1. He makes you feel like the bad guy (and plays the victim).
- “Well, there is no place I would rather be than with you. But if you want to go with your friends, that’s OK.”
- “This makes me uncomfortable. But if it makes you happy, I can deal with it.”
- “Have I ever stopped you from doing anything you wanted to do?”
2. He says he understands but then tries to convince you otherwise.
- “Well, I don’t think it’s a good choice. But you know I’ll support whatever decision you make.”
- “I would never tell you what to do. But you know how I feel about this.”
- “You can hang out with BLANK if you want. But I don’t think she is a good influence on you.”
3. He talks about his idea of the ideal person (and make small steps to try and mold you into it).
- “A truly rational person wouldn’t act this way.”
- “Someday you could be really great if BLANK.”
- “I wanted the perfect girl, and you’re the closest I’ve ever come to finding her.”
4. He clues you in to the choice(s) he wants you to make.
- “I know you’ll make the right choice, because I trust your judgment.”
- “This is great, but I think you can do better. You’re better than this.”
- “I love the way you do this. But have you tried this?”
5. He gives you ultimatums.
- “I want to be with you, but not if BLANK.”
- “I want to be with you, but I can’t accept BLANK.”
- “I love everything about you. But if you don’t change BLANK, then ….”
6. His philosophy is so strong that it starts to dilute yours.
- “You don’t have to convert for me. But can you still come to church with me every Sunday? ”
- “I think if you read this book, you’ll see that my way of living is the best choice.”
- “Your point doesn’t make any sense at all.”
7. He’s conditioned you to start saying what he wants to hear instead of what you actually think or feel.
- “Are you sure this choice means more to you than our happiness?”
- “What you’re saying to me isn’t what we discussed.”
8. He wants you to give reasons for everything that you do but never accepts any of the reasons you give him.
- “How you feel isn’t a logical reason to make a choice.”
- “You can’t just change your mind after you’ve made a decision.”
9. He says everything by saying nothing at all.
Sometimes what someone doesn’t say is just as bad as voicing disapproval. If he isn’t actively lifting you up, then, by default, he is tearing you down.