to stay up till 4am and watch a chick flick with you but I’m so exhausted after this week and have an early start.”
Sarah: “But I’m not tired!”
Tom: “We could watch it tomorrow babe, I promise as soon as I get in.”
Sarah: “I want to watch it now! I’m going to put it on anyway – sleep if you want! You are so selfish and such a spoilsport!”
Sarah then puts on the tv full blast, so poor Tom has a terrible nights sleep as he doesn’t want to enter yet another conflict. He is completely drained of energy.
Can you see how Sarah manipulated Tom here? She didn’t take account of Tom’s needs. The focus was only on what she wanted. When Tom tried to express his basic human needs she took it as a personal rejection and became angry. She then turned the tables and accused him of being selfish when he expressed his needs. Sarah is a classic example of a master manipulator, who projects their flaws onto others and engages in ‘crazy making’ (lying, manipulating, twisting the facts.)
Everything Will Be Your Fault
A control freak finds it hard to accept responsibility and admit it when they have done something wrong. Admitting that a problem is self induced, is too damaging for their already fragile ego, so they will point the finger at everyone but themselves. If you are closest to them you will find yourself regularly being the brunt of the finger of blame!
“Why did you let me smoke/drink/make that decision.”
“Well if you had of helped me more it would have been ok.”
“I thought you had done it! What? I don’t remember that? I’m sure you were going to do it/I never said that!”
Their memories will be highly selective. If you refer them to a specific conversation they will claim they don’t remember it. They will also claim that they ‘never said that’ or that you have remembered things wrong. This is called Gas-lighting or crazy-making where they try to make you doubt your own reality, memory and events.
If you said the sky was blue and they said it was polka dot on Tuesday, a week later they would tell you how crazy you were for saying the sky was polka dot when it’s actually blue! They will make you begin to doubt your own mind, so be strong and trust your own judgement.
Advice: Keep a log of important conversations, write things down. If nothing else, do this for your own sanity. Even use your phone audio recorder if needs be.
If you ever show it to them though, expect them to be outraged that you could do this behind their back! You will always be at fault. Catching a narcissist in a lie fuels their anger and you will hear things such as “I can’t believe you would do this to me! Well I wouldn’t have done that if you hadn’t done X, Y and Z!” They will always turn it back on you and pass the blame back, regardless of what has actually happened.
They Will Not Approve Of Your Friends And Will Try To Prevent You Going Out Without Them
The control freak doesn’t like Sally, she’s a slut because she wears that red lipstick and you’ll end up being a slut like her if you go out with her. Megan’s no good either as she is stupid and will hold you back. As for Nancy – pah! She’ll back stab you…in fact, your control freak will tell you that the only person you should trust is them and anyone else you are friends with, are either out to use you or will cause you problems.
The control freak wants to monopolise your time and doesn’t want anyone taking any of your time. They will do their best to isolate you. They don’t view you as a person with feelings and they are not capable of empathy, so they see you simply as their property. Once they have successfully isolated you, they believe that you will become more dependent on them and need them more. The way they see it is they you will be a much better source of narcissistic supply if you only have them to focus on.
They are also extremely demanding! They might give you a direct order or it might be more subtle than that. Tactics they use, might involve verbal aggression, sulking, moodiness, giving you the silent treatment or they may even feign concern for your welfare and claim they are just ‘Trying to help” as they “know what’s best for you”.
They don’t want what’s best for you. This is about what’s best for them. If anyone ever tries to stop you seeing your family show them the red card, close the door, turn the lock and say goodbye.
They May Try To Control How You Live Your Life Or To Control Your Finances
They dictate your bedtime, what you eat, where you go. They may try to interfere with your work and tell you that you should do it their way. Or on the flip side, they may try to stop you from working. They may offer to help you budget your money but this is simply because they want to know how much money you have and wish to control every aspect of your life.
In extreme examples they may spend all of your money. With no money you can’t leave them right? Their logic is flawed but makes them feel in control.
They Claim You Don’t Love Them – Or Have No Time For Them
I think families do this a lot to their offspring and siblings without realising they are being manipulative. They just really want to see you most of the time.
You might hear phrases like “We never see you anymore!” You reply “Grandad I saw you last week!”
These type of manipulators are generally harmless and just don’t want to lose touch. You still need to stand up for yourself though. Perhaps you can agree to visit every other weekend and explain that you do need some time to do other things.
A more controlling manipulator might go all out and your refusal to do something when you are exhausted will be met with “You don’t love me” If you loved me you would do this.”
This is emotional blackmail. Love isn’t about being someone’s slave, emotional crutch or lackey. Love is about equally meeting each others needs, looking out for one another and mutual respect. Respect isn’t one sided and neither is love. It needs to be a two way street.
Advice: Turn it around. Say well if you loved me, you wouldn’t try to make me do something that’s not urgent when I’m so shattered. They may still try to argue and you’ll know that it’s a lost cause when they tell you that you are being argumentative and unreasonable for disagreeing with them. At this, point you may hear a phrase such as “Why are you starting an argument!” (For not agreeing to their selfish agenda). Walk away from the situation and let the Narc stew in their own toxic pot of filth. They may want to fester in it but why should you!
So why do some people try to manipulate or control others?
Everyone tries to persuade or influence others at times. They may genuinely believe that their opinion or way of doing something is the most effective method, or the best way for everybody involved to get something done. It gets out of hand though when somebody delves into things that don’t concern them or tries to take over your life.
Those that have a need to control others in an extreme way are usually low in self esteem. They may be gripped by anxiety and not know how to take control of their own life. So by taking control of yours, they feel like they are getting some control back over their own and it soothes their anxiety. Of course, all they are actually doing is alienating those around them, which makes them respond in a more extreme manner.
Try to get to the root of the problem and help them to help themselves, but overall don’t forget this important thing – you can’t fix them! Only they can fix themselves.
Many control freaks have weak boundaries and are not able to distinguish between where they end and you start. They often see you as an extension of themselves.
You need to maintain strong boundaries and stand strong on what you find acceptable and what not. You might have to enter a conflict, but this is better than becoming a doormat to an overbearing boss or a controlling friend or partner.
Keep your support group (family and friends close).
Not all people realise they are being controlling and will be mortified when they realise it. If this is the case then don’t react with rage or annoyance or start lecturing them. Just assert your boundaries again and tell them that you care for them and value their friendship.
If your control freak isn’t the type to listen to anything you have to say and doesn’t respect your needs, then remember – the only person’s happiness you are responsible for is your own. Do what’s right for you and if this means parting company then so be it. However much you care for a friend or a job, compromising your own needs all the time and losing your sense of self should not be an option.
Be prepared to walk away. At this stage they may try to suck you back in or turn on the Mr Nice Guy act once more. It won’t last, once they are comfortable that they have successful hoovered you back, they will fall back into their old ways and treat you like garbage. The only way to win in this situation is to walk away, never go back and cut all contact. That means no calls, e-mails, texts or likes on social media.
Remember it is better to be alone, than to spend your life with weights around your neck and a rock in your chest. There is a huge world of opportunity out there to explore. Don’t let anyone hold you back, step forth and see everyday as a blessing and a great adventure.