Toxic couple: can a manipulator change (with love or maturity)?

Toxic couple can a manipulator change with love or maturity

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    in collaboration with

    Amélie Boukhobza (Clinical psychologist)

    You have detected to your cost the manipulative or toxic side of your new partner, but nourish the hope that he will change upon contact with you? Is there a chance of this happening and how? Our psychologist Amélie Boukhobza answers us.

    Lies, nice phrases, gaslithing… You knew the manipulative side of your new partner before meeting him or you have had bitter experience of it since. But you are no exception: it’s different between you, and your relationship, which also experiences many ups and downs, could, why not, calm down and evolve towards more trust, right? We asked our psychologist the question.

    An illusory project, despite love

    The fantasy of changing a person, of being the one they need to become something completely different, is quite widespread. Unfortunately, for Amélie Boukhobza, clinical psychologist, this is an illusory trait as soon as we approach something as problematic as manipulation, which, let us remember, aims to control or influence your thinking, your choices, your actions.

    “Manipulation is generally very rooted in deep personality traits and sometimes in psychological disorders like perversion. So changing a manipulative partner whose problematic behaviors are often unconscious seems very complicated to me, if not totally illusory!”

    Change your vision of the problem rather than your partner

    If there is one thing to change in this problematic pattern, it is not the personality of the evil person, but rather the way you approach this relationship, advises our expert.

    “If you are suffering in your relationships, in therapy, the work could focus more on becoming aware of the manipulation and developing strategies to manage or protect yourself from it, rather than on changing the manipulator himself. that is to say above all learning to establish firm limits and to reinforce oneself. self esteem. But it is a work of empowerment of oneself, and not of transformation of the other.”

    Good in his body, good in his head!

    To persist would be to burn your wings

    Sorry. Reasoning with a manipulator, however charming he may be, is wasted effort. “It must be understood that these people have such self-esteem that introspection, criticism, questioning are impossible for them. These are people who will not evolve”, explains our expert.

    But above all, it is a painful and energy-consuming undertaking for the person who tries to act… alone. “Because by trying so hard to change it we end up burning our wings and being stuck in the meshes of its net, like a spider in its web.” concludes our psychologist.

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