Unmasking Manipulation: 6 Common Tactics in Relationships 1

Unmasking Manipulation: 6 Common Tactics in Relationships

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Manipulation is influencing others in a subtle, coercive way often geared towards maintaining control or gaining an advantage. They can take various forms including future faking, love bombing, triangulation, gas lighting and projecting among others. This article delves into the web of manipulation tactics that people employ in their relationships. By shedding light on these maneuvers, empower ourselves with the knowledge to recognize and foster healthier and authentic connections with those we love and care about:

Future Faking

It occurs when a partner gives you false hopes about future actions or plans without any intentions of following through. This form of manipulation is used to gain an advantage and also maintain control over a partner. It can be damaging as it leads to emotional manipulation and broken trust. It’s essential to beware of such tactics and also be cautious when your partner doesn’t deliver on the promises they make.

Love Bombing

It’s a manipulation tactic used by people to gain control over another person in the context of interpersonal relationships. Love bombing involves showering your partner with lots of attention and gifts within a short period of dating. This creates a strong emotional bond and dependency within the target causing them to feel overwhelmed and also obligated to reciprocate. In a bid to foster a sense of deep connection and compatibility, love bombers mirror the interests and preferences of their targets making it seem that they share everything in common.
Unmasking Manipulation: 6 Common Tactics in Relationships 2


It’s a manipulation tactic used in relationships and that creates jealousy and insecurity among the individuals involved. A third party in a relationship is introduced to incite jealousy or insecurity in the people involved. This is done by suggesting that the third person is more attractive or interesting. It is also used to divert attention from the manipulator’s actions by shifting the focus to the third person and avoiding accountability. The third party also creates a sense of competition between partners with both parties vying for the manipulator’s approval. The manipulator uses this triangulation to keep both parties off balance and also to gain control over the whole situation.


This is a form of psychological manipulation that involves making your partner doubt their own thoughts, feelings and reality. This tactic is used to cause confusion and undermine a person’s sense of reality. Manipulators dismiss their partner’s concerns and make them feel like their experiences and feelings are not crucial or that they are overreacting. They may also shift blame onto their victim often making them guilty for actions that are not their fault. They could also create doubt in their victim’s mind about their sanity or memory. This involves statements like, ” You are just imagining things” or “Your memory is short”


This refers to a psychological defence mechanism in which one of the partners attributes their thoughts and traits to the other party. They do this often to avoid dealing with their own undesirable feelings. The person can blame others for feelings they project to shift responsibility away from themselves. The manipulator may also avoid taking responsibility for their own behaviour and thoughts. Projection often helps the other party to avoid addressing their insecurities and also places blame on another person.
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