Emotional manipulation can only be enacted by someone with the code of emotional manipulation. Emotional manipulation can only be experienced by someone with the code of emotional manipulation.
Emotional manipulation cannot be enacted unless the one manipulated believes that emotions are a problem to be solved. Manipulators treat their emotions this way. Manipulators enact their resistance to their own emotions out on other people--they see another person or their actions as the cause of their emotion, and they have a story that they shouldn't experience that emotion.
We think of manipulation as a super evil trait, when it's actually rooted in one of the most common social conspiracies--the idea that other people make us feel things, and that certain feelings aren't safe or desirable to feel.
Those who enact emotional manipulation are simply making a grab for safety. People who are grabbing for safety rarely consider the effect of their grasp on the thing they want to save them.
It's tempting to see emotional manipulators as bad or wrong, because then I don't ever have to develop boundaries; I don't have to dig out the roots of my participation in BEING emotionally manipulated if I can make someone else wrong for enacting emotional manipulation. The most hilarious part of this is that making someone else wrong for how they're feeling or acting IS emotional manipulation.
Whatever someone else does, they're doing it because they believe it is the right thing to do, or their only option. When I say what someone else is doing is wrong, I am saying that my sense of rightness, my comfort, my view of the world, is more important than their lived experience.
I can only say that something is right or wrong for me. It's subjective, and it keeps me safe from emotionally manipulating others.
I am safe from emotional manipulation from others because I accept and approve of all emotional states. I know that I am in charge of what I experience and how I experience it, and I'm not open to giving that power away to anyone else. I'm manipulation-proof. I've uninstalled emotional manipulation.