Isolation: How Manipulators Cut You Off from Your Support Network

Isolation: How Manipulators Cut You Off from Your Support Network isolation: how manipulators cut you off from your support network
Photo by Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

As someone who works with people in toxic situations, I’ve seen this same sneaky pattern over and over again. Manipulators have this sneaky way of slowly separating you from your friends, family and any kind of support network. They cut you off piece by piece until you’re totally on your own with nobody else in your corner.

And the really twisted part? You barely even notice it happening at first and sometimes you even play a part in isolating yourself from your support network. That’s how crafty they are. Let me break it down for you with some real-life examples from clients.

They Love-Bomb You Hard

It mostly starts with this total love-bombing craze when you first get together. The manipulator is obsessive, wanting to soak up every second of your time and attention. They make you feel like you’re the centre of their whole universe.

Now in the moment, you’re probably thinking “Wow, this person is so madly in love with me!” That’s exactly what they want you to believe. By smothering you with this over-the-top affection, they’re slowly pulling you away from your other important relationships and making you reliant on them for approval and validation.

In fact, because the love bombing is so sweet, you end up pushing away some of your childhood friends because they’re somewhat boring and you don’t want to miss a minute with your supposed ‘soulmate.’

It’s in that phase where those mundane moments with your friends and family now look like the last place for you and you’d rather spend time or go for an exotic trip with your new relationship. You want the high, not the low and boring movie nights with your broke friends.

They Sabotage Your Other Plans

Also, once you’re properly love-bombed and hooked, that’s when the isolation really kicks in. Suddenly, every time you have plans with your friends or commitment with family, the manipulator has some “emergency” come up that demands you cancel.

One example is that your boyfriend would mysteriously get “food poisoning” every Friday date night when you’ve arranged to go out with the girls. Or your wife would have some work crisis that makes you bail out of your nephew’s party at the last minute. These manipulative excuses seem reasonable on the surface, but when you’re keen enough, you will realize that there’s a pattern.

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Before you know it, your friends stop even bothering to invite you out because you’re so “unreliable.” Your family starts to feel pushed away because you’re always a no-show. Slowly but surely, your intimate circle of support melts away as the manipulator wedges themselves firmly in the middle.

They Cut Off Your Financial Freedom

Money is a huge tool manipulators wield to isolate and entrap you in the relationship. Maybe your partner insists on taking total control of the finances, leaving you on an extreme allowance. Or perhaps they actively undermine your job prospects and career growth to ensure you’re fully dependent on their income.

I’ve had clients who couldn’t even afford to grab coffee or get their nails done without being interrogated about the expense. Anything that could allow you financial autonomy and independence gets systematically stripped away by the manipulator. You’re now isolated from doing your own thing because every move is controlled by their money.

They Turn Your Loved Ones Against You

Another aspect of isolation is when they start turning your loved ones against you. Manipulators are masters of making you question your own reality. When physically isolating you doesn’t quite do the trick, they go the psychological warfare route to drive an even deeper wedge between you and your support network

They’ll start planting little seeds of doubt, making snarky comments about how your friends are a “bad influence” or your family “doesn’t really care about you.” The goal is to make you paranoid that anyone outside of the manipulator’s sphere has shady motives and hidden agendas.

Before long, you’re seeing your loved ones through this distorted lens and second-guessing every interaction with them. The manipulator has successfully isolated you psychologically from your closest allies.

You end up losing trust in those people you’ve known for ages, and instead trust only them but because it’s done sneakily, you wouldn’t really notice it. Here’s the corrected version:

They may also share with you clear evidence of how your family and friends are really evil. Of course, if we cherry-pick our behaviours, we will find some undesirable aspects. However, because you’re deep in the relationship, you will not see things logically.

They Destroy Your Individuality

At the end of the isolation cycle, the manipulator works to exterminate any last fragment of independence and individuality you possessed. Your hobbies, interests, anything that existed before this relationship — it all has to go.

They’ll mock or discourage anything allowing you a sense of autonomy and identity beyond their control. When you’re starved of creative outlets or personal fulfilment, you end up utterly alone with this person as your sole lifeline to the world. That’s now Full-blown Isolation, no friends, no family, no interests, no money and no other thing to hold onto aside from them.

The Solution: Don’t Lose your Family and Friends for Your Relationship

Look, if any of these isolation tactics sound familiar in your relationship, just take a pause and really examine what’s going on in the relationship and what will happen if you keep heading down that path of ‘cutting off’ everyone for the sake of the relationship. The main goal of isolation is to strip you of all supportive relationships and alternative perspectives, so you become fully dependent on your abusive partner. It’s absolutely sneaky and manipulative.

My advice? At least keep a few friends, family members, or even colleagues in your circle. If you’re starting to lose touch with them, begin rebuilding your circle of trusted friends, family, and personal passions that allow you to feel independent and whole again. Breaking free from that isolated bubble isn’t easy, but reconnecting with your supports is step #1. Don’t let a manipulator cut you off — your life is way too big for that shrunken existence they want.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these toxic patterns, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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