Common Sense Tools for the Friend of Someone Who is Brainwashed!

Most of us know or have known someone we care about who has come under the influence of a perpetrator using him/her for self-serving purposes.

Very smart, educated, healthy people can, for some unknown, reason come under the spell of opportunistic, toxic, and insecure people. It is very puzzling for an observer of this phenomenon to understand how the brainwashed person can’t see what is happening.

How it happens is a complicated process that we won’t address here. How we can help these people as a friend is, however, something we will tackle here. You will also see similarities to our conversation regarding befriending victims. But being brainwashed by another, in my assessment, is much more complicated and dangerous. When someone is brainwashed they may be at risk for joining a cult and blindly following the orders of that cult.


We must find our old friend compassion and understand how powerful this emotion is during times when our friends/loved ones seem to have lost their brains/common sense. Manipulative people, knowingly or unknowingly, can use very effective emotional tools to hijack another’s brain. Once they have accomplished this, they pretty much can control the brainwashed person.

There is a loyalty, a belief system, a history, a distrust of others, a lack of self-esteem, a lack of belief in one’s own thoughts, a loss of sense of self, and a loss of contact with reality for starters that interferes with the brainwashed person getting help.

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Psychotherapist, Speaker, Coach, and Author of “Backbone Power The Science of Saying No”