Their loved ones are the victims
Addiction is a disorder, one of its symptoms is the tendency to manipulate one’s loved ones. There are several clear reasons for this, including the need to be in control.
Here’s a list:
The Desire to Be in Control: Addicts frequently feel internally helpless because their desire for drugs or alcohol controls them. To compensate, an addict will continually strive to dominate their surroundings and everyone else.
● Internal Justification of Their Problematic Behaviours: Their insatiable cravings justify their deceitful tactics. Addiction is a physical and mental need for drugs that is hard to control, making it hard to stop using drugs even though they are bad for you. Addicts will do whatever it takes to get their hands on their drug of choice and use their desire to justify all of their lies and manipulation.
● Reduced Capacity to Be Objective: Addiction to drugs and alcohol alters brain functions, making it harder for addicts to think appropriately 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 overwhelms 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.
● Paralysing 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. As a result, manipulation, deceit, and drug misuse persist.
Examples of manipulative behaviours A drug addict will use various strategies to influence people to further their goals. Most of the time, they are in a position to exploit the other person or people to gain something. A person who is addicted may influence friends and family members in several ways.
Here are some examples of how a drug addict might use manipulation to get what they want:
● They may approach a single family member and request money or other favours. If they receive a negative response, they may approach another family member to request the favour again.
● They may start fights among 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 talking, 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, 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 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. One good way to tell if someone is controlling you is to think about how you feel after talking to them. 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 signals that you are being manipulated:
- The addicted individual typically exaggerates occurrences and describes herself or others with phrases like “always” or “never.”
- With their words and behaviours, the addicted individual preys on your worries (emotional, physical, and monetary).
- The addicted individual continuously reminds you of their 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 perplexed.
Tips For Coping with Addiction and Manipulation
1. Create Boundaries: Setting clear boundaries is the most challenging and vital component of stopping manipulation and normal addictive behaviour in relationships. You must decide which behaviours you will tolerate and will not allow and provide consequences when the individual breaks those limits.
2. Avoid Enabling: Manipulation includes distinguishing between genuine assistance and enabling. They may persuade you that giving them money to “pay the heating bill” is a helpful and acceptable move, but it is a typical kind of enabling. Learn about the different types of enabling and how you might be making the person’s addiction worse.
3. Listen Actively: Addicts are frequently experts in controlling talks, leaving little possibility for insightful responses. You can 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 stop manipulative conduct while 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 therapist or finding an emotional outlet to ensure that you prioritise your 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 Say No:, but knowing how to recognise and avoid it might help you prevent manipulation.
6. Saying No: It might sometimes help you escape the mental games of drug and alcohol addiction. Do not become enraged or raise your voice. Say no and leave it at that. The idea here is not to start a quarrel or confront the manipulative person. The idea is to say no.
7. No Lesser Evils: One frequent method addicts influence their friends and family is to compel them 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 similar reasoning. Allow for no lesser evils. This is related to the problem of codependence and enabling, but it happens so often that it needs its advice.
8. Request Receipts: The empty promise is a critical manipulation component. Even if the semester began months ago, the individual would inform you that they have a new job lined up or are getting ready to start school. It’s a deception approach to put your mind at peace and divert attention away from your addiction. Accept no guarantees. Obtain receipts. Ask them to show you the employment offer if they have a job lined up. Request evidence of enrollment if they are starting school. We emphasise asking here – don’t make demands or start a quarrel. Request proof before taking promises at face value.
If you or a loved is struggling with addiction, call Freephone 0800 140 404