Tag Archives: emotional manipulation

Amazon Review, Emotional Manipulation and The Human Magnet Syndrome

I decided to publish both the review and my response to it to further educate others on the topics discussed in both my book The Human Magnet Syndrome, and my work that followed it.

First, I present you the actual unedited review.  Then, my response.


“It would be an excellent book if it were not for the authors accusatory terminology and then his justification of the same. I read this book because I am currently in divorce proceedings from my -4 co-dependent and, as I once believed she was my soul mate, wanted to understand her in order to harbor no ill feelings regarding the termination of our marriage.. So okay, I am on the plus side of the authors scale. The label the uses for anyone on the plus side is “emotional abuser.” While co-dependent is widely used (although not a psychiatric diagnosis, ) to the best of my knowledge this author is the only one who uses the terminology “emotional abuser” to describe anyone on the positive side of his scale. He then uses the 3 most negatively connotative psychiatric personality disorders (borderline, narcissistic, antisocial) to further his cause.

He then goes on to write that if your insulted by being called an emotionally abusive borderline pain in the ass jerk narcissist with antisocial (possibly criminal) tendencies it is because you are impossible to fix and don’t want to look at how totally screwed up you really are and this just proves his theory. Who is the emotional abuser now?

Okay, so in fairness, let’s see how many books he can sell if he changes the name of those clustered on the negative side of his scale. How about instead of “co-dependent” he calls them….I don’t know…how about…I got it….”doormat martyrs” and parallels their condition with the dependent, histrionic, and avoidant personality disorders. I am sure that if they take offence at this it is just a defense mechanism they are using to deny their condition.”


Many reviews like yours help me explain my work even further. So I thank you for yours.

There is a long story about the term “Emotional Manipulator” and “Emotional Manipulation,” but it will suffice to say that I never wanted that term to be used for narcissists/narcissism. The publisher did research and determined that term was “sexy” and would draw people to my seminars.  To get the gig, I reluctantly agreed to swap my term “Pathological Narcissism (ASPD, BPD, NPD and active addicts) with “Emotional Manipulator.”  I did my best, however, to delineate in The Human Magnet Sydrome book,  that “Emotional Manipulators” specifically meant what I now consider “Pathogical Narcissism.”

In addition to not liking the simple use of “Emotional Manipulators,” all  of my work before my HMS book and what followed it, clarified that codependents and narcissists can be both emotionally manipulative or an “emotional manipulator,” when understood according to the denotative sense of the term.   I even created the term subcategories to account for manipulative codependents (Active Codependency), to illustrate how this subgroup can be manipulative.   More about this category can be found in my YouTube video, Codependents Can Be Manipulative.  Understanding Active and Passive Codependency.

You will find that I have not used the “emotional manipulator term for over 4 years.”  I also dumped the term “codependent” as it was less descriptive the real problem/person than I desired and had unnecessary stigmatizing and pejorative impact on the “codependent.”  The book’s 2nd edition which is available in French and Spanish has all of these changes.  The English version won’t be available until 4/18 due to the contract i signed with the publisher.

As much as I want to sell books, I have not sold out out used terms that do match my personal and clinical experience (psychotherapist for 30 years).  As much as I am into marketing myself and my products, I will not create content that isn’t accurate, research based, or helpful to both the clientele I am writing about or the practitioners who are helping them.  Simply, my book and my other material are not created for Pathological Narcissists.  I am writing for the victims of narcissistic abuse.  I don’t even try to be open and fair to this population.  I just try to be accurate about the problem of Self-Love Deficit Disorder (formerly “codependency” and narcissistic abuse.

To your paragraph: “He then goes on to write that if your insulted…”  Clinical research hundreds of books written on NPD, ASPD, BPD, confirm that these Pathological Narcissists are resistive to seeking help because they deny having the problems others accuse them of having.  Moreover, their psychological makeup is extremely fragile; so much so, the mere suggestion that they are responsible for harm they perpetrated, triggers (activates) a narcissistic injury, which manifests in some form of aversive or punishing response.  Most reactions like these are projections, which are the placement of one’s unconscious or disassociated core shame onto the person who challenges, corrects them or tries to hold them accountable.  So, I am not sure why you consider me an “emotional abuser” by stating clinical facts that are irrefutable?

Lastly, since you identified your partner as having a (-4) Continuum of Self Value, and I assume you are correct, then you would be a (+4) narcissist.  If this is the case, then, according to my Human Magnet/Continuum of Self Theories), you have some insight into your narcissism.  Such is evidenced by your 3 star review and a fairly balanced review of my book.  Considering you read my book and subcribe to the Human Magnet Syndrome nad Continuum of Self Theory, then you must me a (+4).  If this is the case, then you clearly have some insight into your problems and could benefit from psychotherapy.

As I say repeatedly in The Human Magnet Syndrome, “it takes two to dance;” both parties share responsibility in their dysfunctional relationship.  Therefore, I hope you seek psychotherapy so that you too can experience increased levels of self-love and mental health.

Thank you again for review.


Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Clinical Care Consultants Owner
Self-Love Recovery Institute Owner
Psychotherapist, Author & Professional Trainer
Author of The Human Magnet Syndrome

Creator of “The Codependency Cure: Recovering from Self-Love Deficit Disorder” seminar (and upcoming book)

SELF LOVE RECOVERY INSTITUTE                         

The Codependent/Narcissist Dance: The Perfect Partnership. Revised Essay. Expert

couple man woman ballroom dancers tangoing  silhouette

The Codependent/Narcissist Dance: The Perfect Partnership

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC



Click Here to Download the Essay

The inherently dysfunctional “codependency dance” requires two opposite but balanced partners: a pleasing, giving codependent and the needy controlling narcissist.  Like a champion dance partnership, the dancing roles are perfectly matched: the leader needs the follower, and vice versa.  Or, in other words, the giver taker dance role combination enables the two dance effortlessly and flawlessly.

Typically, codependents give of themselves much more than their partners give in return.  As “generous” but bitter dance partners, they find themselves perpetually stuck on the dance floor, always waiting for the “next song,” at which time they naively hope that their partner will finally understand their needs; but, sadly, it never happens.

Codependents by nature are giving, sacrificing and consumed with the needs and desires of others.  As natural followers in the “dance,” they are passive and accommodating to their partner.  Although narcissists are typically selfish, self-centered and controlling, when paired with a codependent, they are enabled to become champion dancers.   As natural leaders and choreographers of the dance, their ambitions are focused only on fulfilling their needs and desires while ignoring the same for their partner.

Codependents experience their narcissistic dance partner as deeply appealing, especially because of their boldness, charm, confidence and domineering personality.  Narcissists are delighted with their partner choice as they found someone who exudes patience, deference and a yearning to help them find greatness and recognition.  With this pair up, the dance sizzles with excitement – at least in the beginning.

Narcissistic dancers control or lead the dance routine because they are naturally and predictably attracted to partners who lack self-worth, confidence and who have low self-esteem.  With such a well-matched companion, they are able to control both the dancer and the dance.   Similar to their codependent partner, this dancer is also deeply attracted to a lover who feels familiar to them: someone who lets them lead the dance while, at the same time, allowing them to feel in command, competent and appreciated.  The narcissist dancer is most comfortable when they are either encouraged or allowed to dance boldly and decisively while garnering attention and praise from others.

Having little to no previous experience with mutually and reciprocally affirming dancers, codependents anxiously reject invitations by healthier individuals.  Without self-esteem or feelings of personal power, they are actually afraid of dancing with a mutually-giving and unconditionally loving partner.  Dancing with such a person, would feel confusing, uncomfortable and awkward.

When a codependent and narcissist meet each other, the dance unfolds flawlessly.  The narcissist effortlessly maintains the lead while the codependent automatically and willingly follows. Their roles seem natural to them because they have actually been practicing them their whole lives.  The dance is perfectly coordinated: the pleasing partner naturally and reflexively gives up their power and the needy partner thrives on power and control.  Both feel like they have practiced this dance their whole life.  No one gets their toes stepped on!

The magnetic-like attraction force that brings codependent and narcissist dancers together (and keeps them together) paves the way for a dancing experience that is explosively pleasurable while feeling strangely familiar.  To illustrate, the selfish and controlling narcissist effortlessly leads the dance while the codependent intuitively and reflexively predicts and follow his moves.  Clearly, one was “born” to lead while the other to follow.  As well-matched and exquisitely coordinated dancing partners, the dancing experience is euphorically exciting and deeply satisfying – at least in the beginning.

The accommodating dancer confuses caretaking and sacrifice with loyalty and love.  And why should they think otherwise, as this has been their life-long experience in relationships.  Although proud and even boastful of their unwavering loyalty and dedication, they end up feeling unappreciated and used.  This codependent dancer yearns to be loved and cherished, but because of her dance partner, her dreams will never come to fruition.  With the heartbreak of unfulfilled dreams, codependents silently and bitterly swallow their unhappiness, while dancing furiously toward the finals of the dance competition.

The codependent is convinced that she will never find a dance partner who will love her for who she is, as opposed to what she can do for them.  Over time, they are essentially stuck in a pattern of giving and sacrificing, without the possibility of ever receiving the same from their partner.  They, however, pretend to enjoy the dance while harboring deeper feelings of anger, resentment and sadness.  Over time, their low self-esteem and pessimism deepens, which later morphs into feelings of hopelessness.    But they continue to dance, not for the joy of it, but because dancing with a narcissist is familiar and natural for them.

Since familiarity breeds security, the meaning of love for the codependent dancer is distorted into exciting but dysfunctional dips, twists and turns.  Just because the blue ribbons and trophies accumulate, love, respect and thoughtfulness often do not follow.   Such familiarity creates the paradox of the dance: remaining secure with what you know, but what doesn’t feel good, versus risking the unknown so that a relationship with a loving and respectful partner can be an actuality.

After many “songs,” the codependent’s enchanting dream-like dance experience predictably transforms into drama, conflict and feelings of being trapped.  Even with the selfish, controlling and antagonistic nature of her dance partner, she dares not stop dancing.  Despite feeling deeply unhappy, she remains committed to her partner while helping him achieve his glorious dancing ambitions.  For most codependent dancers, remaining with the narcissistic partner is preferable to being on the sidelines where they predictably feel worthless and lonely.  To the codependent, loneliness is a toxic and unbearable experience.

Sadly and unfortunately, codependent dancers were taught the codependent/narcissist dance routine early on in their life.  Hence, their dancing choices are connected to their unconscious motivation to find a person who is familiar – someone who reminds them of their parents, who abandoned, neglected and/or abused them when they were a child.  Their fear of being alone, their compulsion to control and fix at any cost, and their comfort in their role as the martyr who is endlessly devoted and patient, is a direct result of attachment trauma that they experienced at the hands of their own narcissistic parent.

Codependents cannot bear a prolonged period off the dance floor because of the wave of self-doubt and loneliness that predictably follows.  Being alone is the equivalent of feeling lonely, and loneliness is an excruciating debilitating experience for codependent dancers.  Like withdrawal from a drug addiction, they are unwilling to cope with the resulting deep and throbbing pain of loneliness and feelings of worthlessness, which is indicative of the childhood trauma they endured.

Although codependents dream of dancing with an unconditionally loving and affirming partner, they submit to their dysfunctional destiny.  Until they decide to heal the psychological wounds that ultimately compel them to dance with their narcissistic dance partners, they will be destined to maintain the unsatisfying and potentially dangerous steady beat and rhythm of their dysfunctional dance.

Through psychotherapy and, perhaps, a 12-step recovery program, codependents can begin to fulfill their dream to dance the grand dance of love, reciprocity and mutuality.  Through a challenging and at times heartbreaking journey, codependents have an opportunity to heal the childhood trauma that is at the root of their codependency.

Ultimately, the recovering codependent’s healing and transformative journey will result in deep and profound feelings of self-respect and self-love. They will have learned that the true measure of their value is determined by who they are, not what they do.  Such will lead them into the arms of someone who is willing and capable of sharing the lead, communicating their movements and pursuing a mutual loving rhythmic dance.

Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT


Codependents Can be Manipulators. Categorizing Codependency – Active vs. Passive. Expert

A New Codependency Category: Active versus Passive Codependents. Codependency Sub-types

Codependency is a problematic relationship orientation which involves the relinquishing of power and control to individuals who are either addicted or who have one of the three emotional manipulation personality disorders. In other words, codependents habitually find themselves in relationships with egotistic, self-centered, selfish, and/or addicted individuals. Codependents are habitually and magnetically attracted to people who neither seem interested nor motivated to participate in mutual or reciprocal relationships. Additionally, codependents willingly participate in relationships in which there is an unfair distribution of love, respect, and care, both given and received. By habitually choosing narcissistic or addicted friends or romantic partners, codependents consistently feel unfulfilled, disrespected and undervalued. As much as they resent and complain about the inequity in their relationships, codependents feel powerless to change them. More info can be found at: http://goo.gl/CFme80.


Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC
Psychotherapist & National Seminar Trainer

Owner of Clinical Care Consultants
Co-Owner of Advanced Clinical Trainers
Author of the Human Magnet Syndrome

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The Song: What Makes A Narcissist Tick (A Comment on a Modern Plague)

The other day I received an email from a man who listened to one of my YouTube videos about Narcissism/Emotional Manipulation.  He described that his healing journey from a narcissistic partner included writing songs.  This song, captures the mental and emotional capacity of a narcissist.  It is sweetly honest and painful.  I really respect Mr. Payne for his talented depiction of what what probably hurt him so badly.

What Makes A Narcissist Tick (A Comment on a Modern Plague)

©Words and music by Doug Payne 2007

I hide I can not relate
I put on a face and I shut the gate.
I wont confide. I can not debate.
I wont decide. I procrastinate.
You cant reach my soul.
It’s down a deep dark hole
and if you love me too well,
I’ll make your life hell.

So well I’ve lived this lie.
No one can tell. Not even I.
My baby’s got the right to ask,
but i wont stop and take off the mask.

You cant reach my soul.
It’s down a deep dark hole
and if you jump in this well
I’ll male your life hell.

If someone tries to touch my heart
show they care the trouble will sart.
My greatest fear are her loving eyes
and tender hands across my disguise.

She cant reach my soul.
It’s down a deep lonely hole
and if she jump in this well
I’ll make her life hell.

I’d like to feel with you.
To laugh and cry and see things through
We should have it made
if I could only end this charade.

You can’t reach my soul
It’s down a deep lonely hole
and if you jump in this well
I’ll make your live hell.

If you jump in this well
Ill make your life hell.

Nah NAh Nah NAh Nah.



Ross Rosenberg Codependency Expert

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