It is often a tough call when you are caught in the net of an exploiter. It is even tougher when it is with someone who is close to you. This people can cause you harm in the most unsuspecting way and you wander through life questioning the truth of your reality. This article is an eye-opener on the signs you should look out for, and how to spot an exploiter.
What does it mean to exploit someone?
To exploit someone is to use the person for your selfish end. This is often because the person is not well informed or as a way to make the person pay for your insecurities.
Exploiters are often people who deal with issues of insecurity, however, they try to use others as a cushion for the turmoil they feel inside.
How to spot an exploiter
#1 They Make You Question Your Reality And Sanity
He or she makes you believe you are remembering wrongly an incident you remember so clearly. They would make you question your reality or memory. This they do in order to keep you in check and disallow you from holding the true version of the event. Once they are able to get into the fragments of your memory and erase them. They would get you to dance to their tune. Because at that point, you would believe they truly have a correct version of the events but it is only so they can control you.
#2 You Leave Their Presence Always Second-guessing Yourself
An exploiter sees that nothing of your self-worth remains. This way, they can manipulate and get you to do their bidding. When an exploiter sees you as confident, their first target would be at your self-esteem. Once they are able to put you down or tear down your self-esteem, they are able to successfully use you to fill up their needs.
#3 You Are Always Feeling Guilty.
Whenever you are around this kind of person, you consistently feel shame for past, present and future events. When you make mistakes, they would hold it over your head as long as possible. This is to manipulate you to be at their mercy at all times. You even have to imagine things that would make you guilty or always present yourself as guilty.
Shame becomes a way of life in order to keep them from re-enacting old events. The moment they see you happy again, they would directly or indirectly, remind you of past events that would keep you bucked down again. They could even insinuate and guilt you into agreeing to what you have no responsibility for.
#4 You Are Always Feeling Wrong And Never Good Enough
With an exploiter, just like the guilt trips, you will learn to always feel wrong. Even if you are ever right, you have to agree that you are wrong to allow them temporarily lay the issue to rest. With these people, nothing you do ever feel right and as such, you are never good enough. You can never be your true self either, as any sign of freedom, is stifled. In effect, they manipulate you to be the version of person they want you to be.
In place of encouragement, they place ‘well-meaning’ criticisms. You have no choice than to always question yourself when you are around this kind of people. You would poke yourself to accept you are doing something wrong, even when you know you are not. “After all, they mean well.” is a statement you use to sabotage yourself and make excuses for your exploiter.
#5 They Use You To Get What They Want
They are around you only when they are in need. This need could be in the form of material possession or information. Your relevance to them is only as a bridge to their desire. Once they get what they want, they disappear. Only to re-surface when the need arises again. When you deny them their need, they gaslight you. This of course, is in a bid to get you to do their bidding as usual.
How to deal with an exploiter
Navigating your way, when you are around this kind of people is often a tough call. Therefore, you must learn to keep yourself grounded because you never know where you can meet them. When you are faced with an exploiter, trust your instinct and protect yourself in the following ways:
#5 Maintain healthy boundaries in the interest your mental health. These things are as subtle as you can think of. Yet, as damaging as you cannot imagine. When you spend most of your time around people of this kind, it is difficult to see it happening unless someone else points it out to you.
#4 Learn to validate yourself. As that would help you be who you are and understand that you are important as much as those you want to keep happy. When something does not seem or feel right with you, it simply does not. Do not give in to their manipulations disguised as rebuke or protest. It is simply a way to keep you on a detour and do their bidding.
#3 Understand that you do not need their approval to feel what you feel. This is because; your feeling exists to inform you of your needs, and not them. Therefore, it is okay if they do not agree with you when you feel the way you do. It is not their job to, it is your responsibility.
#2 Your experience is your experience. Whether the other person is in the picture when it happened or not, is not valid. What is valid is that you see and understand what is, in the way that you do. Resist any effort from an exploiter to create a false memory and force it on you. It creates a disorder in your thought pattern and leaves you to your fate of hallucination. Distorting realities for you does not change the experience; rather, it keeps you from seeing what truly happened and fixing it rightly.
#1 Break off the relationship if what the person contributes brings you to experience more chaos than they invite peace in your life. Breaking free is necessary because you do not have control over the other person’s choices or actions. Instead, focus on yourself because it is the only person you have any form of control over.
The quality of your mental health is a strong determinant of your life’s path and choices. Therefore, it is important you protect it ferociously . It is my hope that this article helps you in the least way on how to spot an exploiter, and in your relationship with them.