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Signs an Addict is Manipulating You

Signs an Addict is Manipulating You

Written by: stodzy | Date: December 6, 2017

Almost every friend or family of an addict has experienced their art of manipulation. Manipulation within addicted individuals goes far beyond acquaintances and strangers and usually is most prevalent with close friends, spouses, and even children.

It can be difficult to come to terms with the idea that someone you love is manipulating and using you to get what they want but ignoring it only influences manipulation further. When you learn to identify signs of this behavior-, you are able to take the power back in the relationship and eventually aid them in facing the truth of who they have become.

Why do Addicts Manipulate?

Not all addicts are born manipulators, in fact, many have to work pretty hard to get good at it. What gives them the ability to get so good? Well, to put it simply-motivation. When someone becomes severely addicted to a substance, they will stop at nothing to get it. Their mind and their body are telling them they need it to survive, and that drug eventually surpasses priorities like family, health, hobbies, etc. Think about a time you really wanted something that wasn’t easy to get-you probably thought about a few cunning ways you could achieve it. Hopefully, you realized you don’t need it that bad and found a moral way to get it but still, those ideas were there.

When you’re an addict, you don’t just think on those ideas, you act on them. Even if they aren’t sure it will work, any risk is a risk worth taking if it will get them their next high. The cravings for drugs and the effects of the drug itself change people, it’s a devastating fact of this epidemic. It can be hard for loved ones to accept, but ignoring it and just hoping they will stop just allows them to keep using. The person you love is still in there, and understanding manipulative behavior can help you stop it-and bring back the real them. The following signs are behaviors to look out for that suggest you’re being manipulated:

  1. They Guilt Trip You

This is the most common method of manipulation among drugs addicts. Deep down they know you want the best for them, and they try to convince you that giving them money, drugs, food, a place to live, etc, while they continue using is going to better their life. They might say things like “if I don’t get high I’ll get really sick”, or “ I have no where else to go, I have no one else to help me”. There are a million things they could be saying, but underneath it all, they are trying to make you feel guilty. This can be tricky because maybe you are the only one helping them out right now. It can be tough, but supporting them in this way allows them to continue using. In these cases, it’s best to say no-unless they would be in severe danger without you. If they do need money, buy them what they need and never just give them cash as it will most likely be used for drugs. Don’t fall under their guilt web- remember that none of their problems are your fault or your responsibility.

2. They Have Endless Excuses

Endless excuses, reasons, cover up stories, and most likely lies, are common tales told by addicts. Sometimes you get a gut feeling they’re lying, other times you have proof. Why do addicts try to cover up their behavior even when they know you’re aware of it? There are a few reasons- the two main ones being shame and manipulation. They are opposing factors-but both prevalent in most cases. Sometimes their lies are a form of self-denial and ignoring the truth of what they’ve been doing. The other comes when they need something, hoping to get something out of others when they’re desperate. No matter the reason, excuses for behavior are a clear sign of manipulation and should tell you to stop falling for it.

mother and daughter arguing

3. They Diminish Your Problems

Most of the time addicts are too involved in their addiction to care about your problems. Substance abuse can turn anyone into a selfish person, and they won’t care about your struggles unless they can twist it to benefit them.

No matter what you’re going through, they have it worse. You had a bad day? Well, they had the worst day of their life. You need money? They need it more. These kinds of situations suggest strong emotional manipulation, which can be hard to deal with. Exposure to this kind of behavior on a constant basis can make you feel like your problems really aren’t important- but that’s just not true. Pay attention to how often your life is put behind theirs, and realize this is a method of manipulation. Put yourself first and then deal with their issues in a healthy way.

4. They Use Aggression and Anger

Intimidation is a powerful method of manipulation and can be dangerous depending on the severity of the situation. If you fear someone might hurt you, first notify someone and make sure you’re safe.

In the majority of cases- there can be a lot of yelling and threatening involved. They use fear as a tactic to get what they want, and as a natural reaction you probably give in a good amount of the time. Over time this establishes a power structure with you underneath them. When it goes on too long, it can become permanent. If possible, try not to give into this method, to begin with. If it’s been going on for a while, learn to stand your ground and diminish the power structure. When someone knows they lack a good reason or excuse for doing things they shouldn’t be, too often they turn to aggression and intimidation.  If an addict you know is treating you this way-its a sure fire sign of manipulation.

Break The Cycle

Friends and families of substance abusers have a hard time recognizing that they are being manipulated. Usually, they don’t want to face it out of love or sympathy.  But the sooner they do- the sooner they can stop enabling their loved ones into continuing use. The most important things to remember when you think you’re being manipulated is that their addiction isn’t your responsibility or your fault. Stand up for yourself and try to have an honest conversation with them.

Find Help For A Loved one

If someone you love is caught up in addiction and endless games of manipulation, our trained professionals can help them find sobriety. We can work with you and your family to help cope with the residual effects their behavior may have had on you, and help work through relationship problems as they find sobriety. Call us today at 800-655-0817 to find out more.