3 Subtle Signs You’re Being Manipulated & Abused
Covert abuse can be subtle and not overtly apparent in many cases. Following are 3 not-so-obvious signs you’re being manipulated. This abuse can happen within a marriage, with siblings, parents or friends, in the workplace, and sadly, even in religious environments.
Signs You’re Being Manipulated
1. You Second Guess Yourself
This subtle sign of abuse is particularly significant if you were previously very independent and confident in your ability to make choices and decisions. Has your confidence waned from what it used to be?
Maybe you’ve stopped listening to your inner voice – that internal GPS system – less than you used to. Second guessing your judgement and decision-making abilities could be a red flag that something sinister is going on behind the scenes.
Psychological abuse, at its core, attacks another person’s self-esteem, opinions, feelings, and sense of who they are. Curiously, this can happen without the victim’s awareness because the manipulation of boundaries happens slowly.
2. You Isolate Yourself From Family & Friends
If you’ve been slowly isolating yourself from people and activities that you used to enjoy, you may be being covertly manipulated without realizing it. Remember, manipulators are experts at their craft. They know that in order for the abuse to continue, they must be clever in its execution.
Whether you are purposely isolating is going to be a little harder to ascertain because of Covid, however, if you find yourself continually making excuses not to go out, begin to discern if it’s possible you are being gradually manipulated.
Isolation is meant to keep the victim dependent on the abuser. It’s a control tactic that is used so often because of its effectiveness. Social isolation is a non-violent form of abuse that can be very damaging in its effects.
3. Chronic Health Problems
Nagging health problems often fly under the radar when it comes to abuse. Symptoms can be blamed on so many other things, such as poor eating habits, being too busy, or neglecting exercise. Keep in mind, manipulation happens slowly, methodically, and incrementally over time. The decision to leave a marriage would be more definitive if a wife woke up one morning with bruises all over her body.
If you’re struggling with unrelenting physical symptoms such as poor sleep, weight loss or weight gain, blood sugar swings and a decline in mental clarity, it may be time to take a closer look at causation. All of these symptoms can be a result of cortisol imbalances brought on my stress.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that was designed to be excreted in times of acute stress. When stress becomes chronic, which is very much the case when you’re being covertly abused, cortisol can wreak havoc in the body. Pay attention to these, and other signs, that you may not otherwise correlate to manipulative tactics.
We are holistic beings. Our emotions have a significant impact on our health, especially the endocrine system, which is our emotional system. Women struggle enough with hormonal issues as it. Cultivating self-awareness is going to be one of your super powers going forward if you suspect something has gone awry in your relationship.
I would encourage you to read about the different types of abuse so you can protect yourself, your health, your sanity, and your future. Below are two books I highly recommend you read. They will enlighten you regarding the tactics emotional abusers use.
Also, please join my private Facebook Group, The Toxic Relief Room, if you’re looking for support from women who are in abusive relationships. I would so love to have you join us….