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10 Telltale Signs Your Friend is Stabbing You in the Back.

10 Telltale Signs Your Friend is Stabbing You in the Back.

How do those eggshells feel under your feet? You know, the ones you’ve been walking on to keep your new friend happy? She’s not so bad really. I know she has no other friends but she’s just misunderstood.

It makes you wonder how someone could be so misused and misunderstood by EVERYONE she comes into contact with. And yet, there is something about her that makes you uneasy.

Your gut instincts about these types of people are usually correct and They will drain you of your last drop of energy before they move on to another person.

There is a certain personality type who will stab you in the back the first chance they get. Here are some telltale signs that you have one of them on your hands.

1. They give you a compliment and you feel like you have been slapped.

You have heard these right? “Nice sweater! I didn’t know they sold such nice stuff at the Goodwill” or “Nice dress, if your legs were longer, It might look good.” There is a million and one ways one can take a compliment and serve it backhand to you. If you get upset or defend yourself, you are being mean, petty or too sensitive.

2. They are only happy with you if you let them win at everything

This type of person is so insecure that they cannot be made wrong in any way without completely blowing up. They will defend a ridiculous position in an argument to the death just to avoid being wrong.

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Any slight disagreement you have with them turns into a giant upset where they insist that you are cold heartedly trying to destroy them.

The truth is that every word spoken or every idea put forth by them is designed to get you under their control so that you can be used by them. Any means of doing this will be used including destroying your life, your relationships, your confidence and ultimately, your sanity. They can be very convincing.

3. They flirt with your husband or boyfriend.

This type of person has no ethics or morals at all. If she thought she could steal your boyfriend just for fun, she would very likely try to do so. Looking at the pasts of these types of people, you see strings of destroyed relationships and infidelities.

They feel no remorse for their destruction, in fact, they will tell you without blinking that all of these people “deserved it.”

4. Their every day talk is peppered with put downs.

This person has something nasty to say about almost everyone. If you think you are the only one escaping her scathing critiques, think again. She is saying the same things to others about you when you are not there. Lies are told to elicit sympathy or assistance and turn others away from anyone who sees the truth about them and who they perceive as a threat.

If you stand up for yourself or anyone they are destroying, you become that  threat and they bring out all the tools they can think of for your covert destruction. With alarming lies, they turn your best friends against you and can even get you fired, blacklisted or killed unless they are exposed.

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Another point about this personality type is that although they talk down anyone good, they may also defend destructive people and groups.

5. They are jealous of your other friends.

A person with this personality tries to control all of your communication for their own perceived benefit. If they feel that you are getting too attached to someone else, they see it as a threat and work directly or covertly to destroy your relationships.

Harmful lies are invented and spread without any thought of the havoc they wreak.

6. They make you feel ugly, stupid and unlovable.

Every utterance from a person like this is designed to make you feel inferior so that you can be used. If you’ve ever heard of the term, “energy vampires,” then this is what they are.  The energy vampires are convinced that they cannot create energy and must leech energy off of others for their own survival. They use whatever means of accomplishing this and it is never constructive.

One who has occasional lapses is not necessarily an energy vampire. The true energy vampires are like this all the time. They have an underlying hectic need to get the people around them under control. They are truly desperate. This person looks at you, not as a friend or someone to care for but as their own personal robot to use. Once you have fulfilled your purpose, they drop you and find a new host.

The Modus operandi is the same, put you down covertly until you have lost your confidence then use the fruits of your labor to get whatever they can for themselves while they can.

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7. They seem coldly calculating.

They may profess to love you more than anything else in the world but there is no smile behind their eyes. There is no warmth in their embrace. You feel on guard when you are with them. All of your gut feelings in these instances are more than likely correct.

8. They are extremely vengeful of perceived slights.

Remember those eggshells we talked about? Here is where you notice them the  most. I call this personality type the “suddenly angry” person. You are going along in life doing what you normally do and they are “suddenly angry” and you have no idea what happened.

They then turn this perceived slight into the biggest crime against humanity ever committed and after being harangued over and over about it, you start to believe it yourself. And you start to believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with you that you could be so blind and accidentally commit such a huge transgression.

In reality you have done nothing wrong, this person has just, for some reason, decided that they must get you back under their control and the blow up is the means to do this.

Any “sin” you have ever committed in their eyes, gets entered into a mental list of your crimes and are trotted out every time they think they need to put you back under their control.

Everything bad you have ever done to them (in their eyes) is so bad it cannot possibly be corrected whereas anything bad they have done to you is nothing. You are being too sensitive or you making a big deal over nothing. They will tell you how It just goes to prove how weak and stupid you are and how superior they are, never in plain language of course but you will come away with that unmistakable idea.

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9. They take pleasure in other people’s pain.

Anyone who laughs at or Is happy when others are in pain physical pain or mental discomfort, is nutty. It is not a normal human attribute to want others to feel pain or to be upset. Quite the contrary, mentally healthy people seek to help people and eliminate their sources of pain.

There are some people who do laugh when something painful happens but this is a reaction to shock or discomfort. You can tell when someone is really taking pleasure in someone else’s pain. This is a huge red flag.

10. Your life has suddenly has gone out of control.

The entrance into your life of one of these personality types can cause untold destruction to you and everyone around you. What looks like a streak of “bad luck” nine times out of ten is the poisoning of your environment by one of these energy vampires. Normal people of good will can create energy. They use their energy and turn it into what they need in order to survive better and to help others survive better.

When your energy, attention and actions are diverted into trying consciously or unconsciously to protect or defend yourself, or to clean up the messes these personalities leave in their wake, the rest of your life suffers dramatically.  If your life was going well at one point and suddenly everything started going wrong, look it over and see who entered your life just as that devastation started to hit. If you do this and comb these lice out of your hair, your life will smooth out again.

One of the things you might be telling yourself is that this person is really a good person and has had a bad time. While the person underneath is good, the identity they have assumed is deadly. trust them at your peril. Even the most outrageous criminal has some good in them but that doesn’t mean you should let them near you or your family.

Cut the energy vampires out of your life until they decide to be an actual member of the human race and go find some better friends.

Write me and let me know how it goes.

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Chris Ellis

Successful Author, Life Coach and Musician

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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