The so-called “toxic” individuals use different psychological stratagems to control others. Although some of these behaviors can be adopted unconsciously by “healthy” people, the big difference is that toxic people make a conscious effort to manipulate others, and at the same time become experts in the field.
Here are the 7 tactics of manipulation:
1. The mental projection
Projection is the defense mechanism of manipulators. It is a distinctive trait of these people: they refuse to recognize or even perceive their own faults, are unable to take their actions. They can do and say anything and everything to avoid being held responsible. This is where the mental projection comes in: the person with negative behavior, rather than admitting it, will shift responsibility by attributing it to someone else.
To summarize, it’s as if this burden was too hard to bear, too heavy to bear for them, and they all refill you on the arm accusing you! It is a reaction that allows the manipulator to get rid of his guilt and his unconscious shame of himself. It must not be forgotten that these people are often themselves sick.
2. Le gaslighting
Gaslighting is a technique of mental manipulation that consists in distorting or distorting the narrative of events in such a way as to make the victim doubtful of his memory, of his own mental health, of what he has seen / listened to / felt. This goes through insidious little statements such as “It did not happen like that” “You have imagined everything” “You are crazy / crazy”, “You pretend to be a victim” …
The abuser can simply deny with incredible aplomb the facts that have yet occurred (as if it was the victim who was “crazy”), but it can go as far as staging strange events to disorient the victim and make her doubt her mental health.
To involve the opinion (real or supposed), the perspective or the threat of a third person: that is what the principle of triangulation is summed up. This scheme is most often used to validate the abusive point of view of the toxic person while invalidating at the same time the victim’s legitimate response to the abuse.
Above all, they love to involve one or more people from their personal entourage (co-workers, friends, former partners in love or even family members) to provoke jealousy, uncertainty in you. They can also use the opinions of others to validate their point of view.
It is a human reflex, well known by the rhetoricians: in a discussion, the one who manages to win the favor of the public or witnesses of the scene has “won” the dispute, whatever the quality of his argument. After all, if all the others (who are in the room) agree with him, it must mean that you are wrong, right?
4. Strategy of the straw man
For example, if you try to say that you are not satisfied with the way this toxic person treats you, his reaction may be to make you say what you did not say, for example “So I am a person naughty, that’s what you think? “or” Oh, so you’re perfect, huh? “while you only express your legitimate feeling in the hope of finding a solution.
Eventually, this behavior ends up completely invalidating your right to have and to express thoughts or emotions, which is obviously very serious. To make matters worse, it creates a sense of doubt and permanent guilt every time you try to set limits and limits not to cross.
5. Threats and blackmail
The problem with toxic people, mental manipulators and other narcissistic perverts is that they will constantly threaten you, take you hostage without necessarily going through physical violence. It is ultimately a lot more treacherous and above all, difficult to recognize as a real form of violence that a person who would threaten you physically.
Do not be fooled, it’s not because you are not physically threatened that you are not a victim of violence! Mental abuse is a very real form of violence, which unfortunately we tend to recognize less often.
6. The destructive conditioning
Toxic people can actually condition you slowly so that you end up mentally associating all your strengths, your talents, all your beautiful memories and all the happy moments of your life with suffering, frustration, misfortune. How are they doing this?
By insinuating every day, quite innocently, attacks against qualities, traits or things that you idealize, that define you or that you take as a model. By placing these hidden associations with you, without even noticing it, they change you slowly and over time teach you to hate you.
7. Public reduction
If a person with a toxic tendency fails, despite his or her efforts, to change the way you perceive yourself, they will try to control and change the way other people perceive you.
For example, in front of witnesses, they can suddenly change their behavior and start playing the martyrs, so that – ironically – it is you who pass for the toxic person! It can go a long way, they can even end up harassing your loved ones to “expose the truth” about you.