ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

How to Spot an Emotional Manipulator

Tricked, fooled, deceived, bamboozled, flim-flammed, used… It’s happened to all of us before, and it’ll probably happen again. There are some people out there who use manipulative tactics to get what they want, and they could be closer than we think. So how can you know that you’ve become the victim of such a situation? Here are some tell-tale signs: • Victimization and Guilt: Some individuals consistently make themselves the victim in any situation. Upon first meeting, they may seek to establish a false image of being vulnerable and quickly disclose personal information in order to gain sympathy. When confronted about anything, they quickly turn it into an issue they have with you, rather than something they themselves did wrong. Once they have you on the hook, they can make you feel guilty in nearly any situation when in fact, it was you who had a bone to pick with them.

• Egocentrism and Exaggeration: For a manipulator, a critical step in the guilt/sympathy game is constantly redirecting the conversation so it revolves around him or her. You will soon learn that there’s always some kind of problem or drama going on, and it will always be exponentially more terrible than whatever you may be going through.

• “Crazy Making”: It is not uncommon for emotional manipulation to be accompanied by skillful lying. You may hear this person saying something one minute, and later denying it.  He or she will rationally and convincingly persuade you to believe that you are imagining and inventing things and conversations that never happened, making you seem crazy.

• Passive-Aggressiveness: Emotionally manipulative individuals will rarely express themselves openly.  Talking behind someone’s back, for instance, creates a situation in which it’s his or her word against someone else’s. Guess who you’re going to believe… Another classic passive-aggressive approach is mind reading. Expecting you to know what they’re thinking without their saying a word sets you up in a perfect position to make you feel guilty for not being able to perceive their needs.

If this perfectly describes your friendship or a string of recent encounters, you now have some of the tools to recognize what may be going on here. My next piece of advice: run. The last thing you need is someone playing puppeteer and pulling at your strings to get what he or she wants. You should never feel that you need to stay in a friendship like this. When you start feeling out of control, claim it back. Don’t be afraid to walk out the door.

Original article: www.friedgreentomatoes.org/articles/emotional_manipulation.php