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...
The number one way you're being manipulated by your addicted loved one is guilt, and that guilt button is causing you to do and say everything you don't and shouldn't be saying and doing.
You must manage your guilt.
Five ways someone might be pressing your guilt button:
1. "It's your fault!"
The number one is the most direct pathway to guilt when being told or hearing messages implying it is all your fault.
Here are some examples of how that might look in a real-life situation.
"I wouldn't have to drink if you weren't nagging me constantly."
"I wouldn't have to hide my use if you weren't uptight and crazy about it."
"I developed this problem because of what you did to me in the past, and now this is my only way of coping."
"Hey, I was like this when you got with me. You knew what you were in for, and now you've changed your mind."
Those are all straightforward ways a person might press your guilt button.
These are seven things that your addicted loved one will say to convince you they don't have a problem. These are just manipulation tactics, which is why I want you to be able to identify them and know what's happening when you hear them.
Your loved one will likely tell you, "I'm not nearly as bad as all those people at the meetings or the treatment center. I don't even do it every day."
I call this--It's not as bad as you're making it to be a manipulation tactic.
This goes hand in hand with the first one. They will probably give you both at the same time.
"You are just so uptight, I don't know why you worry about this so much. You used to drink with me and be fun. This is a gaslighting manipulation technique.
If you want to know how to deal with manipulation tactics, my manipulation guide will cover different types of manipulation. The manipulation guide will give hints and pointers on how to deal with gaslighting.
If your addicted loved one has said any of the following 11 statements, you're being gaslit, a form of manipulation. This is part two in my series on gaslighting statements. Here's the link to part one.
If you're not familiar with the term, gaslighting is when someone purposely makes you think you're crazy. It's a common manipulation tactic used when dealing with someone struggling with an addiction. It's their way of deflecting the conversation, the energy, and putting it back on you.
If you are struggling with an addiction, or you're with someone who's struggling, and you feel trapped in the situation, click HERE. There are tons of free addiction recovery resources. There are things on the site for you if you have a loved one that you're trying to help and resources if you're trying to conquer an addiction.
Back to the most common gaslighting statements...
"I have to have that for my anxiety. If you don't let me have that, I'll probably go out and do something worse....
If you have an addicted loved one and hear any of these statements, you are being manipulated.
We're going to look at gaslighting from the loved one's perspective. If you have an addicted loved one and say things like this to you, this is gaslighting.
If you've never heard that term before, it's where someone purposefully makes you feel like you're crazy.
There are a lot of ways this happens. Let's start with like the classic of all classics.
Let's say that you find drugs, alcohol, paraphernalia, whatever it is. You confront your loved one with it. They're going to say, "I forgot about that. That's been there forever!" or "That's my friends, it's not even mine!"
That is super classic.
You probably already know that's not true because you probably looked in that spot recently and knew it wasn't there, but they're going to make you doubt your sanity by telling you that. Then you're going to think, well, maybe it is old, and you're going to question. Before you know it,...
One thing about alcoholism that's particularly troubling is the memory issues that accompany it.
Alcoholics genuinely don't remember what happened when drinking (referred to as a blackout), and when their family is upset, they get irritated and feel like the other person is overreacting. In this circumstance, the alcoholic isn't intentionally trying to Gaslight their loved one; they don't remember what they said or did during a blackout incident. It's a form of GASLIGHTING and will make you question your sanity.
But in other instances (like when you find their hidden alcohol), alcoholics intentionally try to make you think you're crazy. They may say something like, "that's been there for over six months. Don't you remember your dad left that when he came at Christmas?" In these situations, the alcoholic person knows precisely what they're doing. They're trying to throw you off their scent or deflect the argument.