Skip to main content

8 Best Books to Protect Yourself From Emotional Manipulation

  • Author:
  • Updated date:
Best books to avoid manipulation

Best books to avoid manipulation

Expert manipulators persuade you to entrust your emotional well-being to them. Unless you recognize it and put a stop to it, they will gradually eat away at your identity and self-esteem until there is nothing left. Learn the manipulator's game, so they can't play it with you.

These books will teach you how to recognize emotional manipulation tactics and deal with them effectively

30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics: How Manipulators Take Control In Personal Relationships

Author: Adelyn Birch

Ave goodreads score:4/5

Emotional manipulation tactics are used behind the scenes to secretly gain control of you. Being at the receiving end of emotional manipulation gradually erodes your self-esteem and confidence, as well as your trust in your own judgment. It has the potential to cause you to unintentionally compromise your own ideals and needs, resulting in a loss of self-respect and a distorted view of self-image. You are much more vulnerable to additional manipulation with your defenses down or entirely disarmed in this way.

Adelyn Birch is a survivor of emotional abuse. In 30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics she shares knowledge gained through her own experiences and study of psychological research. The author discusses in depth 30 undercover techniques used by manipulators to obtain whatever they desire. Even if you can't identify the particular technique being employed, you'll learn to recognize the warning indicators inside yourself that reveal covert manipulation is taking place. The focus of this book is on romantic relationships, particularly those with a disordered spouse. Nonetheless, the techniques discussed are similar to those employed by family members, employees, friends, and others. I enjoyed reading 30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics and learned a lot. It specifically assisted me in better understanding emotional abuse and power dynamics in relationships. I particularly like Birch's study of bonding through intensity and intermittent reinforcement, as well as her portrayal of invalidation as an emotionally harmful habit.I highly recommend this book to both the people who are afraid of being in an abusive relationship and those who wish to learn more about psychology and relationships.

In Sheep's Clothing: Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People

Author: George K. Simon

Ave goodreads score:4/5

Written by a psychologist Dr. George Simon, In Sheep's Clothing (1996) examines the psychology of power-hungry and manipulative people.

"Manipulators", according to the author are character disordered individuals who tend to make poor decisions mainly because they are unable to see beyond their own self-interest. In sheep’s clothing serves as an excellent guide to recognizing character disordered individuals─ the employee who openly questions every decision using sarcasm and other tools; the boss who undermines your work while appearing to be helpful; the people in your life who constantly seem to cause issues but blame you for the problems. This book also explains how manipulators think and the tactics they employ to exploit, manipulate, and deceive people in order to achieve their goals. In addition, the book goes through the many forms of aggressiveness, including the passive aggressor, which is perhaps the hardest to handle. In the last chapter of the book effective techniques to deal with manipulators are discussed.

This book is a fantastic read and resource for those who are in, or have been in, an abusive relationship; it will help them recognize abusive behavior for what it is. Anyone in the HR field, as well as middle managers and small and mid-size enterprise owners would benefit from having this book in their workplace.


Author: H G Tudor

Ave goodreads score:4/5

H G Tudor goes into detail and lists 25 different ways an abuser manipulates you. It’s a shocking and eye-opening read. Reading this book provided me with a wealth of information. The instances given were exactly what I went through while I was in relationship with a narcissist. I discovered a plethora of answers to many of my vexing concerns and perplexities throughout the years.

Every person who has been abused or is in a toxic relationship needs to read this book so that they can separate truth from lies. This book teaches you what emotional manipulation techniques are, how they're used, why they're utilized, and how they affect you. Even if you were not aware that you were being manipulated, you will be surprised at how powerful and familiar these tactics are. This clear and straightforward guide will make you wise and help you protect yourself from emotional abuse.

Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You

Author: Susan Forward

Ave goodreads score:4.1/5

Scroll to Continue

Emotional blackmail by Susan Forward is a thought provoking, eye opening and interesting read. She uses real-life examples to assist the reader understand emotional blackmail."If you don't give me what I want, you will suffer," is the message underlying emotional blackmail. When friends, family, lovers, bosses, and coworkers use fear, obligation, and guilt to force you to do what THEY want, you may utilize the tactics, skills, and scripts in this book to respond positively and stand firm. The author offers step-by-step instructions for repairing relationships and regaining confidence, independence, and self-esteem. This book aids in dispelling the "FOG" that emotional blackmailers use to blind us. Fear, Obligation, and Guilt make up this "FOG." It equips the reader with the knowledge and skills necessary to detect emotional blackmail and to fight it. This book can assist you in shifting the power dynamic in your interactions with emotional blackmailers. Dr. Forward provides you with the knowledge you need to end the blackmail cycle once and for all.

This book made me realize how emotional blackmailers use our weaknesses to influence us in subtle ways. It provided me with useful knowledge in the form of checklists, practice situations, and communication strategies. Anyone who wants to break the cycle of emotional blackmail and start having healthy relationships should read it.

The Devil’s Toolkit

Author: H G Tudor

Ave goodreads score:4.19/5

There are moments in my life when I walk away from encounters with others with a pit in my stomach, a weight on my heart, or a cloud of confusion in my mind. I've frequently questioned whether I imagined what happened or the other person really said or did what I believe they said and did. In The Devil’s Toolkit Mr.Tudor discusses a formidable range of manipulative and wounding tools that a narcissist uses to controls and harms those that come within his or her grasp. He not only defines each tool in detail, but he also explains how, when, and why it is utilized, as well as why it works. After reading The Devil's Toolkit, I was able to detect not only what instrument was being used against me, but also when it was being utilized. This understanding enabled me to no longer be harmed by tools and to disconnect and walk away before the tool was used to complete the task. Awareness is important, and information is power.This is another another book by HG that provides insight into how to preserve and shield one's soul and sanity while dealing with a narcissist in one's life.

The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life

Author: Robin Stern

Ave goodreads score: 3.9/5

This well-written book is an easy read. The term "gaslighting" is defined by Dr. Stern as "being forced to accept the unbelievable by someone else." Gaslighting, she continues, is a "insidious kind of emotional abuse and manipulation that is difficult to recognize and break free from." Gaslighters are divided into three groups of emotional abusers and according to Dr.Stern there are three stages of gaslighting. She identifies the internal cues, sensations, and signs that a person being gaslighted may feel when they are subjected to emotional abuse and invalidation of their reality by someone.

This book is a must-have for any person who went through or is in a toxic relationship. It confirms the nagging feelings we get when we know something is wrong with a relationship but can't pinpoint what it is.

Dr. Stern not only explains how to recognize these sensations as red flags, but also how to deal with them in a healthy and reasonable manner. She teaches her readers how to recognize even slight signs of emotional abuse and how to cope with it in such a way that, if you are not in an intimate relationship with a malignant narcissist, the relationship may be much improved.

Who's Pulling Your Strings? How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life

Author: Harriet B. Braiker

Ave goodreads score: 3.9/5

This book lays out a comprehensive plan to help you break free from manipulators and reclaim control of your life. Millions of individuals, both men and women, might find themselves in relationships with manipulators - persons who exert power over others via emotional manipulation, insults, and mind games. These toxic relationships undermine the victim's self-esteem and make life difficult. Whether the manipulator is a family member, a spouse or love partner, a boss, coworker, or subordinate, or even a trusted friend or adviser, Dr. Harriet B. Braiker, guides you how to halt the destructive pattern once and for all. Dr. Braiker empowers you to: recognize the signs of a manipulative relationship; assess your own vulnerability to manipulation; use effective resistance tactics against manipulators' efforts; extricate yourself from manipulative relationships that do not change and protect yourself from falling prey to manipulators' ploys in future.

Mind Games: Emotionally Manipulative Tactics Partners Use to Control Relationships and Force the Upper Hand

Author: Pamela Kole

Ave goodreads score: 4.16/5

Mind Games uncovers a host of underhanded, sneaky, and malicious emotional manipulation tactics that abusers use to beat you down and control you. We might all be able to recognize blatant abuse, but when we’re covertly manipulated it’s difficult to see that we are being harmed. Being at the receiving end of emotional manipulation leaves you feeling worthless and vulnerable, making it almost impossible to leave a toxic situation.

The author Pamela Kole identifies several typical manipulative techniques that you may be familiar with, along with real-world examples to help you recognize them in your daily life. She also delves into the psychology of why your partner behaves the way they do... and why you stay. In the last chapter of the book she gives advice on how to deal with a spouse who is a manipulator. This book is a wonderful resource if you need help understanding a selfish or confusing relationship.

Related Articles