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Without revealing too many personal details, I admit that I recently fell victim to something called “splitting”.
Splitting is a manipulative behaviour, often favoured by people with severe versions of Borderline and Narcissistic Personality Disorders, where you literally split people against each other.
Through gossip, innuendo, and sometimes even deliberate frame jobs, you cause them to believe negative things about each other, so that you’re in the middle as the neutral/good person while they hate each other.
It’s one of the hardest types of manipulation to see because you don’t know that it’s happening.
It’s hard for most people to believe that their friends and family could deliberately lie right to their face. You generally assume you’re getting accurate information from truthful people, even when it’s a gossipy type of information that starts to warp your view of others.
When I found out the other person’s side of the story – a whole different perspective that makes much more sense than my original assumptions – I realized I’d gotten “got”.
Somebody had manipulated me against this other person, probably not even conscious that they were doing so, but rather falling prey to a communication style they’d always used as a result of mental illness and trauma.
So I just wanted to throw it out there, it can happen to the best of us. I can shamelessly claim to be a highly trained and experienced expert in managing manipulation and yet it still happened to me.
Watch out when you hear people complaining and gossiping about others, especially if it happens often. You might be getting split. Make an effort to seek out and hear the other person’s version, and also challenge the original gossiper:
“Why are you telling me and not them?”
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