When you stop complying with his demands forced by manipulative techniques.
There is many-many ways to ask something!
For instance your partner wants to go to a concert in the weekend when everybody in the family wants something different to do.
He can ask straightforward:
“I know mom wants us be there for dinner and Gabi wants to go to a party, and you are not a big fan of this kind of music, but there is a concert that I really would like to hear. Please let’s go to the concert!” – In addition he can make further arrangements what other time can you go to mom’s house and maybe he can miss Gabi from the concert so she can go to the party.
Managing things democratically might take some time, courage and hassle, but in this way everybody’s wishes and wants will be at least considered.
If your partner wants to avoid the negotiation part or not willing to give and take, he can reach for manipulative tools like:
Silent treatment: Don’t communicate with you until you cave in and chose to go to the concert.
Threat: He can yell at you until you give in and agree go keep up with him. Or he can calmly threat you with anything you don’t like: not going for hiking with you or simply with divorce.
Put downs: He can give you a lecture about the importance of music and art, indicating that people who are not regular concert goers are in some way inferior compare to the concert goers. So you can be ashamed if you are not enthusiastic about his offer. If he is rather rude, he can call you outright simpleton if you are not interested.
Guilt trip: He can engage in a long conversation in which he brings up past events when he fulfilled your wish dramatized by how difficult it was for him. He can come up with sob stories of how much he does for the family therefore he deserves some repayment. The meaning of the whole scenario is that you have to feel guilty if you don’t fulfill his wish.
Constant Badgering: If the atmosphere at home is very critical, if you are questioned for every decision you make, you might not want to oppose anything anyway to avoid further critique.
Persuasion: At first it does not seem manipulative, because he comes up with arguments. You can get suspicious if it never ends and when he accepts none of your counter-argument or feelings: he just not takes No as an answer.
So why does he do that?
Historically – surely this was what he learned, or simply he did not learn the democratic, cooperative way of communication.
Economically – negotiating, give and take needs lots of effort, patience and “let go” of our will. Maybe it’s not worth for him.
Functionally – when he considers your opinion as well, his wants will not be always fulfilled. If he applies manipulative force – which does not consider your wants – his wants will be fulfilled.
Here is the key, when he will stop manipulate:
He manipulates because it works. He pushes you with one of the unfair tactics and you do what he wants. Next time he wants something, he will apply the same force that worked before.
Sooner or later he will stop manipulation when it does not work any longer.
If you want to stop manipulation: stop complying with his requests communicated by manipulative force.You can even sharpen the edge by putting emphasis on being very agreeable when he asks something straightforward but not fulfilling his needs and want until he pressurizes you with manipulative force. This tactic might re-train the communication between the two of you.
Photo is courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.