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How Do Addicts Manipulate Their Loved Ones?


Addiction is a disorder, and one of its symptoms is the tendency to manipulate one’s loved ones in order to achieve that much-needed and craved high. In a relationship that has suffered the chaos that addiction brings with it, it is not easy to recognize manipulative behaviors, let alone know how to appropriately respond to them. It is equally difficult to understand why the person they love continually manipulates them. Even with the presence of confusing behaviours, there are several clear reasons why these occur. Let's list them out:

The Need To Be In Control: It is not unusual for addicted persons to feel internally helpless because their urge for drugs or alcohol controls them. To compensate, an addict will frequently strive to dominate their surroundings and everyone else in it.


Internal Justification Of Their Problematic Behaviours: Their insatiable cravings justify their deceitful tactics. Addiction is defined by an uncontrollable physical and psychological craving for drugs, making it difficult to refrain from using despite the consequences. Addicts will do whatever to get their hands on their drug of choice and will use their desire to justify all of their lies and manipulation.


Reduced Capacity To Be Objective: Addiction to drugs and alcohol alters the way the brain functions, making it harder for addicts to think properly and make sound judgments. Although many "high-functioning" addicts may keep things together long enough to maintain a veneer, the addiction inevitably rears its ugly head and things fall apart.


Overwhelming Desperation: Addicts to alcohol or drugs have a strong physical and psychological drive to consume. It's a crippling addiction that consumes a person's ideas, behaviours, and desires until they are utterly engulfed by it, longing for the next hit. Nothing else mattered in this state, not even the well-being and sentiments of loved ones.


Paralyzing Guilt: Even if an addict recognises the harm they have caused, their guilt and humiliation may be too much to bear. Many addicts are embarrassed to seek assistance or believe it is too late for them. As a result, the manipulation, deceit, and drug misuse persist.


Examples of Manipulative Behaviours A drug addict will use various strategies to influence people in order to further their own goals. Typically, this entails ensuring that they are in a position of power so that they may exploit the other person or persons to their advantage. A person who is addicted may influence friends and family members in a number of ways. Here are a few examples of manipulative techniques that an addict may employ to obtain what they desire:

● They may approach a single family member and request money or other favours. If the response is no, they may approach another family member to request the favour again.

● They may start fights amongst family or friends only to act as a mediator and claim to be the peacemaker.

● They may demand that you do what they want and threaten you with harm or humiliation if you don't.

● To avoid talks, they may separate themselves from friends and loved ones.

● They may have furious outbursts, hurl objects, slam doors, and shout at you.

● They could buy you dinner, give you a lift to work, or do other pleasant things for you only to make you think they've changed.

● To evoke a reaction from you, they may threaten to injure or harm themselves.

● Instead, of owning responsibility for their actions, they may blame it on other people, life situations, or places.

● They may refuse to accept responsibility for their acts and instead blame it on heredity.

● They may attempt to make you feel guilty by reminding you of your own shortcomings and how they led to their addiction.


How to Recognise An Addict’s Manipulation Unfortunately, recognising when you're being misled may be difficult, especially when the source of the manipulation is someone you love and care about. Consider how you feel after dealing with the individual as one dependable technique to detect if you're being controlled. You can also learn to detect some of the indications of manipulation so that you can work to remove them from your own life. Here are some frequent indications that you are being manipulated:

  • The addicted individual typically exaggerates occurrences and describes herself or others with phrases like "always" or "never."

  • With his or her words and behaviours, the addicted individual preys on your worries (emotional, physical, and monetary).

  • The addicted individual continuously reminds you of his or her significance, claiming dominance in the relationship.

  • During debates, the addicted individual does not allow you enough time to answer.

  • Addicts are only polite to you when they expect something in return.

  • Your interactions with the addict frequently leave you feeling used, intimidated, embarrassed, and befuddled.

Tips For Coping With Addiction And Manipulation


1. Create Boundaries: Setting clear boundaries is the most difficult and vital component of stopping manipulation and normal addictive behaviour in relationships. You must decide which behaviours you will tolerate and which you will not allow, and you must provide consequences when the individual breaks those limits.


2. Avoid Enabling: Manipulation includes blurring the distinction between genuine assistance and enabling. They may persuade you that giving them money to "pay the heating bill" is a really helpful andacceptable move, but in truth, it is a typical kind of enabling. Learn about various types of enabling and how you may be contributing to the person's persistent addiction.

3. Listen Actively: Addicts are frequently experts in controlling talks, leaving little possibility for insightful responses. You may be able to identify manipulative conduct when you exercise active listening and get to the heart of what the person is genuinely saying. Take your time listening and understanding before answering a series of rapid-fire questions. This can put a stop to manipulative conduct while also reminding the person that you genuinely care about their well-being.

4. Care for Yourself: There may be moments when retreating and taking time for yourself is the only healthy choice. It's difficult to say "no" to someone suffering from an addiction, but if you're exhausted from constant manipulation, you won't be able to help the person properly. Consider seeing a therapistor finding an emotional outlet to ensure that you prioritize your own mental health.


5. Address Codependency: In a relationship, lies and manipulation may swiftly lead to codependency. Because of the ongoing desire for enabling behaviour, you may find yourself in the role of "fixer" and find it

incredibly difficult to break free. Codependency is best handled in treatment but knowing how to recognise and avoid it might help you prevent manipulation.

6. Say No: Saying no might sometimes help you escape the mental games of drug and alcohol addiction. Do not become enraged or raise your voice. Simply say no and leave it at that. The idea here is not tostart a quarrel or confront the manipulative person. The idea is to just say no.

7. No Lesser Evils: One frequent method addict influence their friends and family is to compel you to select the "lesser of two evils" in a circumstance. They may argue that getting high at home is preferable to engaging in harmful conduct on the streets, or other similar reasoning. Allow for no lesser evils. This is related to the issue of enabling and codependence, but it is so prevalent that it warranted its own advice.


8. Request Receipts: The empty promise is a key component of manipulation. Even if the semester began months ago, the individual would inform you that they have a new job lined up or that they are getting ready to start school. It's a deception approach used to put your mind at peace and divert attention away from your addiction. Accept no guarantees. Obtain receipts. If they have a job lined up, ask them to show you the employment offer. Request evidence of enrollment if they are starting school. We emphasise asking here – don't make demands or start a quarrel. Simply request a proof before taking promises at face value. Below is a summary of today's article:



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