Some people are amazing, larger than life, dream-like partners.

Until they’re not.

Toxic people like sociopaths, liars, and users employ very specific tactics in their relationships to get what they want. A common misconception is that they prey on the weak, but this isn’t exactly true. These toxics individuals do target certain people. Mostly, they target the people who don’t know how to recognize their facade.

So, good people end up falling prey and feeling obligated to stay.

Here are some clues as to why this happens.

They Build You Up to Tear You Down

Toxic people like to place their new partners on a pedestal. This makes you feel special and gives you hope that you’ve found the love of your life.

We call it love bombing.

They build you up as the perfect partner for them only to pull the pedestal out from under you.

Once you’ve gotten used to being exalted, they will admit that you disappointed them somehow. And, they blow this news way out of proportion.

Not only are you caught off-guard by this sudden change in character, but you’re desperate to reclaim your place on your new partner’s pedestal. So desperate, in fact, that it becomes addictive.

This addiction to your partner’s approval is the hook, line, and sinker of a toxic person.

They Project onto You so that You’re Distracted

When you’re talking about sociopaths, liars, and users, you’re talking about master con artists.

They are professional manipulators and fly under the radar because of their stealth.

A very common way for these toxic people to keep you in a relationship with them is to distract you from their wrongdoing.

After falling from your pedestal, you long for nothing more than to get back to the way your relationship was before the pedestal fall.

Your toxic partner knows this and will use this against you.

What they will do is project onto you. If they are lying they will accuse you of lying. As you dedicate your attention to defending yourself, you desperately try to prove your innocence.

In some cases, you will focus completely on “fixing” yourself leaving your toxic partner free to do what they want.

You Hope for a Positive Change in Them

A relationship with a toxic person is a roller coaster ride. The good can be really good and the bad can be really bad. This is part of the stronghold they have over you.

They leave you constantly trying to reclaim how the relationship felt in the beginning.

Many times they try to convince you that all relationships are like this. They also point out any positive changes they’ve made.

A liar will boast about telling you the truth once although it was still surrounded by a storm of other lies.

That one little glimmer of hope is enough to keep you hoping. You might think that one moment of truth could lead to another, which could lead to another, and that your partner will stop lying altogether.

The rotten truth is that they’re leading you on and have no intention of changing. They just know how to keep you on a string.

You Feel Frozen by the Confusion Their Lies Create

When a person looks you in the eyes and tells a blatant lie, even when you know the truth, it can send shivers of doubt throughout you.

This level of pseudo confidence is meant to do you harm. The goal of your partner’s  blatant lies to you is to shake your world and make you doubt yourself.

You begin to second guess yourself more and more. Your partner may even use the technique of gaslighting. This is a form of manipulation sows seeds of doubt in your mind.

Doubting reality, yourself, your judgment, and even your sanity are all common reactions to these manipulative tactics.

With so much doubt surrounding your life, ending a relationship becomes harder and harder. You don’t trust yourself to make the right decision.

If you’re recovering from a toxic relationship or simply need help navigating through strong emotions within your current relationship, please contact me. I’d love to help you reclaim your love life and find happiness along the way.