3 Tactics Emotional Abusers Use

Manipulators possess various manipulative strategies through which they explore and get their aims met. Sometimes, ‘normal’ behaviors are manipulative, just as how babies act cute so they could be fed.

It takes lots of skills and intelligence to be a good manipulator; every manipulator needs ability to read and understand emotions. Unfortunately, many people have been falling freely for the games of manipulators, and, this is not unconnected to the fact that majority don’t really know who emotional abusers are.

Silent Treatment.

Verbal silence is an abusive tactic and effective form of emotional manipulation being used by people with narcissistic tendencies. They do this to stress you out, get you angry, confused and mad. Silent treatment is to help inflict pain on you without visible bruising.

Excluding and ignoring people, such as giving them the cold shoulder or silent treatment, are used to punish or manipulate, and people may not realize the emotional or physical harm that is being done,’ Kipling Williams, a Professor of Psychology at Purdue University, said.

One study found that, in response to social rejection, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex is activated – the part of the brain that detects physical pain. During this emotional torture, the brain detects the pain and tries to find solutions, but can’t. The victims are then left with no other option than to go for any means to be relieved, even if it costs them their dignity.

Silent treatment can include the refusal to engage in general conversation, refusing to make eye contact, intentionally withholding physical contact, emotions e.t.c.


This is one of the powerful tools of every manipulator. The technique is being used by those with domineering type of personality to force those with insecure type of personality to cave in to a demand.

Intimidation can involve a mere look of disdain from the dominant person to make the insecure ones retreat from doing some things, or subtly suggesting to an insecure woman who fears abandonment that you’re moving on with another woman unless she accepts your offer.


Gaslighting, as an abusive tactic can be used by manipulators to twist and turn things around in their favor – by creating clouds of doubt for their victims. Just like brainwashing, gaslighting leaves the victims of emotional manipulators in a doubtful state, as they no longer trust their own judgment and memory.

While explaining various ways an effective gaslighting can be carried out, Dr George Simon, PhD of CounsellingResource, said:

Sometimes, a person can assert something with such an apparent intensity of conviction that the other person begins to doubt their own perspective.

Emotional manipulator makes the victim’s self-esteem unable to function in an independent way, and this is done by subtly withholding factual information from the victim and replacing it with false information.

  • Susan Forward, Donna Frazier: Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You.
  • Couples Counseling Chicago: The Silent Treatment And 8 Forms Of Emotional Manipulation.
  • Dr George Simon: Manipulation Tactics Part 1 – drgeorgesimon.com
  • Christine Luis: The Effects of Gaslighting in Narcissistic Victim Syndrome – narcissisticbehavior.net

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