Most people know the main signs of controlling behaviour such as aggression and isolating their partner. These often are the first and most obvious behaviours that are noticed. However, a true manipulator is in it for the long haul. This means that other equally destructive red flags can be operated in the background and over time, without obvious detection. Belittlement, mind games and questioning often are passed off as the consequence of a row – but the impact of consistently being on the receiving end is devastating. Read on to discover 6 signs of controlling behaviours that slip under the radar.
1. Control by Belittlement
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“Why don’t’ you get your hair and nails done for once?”
“You’ve been a disaster your whole life.”
“Why don’t you stop trying to do a job that’s impossible to achieve and get a normal job like everyone else?”
“You’re so soft on him, you are bringing him up to be a right…”
“Why are you eating that? Don’t buy it again.”
An occasional remark out of frustration is understandable, but constant little digs will eventually create a black hole in your soul. Keep an eye on this. Know that it is not your fault. He would be saying the same thing to any girlfriend. It is not personal, just his issues. However, do not accept this under any circumstances or it will change you.
2. Constant Questions Slip Under the Radar
Let’s get this straight: if you say you are nipping to the shop and come home 6 hours later (unless you live in the Outer Hebrides) you should expect a question or two. However, if it’s more like this:
“It doesn’t take that long to get chips; you’ve been gone 9 minutes. Where else have you been?”
It means (quite clearly) you have a problem.
If it feels like you live with an officer and are constantly interrogated, this is a sign of controlling behaviour. Unless you have recently cheated and your partner is struggling to deal, constant questions are totally wrong.
This red flag is textbook controlling behaviour. He has bagged a huge slice of control if you have no money and need to ask. Under NO circumstances should you allow this. Get a savings account or give your family a pot, and put in a few pounds each week – until you are ready to get the hell out of there!
4. You’re Crazy
Incessantly being told you are crazy, insane, totally paranoid will gradually wear you down. You will begin to think it, and your thoughts are what create our reality. Be careful here. Please do not believe a word of it and know how wonderful you are. This is simply their way of manipulating you or hiding their own misdeeds. Try spending 5 minutes each day thinking of some things that make you a lovely person and know this to be your truth.
5. It’s the Little Things
Aggression and control come in many forms. On their own comments about your cleaning, cooking, driving or ironing may not seem too out of hand. But if you are hearing nothing but complaints all the time, you are bound to feel worthless. Again, you must remember it is not actually about you. This is a huge insecurity issue your OH has all by himself. You do not need this in your life.
6.Defamatory Lies About You and To You
Okay, this is a bad one whereby seed is planted in other peoples’ minds about you. Before you know wat’s happening (and with the help of social media) you are branded whatever they have chosen for you. Be it an abuser, alcoholic, crazy person – whatever. The worse thing is, by this point all the other controlling behaviours will have you acting totally out-of-character. This makes the lies more believable for those who don’t know you. It is often very difficult to get evidence or to source this, due to the time it takes to realise. Be on your guard, because if the other signs are there, this one may be lurking in the shadows too!