Friends are valuable, and your healthy relationships can contribute to your overall well-being. However, you may find that some friends tend to take more than they give, and they may be master manipulators. If you think that you are in a manipulative friendship, then you need to think carefully about whether the relationship is beneficial.
Do You Have a Manipulative Friend?
Manipulation can occur in a variety of ways, and you will have to pay attention to your friendâ€™s approach and your reaction. If your friend is always asking for assistance but is rarely on hand when you need help, then he may be taking advantage of your friendship. If he frequently talks you into doing his favorite activities or into complying with his plans, then he is manipulating you. He may also be a manipulator if you feel as though you are always the one disclosing information during your conversations together. You may even hear comments from other friends about how the manipulator is abusing your relationship. If you have seen these signs in your friendship, then you need to take steps to restructure the foundation of your relationship with the manipulator.
The Cost of Manipulative Friends
We often look for friends who have similar needs to our own, and manipulators will take advantage of this. They will often make you feel as though you are the only one who understands them or who is willing to help them, but they rarely provide emotional support or physical assistance for their friends. If you are frequently manipulated by a friend, it can leave you feeling drained and unfulfilled, and it may cause you to feel angry, confused and undervalued.
Maintaining a Friendship with a Manipulator
If you are friends with a manipulator, then you donâ€™t need to end the relationship completely. However, you should remember that you wonâ€™t be able to change your friend, which means that you need to adjust how you react to him. In order to build a healthy relationship, you shouldnâ€™t be afraid to tell your friend when you arenâ€™t available to help him out. You should decide how far you are willing to go to help him, and you should not move past that boundary when he pushes you for more. You should also remember that friendships involve two people, and each person should contribute to the relationship. While the balance between giving and taking will not always be equal, it will even out over time if the friendship is healthy.
You do not need to suffer abuse from a manipulative friend. You will be happier and healthier when you decide that you will no longer be manipulated.