Their hidden message is “Don’t let me down.” Below are some of their favorite verbal manipulations:
“I didn’t think it would be a huge bother for you to give me a hand with this.”
“It seems like such a little thing. I don’t understand why you are getting so upset.”
“You have so much help and I have so little.”
Or to keep a hook in their victims, they pretend to have a meltdown:
“If you don’t help me with this, I’ll be so overwhelmed.”
“My entire life sucks.”
Or they throw you under the bus:
“Oh great! Another person turns on me!”
“You are just like the rest. I can’t count on you!”
Symptoms and cognitive distortions that drive Powerful Dependents:
They have strong needs to feel another’s support – that someone is propping them up.
Others are angry and retaliatory – “If I can get you to do it, I can conquer the world.”
Many really do not have the skills to manage life and they know it.
Some exaggerate their dependency symptoms to motivate others.
They are very self-centered – “Only my needs matter.”
Decided inability to view another’s perspective.
4) Triangulators – “You are so special. I’m so happy you’re on my side. Let me tell you what these terrible people are doing to me! Plus, they are saying very nasty things about you too!”
They are experts at tag team wrestling.
They create alliances, usually with them in-charge to attack others.
They love to turn people against people.
They do not want one-upmanship against you.
They want to unite with you to get one-upmanship together, but they want to be in-charge.
They want to hurt someone, not physically, but emotionally or they want to retaliate against someone, getting revenge and especially one-upmanship.
Symptoms and cognitive distortions that drive Triangulators:
Some have a strong desire to be a hero coming to the rescue.
Or they have very self-centered motives and feel every need to scorch and burn.
Parent Alienation Syndrome is a great example of a scorching and burning triangulator.
They can become great leaders with many followers because their followers feel ineffective.
5) The Blasters – It is not uncommon that teenagers are blasters! But most of them grow out of it. A few take blasting into adult life. Blasters have a goal. They want you to not confront them on issues they need to be confronted on. So, they can continue with their dysfunction. So they blast you with anger or a multitude of issues to throw you off the topic that really needs to be addressed.
You feel suspicious. You feel they are up to something, but you do not know exactly what it is. The issue may be an affair, embezzlement at work, credit card debt, poor grades, etc.
They rant and rave when you try to discuss an issue they want to hide.
The blaster works on your doubts, trying to convince you that you have a problem. They especially try to change the topic. Often they say that they are innocent and you are the problem because you have trust issues.
When they finally get caught, they change their story and they project blame onto their victims. “I had an affair and it’s all your fault!”
Symptoms and cognitive distortions that drive The Blaster:
They use forced denial, severe pressure. They have an incredible need to deny their problems and they force others to go along with their denial.
They strongly need to continue with their hidden problem behavior.
6) The Projector – A Projector has a dysfunctional issue, but they believe the other people have this dysfunctional issue – not them.
“She is such a controlling person,” said the controlling person.
“All he ever thinks about is himself!” said the self-centered person.
“She seems to be really nosey. Tell me more about her,” said the gossip.
“He is so greedy because he won’t give me what I want,” said the greedy person.
They put templates on others that do not exist.
“You’re a racist.”
They have the potential of creating many victims.
They get many secondary gains with their accusations.
Many people are willing to join them in their accusations.
If you ever say no to them, they make accusations because you are not giving them what they want. Usually their accusations reflect their projection. For example – they call you selfish when they are actually the selfish folks.
9) The Iron Fist (Intimidator) – I demand that you give me what I want.
They use force and heavy manipulative games to get what they want.
Some use their physical presence with a threatening attitude. Physically posturing!
Some use their intelligence to enforce extreme pressure and open manipulation on others.
Some use their intelligence with hidden pressure and manipulation.
They destroy those who will not give them what they want.
Scorch and burn – some may become physical.
Symptoms and cognitive distortions that drive The Iron Fist (Intimidator):
Their desires are the only priority and they are amazed that anyone might disagree with their priorities.
They believe in forcing life to bend to their desires.
Some are heavy-handed abusers and simply see force as another tool to get what they want.
They are very focused on other’s behavior and if that behavior is consistent with their desires, they feel justified in becoming heavy-handed.
10) The Multiple Offender – Most people who are emotional manipulators are a blend of the previous 9 types of emotional manipulators. They usually have a blend of several types.
Example: An emotional manipulator may be a blend of a constant victim, one
up-manship expert and a triangulator or a blaster who is also an intentional mis-interpreter and an iron fist.
[Cross Country Education: Emotional Manipulation: Understanding Manipulators and Helping Their Victims]