Jess Marshall, Gold Coast influencer and founder of jeskaalee.com, shares her encounter with a manipulator and learning to stand up for herself
I am a strong believer in standing up for what I believe in and always speaking my truth. I want to constantly learn about myself and why I function the way I function, and why other people do the things they do too. I love to see other women find their strengths and find love for themselves through a better understanding of why they do and feel the things they do mentally and physically.
I recently found myself in a situation with a person who came into my life that made me feel wonderful. They spoke to me like I was important, and they learnt about every detail of how I function. They were thoughtful, they made the effort to put me on a pedestal, they learnt what my strong points were, what my weaknesses were, and they wanted to spend all their time with me. This felt amazing and had me on a high that someone would have this much passion and care this much about me. This made me want to go out of my way for this person, praise them, make them a high priority in my life because I like to look after others especially when they look after me. I remember in the beginning I had a moment where I questioned, “Is this is too good to be true?” I should have followed my gut instincts.
Gradually this wonderful feeling began to fade, and all of the initial praise, adoration and effort dropped away. Instances would come up where I would be manipulated into being wrong even when I knew I was right or if I had a valid opinion. They stopped me from having a voice with subtle manipulation techniques, which took time to notice. Very small disagreements were made to be more extreme because this kind of person dwells in extremes. I would be spoken to almost like a parent to a child. Each disagreement was to point out my wrong doing, to get me to admit I did wrong and not to stick up for myself, so they had the ultimate control. There was no room for compromise.
These moments became more prominent and more dramatic. The effort stopped being made to make me feel good. That person began to play the victim. They made big deals over things as if they couldn’t cope. When they started to turn situations into things more extreme than necessary, I knew something was not right. All of my so-called weaknesses were called out, my efforts to compromise were shut down and I was told they couldn’t be with someone like that constantly.
When I spoke with close friends, family and even a professional openly to get advice on what I was experiencing I was told these signs were major red flags and I should remove myself as soon as possible.
So, I tried my best to calmly remove myself from the situation and end things. Sadly, I was treated to the silent treatment and ignored, which is their form of punishment for disobeying. They do this so they feel they still have control over you. Unfortunately, this kind of person will never admit they did any of this nor will they ever take blame for any wrong doing.
I was the victim of a manipulator and I was being abused emotionally. This person was gas lighting or love bombing me. This person is commonly known as someone with narcissistic personality disorder. These kind of people can be present in relationships, friendships and in workplaces.
I don’t blame this person nor do I hold onto any anger toward them as much as they hurt me. Most of the time people like this grow up this way and learn how to get things they want when they are told “no” as a child. The most important thing I did for myself in this situation was put myself first when I wasn’t getting treated properly. I was very lucky that I saw the signs early and I took myself out of the situation when I could.
Now I feel strong that I took back my control and I am now more aware of this kind of behaviour. I always take everything I go through in life as learning whether it’s a good or bad circumstance. The most important thing I did was question things when they didn’t feel right and eventually follow my gut feeling.
No one ever deserves to be someone’s puppet, to be abused in any form or to be manipulated. Stand up for yourself when you believe you are right. When things don’t quite feel right question it, talk to a professional, get advice from friends, do your research. The most important thing you can do is detach yourself from these kind of people, even if it’s hard.