How Not to Emotionally Manipulate Me

I won’t pretend I’m not guilty of some of the following actions but here are some tips/thoughts I have about manipulating people’s emotions in a relationship.

Note: the more I think about these items on the list the more I wonder if my perspective has been warped by a series of relationships that either lacked emotional security or were unsafe. Something for me to ponder.


– Say things you don’t mean (example: I really like you).

– Discuss and/or agree to future plans (example: Let’s go to ____ next month. Ok that sounds awesome! I should be free. We can make a weekend of it and I will meet your best friend in the whole entire world).

– Say “I love you” if you are going to take it back.

– Joke about having your baby, being your wife or living with you.

– Kiss their forehead (if you have ever been kissed on the forehead, you know the feelings this can provoke).

– Buy super considerate “gift” (example an ice pack for my neck when I spend the night).

– Offer to cook dinner (I’ve “dated” someone occasionally for over a year – he’s never cooked for me. Clear boundaries.)

– Stand under a giant umbrella wrapped around a person like your life depended on it and whisper all the things you want to do together (I swear that one was a cliché moment – and then he broke out into Singing in the Rain. Not. Kidding.)

– Initiate constant contact – first thing in the morning to last thing at night.

– Record little messages for me about how much you miss me and can’t wait to be together.


– Be honest. If you just want sex or casual dating or dating other people, you have to say it, out loud, so I can decide if that’s what I want too.

– Make a plan when we agree to go out – it doesn’t have to be weeks in advance, or days of your time – just make the space you are ready to give me.

– Be realistic about what you need from me.

– Be honest about what you can give me.


2 thoughts on “How Not to Emotionally Manipulate Me

  1. I agree that some of the items on your ‘Don’t’ list can be emotionally manipulative in the wrong hands. But some are sweet. Hopefully you’ll find a nice guy who won’t offer more than he is really willing to give and he’ll offer and deliver more than you ever expected.


    • Absolutely, if the sentiment behind those actions is true those are the best things in the world. Sadly, these are things men with no intention of giving me anything said or did :/


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