Manipulation is “a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior or perception of others through abusive, deceptive, or underhanded tactics.” It is absolutely vital that you understand the difference between healthy influence and manipulation. In a manipulative relationship, one person is victimized by the other person and is used for the benefit of the other. What the manipulator does is, she/he creates an imbalance of power and exploits the victim to serve his or her agenda.
And they all have the same characteristics.
They detect people’s weaknesses and use their weaknesses against them. Once they figure out what your weakness is, they will use it to get their way.
And the worst part is, once a manipulator succeeds in taking advantage of you, he or she will continue manipulating you until you put a stop to it.
So, we have compiled a simple list of tips that will help you deal with manipulators.
5 Simple Ways To Deal With Manipulative People.
1. Know your self-worth.
You need to understand your self-worth and stand up for yourself. Because the more you allow someone to drag you down, the more your self-worth will suffer.
Always remember your basic human rights:
You have the right to be treated with respect, the right to express your feelings and opinions, the right to say no without feeling guilty, the right to protect yourself from being physically, emotionally and mentally harmed, and the right to live a happy, healthy life.
2. Say no and mean it.
Say no firmly. And the most important part is, mean what you say.
However, the manipulator will probably use all the tricks they know to get their way even after you have said no. So what you have to do is, stand your ground, and remember your basic human rights. And there is nothing to feel guilty about saying no. If they won’t take no as an answer, then walk away and find a safe place to be.
3. Keep your distance.
One way to detect a manipulator is by observing how they behave in different situations. They tend to be in extremes most of the time. They can be incredibly polite one minute and then suddenly become extremely rude. They can be totally helpless in front of some people and fiercely aggressive in front of others.
Watch for such people and avoid interacting with them. If you have to, then make sure that you keep the interaction to a minimum.
4. Avoid self-blame.
Once victimized by a manipulator, you will probably feel inadequate and blame yourself for not satisfying the manipulator. In those situations, all you have to do is to remember your self-worth and those basic human rights. You are not the problem. You are simply being manipulated.
5. Put the focus on them.
The manipulator will demand you to do certain things. And most probably, they will be unreasonable. What you have to do here is put the focus on them. Ask the manipulator questions to identify if they are aware of how unreasonable they are.
You can ask questions like:
Does what you want from me seem fair? Does this seem reasonable to you? Do you really expect me to (re-state the request)? Would you do this if I asked you to?
If the manipulator has even the least amount of self-awareness, they will back down. And again, if they don’t, just walk away. Go to a safe place.