If your addicted/alcoholic loved one tries to lie, manipulate, or gaslight you, DO THIS!

manipulation May 23, 2023

 If your addicted loved one is manipulating you, what that means is they are pressing some button that you already have, and they're using that against you. Emotional buttons include fear, guilt, embarrassment, anger, and shame. Your loved one knows exactly what your buttons are and which ones have a trigger, and their addiction will undoubtedly use those emotional buttons against you.

Guilt has always been a massive button for me. I naturally feel terrible when I see other people suffering or uncomfortable, even if I know they did it to themselves.

I grew up in a very addicted family, and one of the people that was addicted in my family was my older half-sister. She got pregnant at a very young age, had lots of kids, and was always struggling, and I always felt bad because she had such a hard time paying her bills and even having regular life necessities for her and her kids. So not only did I feel bad for her for suffering, but I felt extra guilt with the idea that her kids could be suffering. And that guilt held me hostage, for a very long time. I would feel sick to my stomach when I would see her phone number pop up because I knew whatever was about to happen, I was going to walk away feeling bad about it. It was so terrible that most of the time, I couldn't answer when I saw it ring; I would have to collect myself and get myself to a place where I could call back because I knew I'd be in a dilemma.

It was like any way I looked, I felt guilty about it, and that dynamic went on for years and years, well past when I was an addiction counselor, and I didn't stop doing it until I hit bottom; I guess you could call it.

What is it that's keeping you stuck and allowing you to be manipulated? Because that will keep happening to you until you control whatever that emotional button is for you. Hopefully, it will take you less time than it did me.

Now, the second thing you'll face is when an addicted loved one tries to lie to you.

Now the button that this pushes is your ego button.
So if we think, "Oh my gosh, they think I'm going to fall for that?" our ego checks in, and we feel we must call it out to prove our rightness. Now, it's not always a mistake to call out a lie, but you have to stop and ask yourself why you want to call this out.

Does it matter one way or the other? Because a lot of times, when dealing with someone who has an addiction, lying is such a natural part of what comes along with it that they lie about little things that don't even matter. And does it matter if they had six beers or four beers? No, so most of the time, calling out the lie is unnecessary.

If you feel like you have to call it out every single time, and it always starts an argument, then there's an emotional button pushed on you. And that has to do with you being worried about what that other person thinks about you. So, for example, "Oh, they think I'm that naive, or they think they can get away with that."

You must step up to the plate and say; I know you're lying, but remember it has to be strategic. Don't call it out just because your ego button was pushed.

Now, gaslighting is a whole other category. If you have an addicted loved one that tends to use gaslighting against you, then what's happening is your button being pushed is self-doubt. They're making you doubt yourself, your choices, and your boundaries; they're even making you doubt what you see with your own eyes.

And if this goes on long enough, you can end up in bad shape, almost like you don't know what to trust and what not to trust. And eventually, you stop trusting your instincts altogether, which might cause you to give up and believe everything they're saying. Or it might cause you to turn into this super investigator spy who constantly looks for proof and tries to show them that you know what's up and must remember when that's happening.

Watch out for that ego button if you don't want to be manipulated, lied to, controlled, or gaslit. It's all about managing your own emotions. If you don't control your emotions, self-confidence, or what's happening, you will be on that roller coaster with them. If you want to stop being manipulated, you will be on those ups and downs like a feather in the wind.

You have to get in control of yourself. Not only will that help you live a better life, but it will also be helpful to the other person. So it's a win-win situation.

Amber Hollingsworth

To learn more about dealing with lying, watch these next to learn more about controlling your emotions and understanding your side of the street.


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