5 ways to spot and stop manipulators
Brian Turner @brianbturner
There is a strong possibility that you are consistently being manipulated and you don’t even know it.
Successful relationships, whether it’s intimate or friendships require give and take from both parties. But if you’re never on the receiving end or you feel forced into making decisions you don’t want to make, you could be hanging around some manipulative people.
I hate manipulative people. They seek their own best interests while pretending to seek yours. Manipulators find your weak spot and use it against you. Through deceptive tactics, they figure out how to get you to lose a little bit of ‘you’ in order to serve their best interests. They don’t care how you feel or what you’re passionate about, they focus on exploiting you to a point where you give up and give in to their way.
No one wants to think of themselves as a manipulative person but we were all born that way! As babies, we can’t do things on our own and need parents and care providers to act on our behalf. Babies cry to ensure their needs are met and they manipulate in order to survive. As we age, we believe that we can’t survive unless someone else satisfies our needs. This leads to on-going manipulation unless we learn to be independent and think and do for ourselves. Although we are all born manipulators, we’re supposed to outgrow our need to manipulate by adulthood.
Manipulators employ many techniques to get others to meet their needs. They’ll make you think your arrogant, crazy, or not good enough. Manipulative people know exactly how to get what they want from you. They spread guilt and want you to believe that manipulation is normal. Mature adults accept responsibility for meeting their own needs. They respect your individual journey and support you thinking and doing for yourself. Non-manipulators sacrifice what they want from you even if it benefits their life and instead encourage to want and do for yourself.
If you are not sure if you’re dealing with a manipulator, here’s how to tell and how to cope.
1. They don’t support your self-confidence
SPOT: When we are confident, we are able to overcome just about anything including our biggest fears. The less confident we are, the more we are easily manipulated. So once a manipulative person can put a dent to your self-confidence, they can exploit your vulnerabilities.
STOP: No matter what type of relationship you are in, never stop working on you. Read, exercise and do more things to make you happy. Stay away from negative people and always stand and speak up for yourself.
2. The make your feel guilty
SPOT: Guilt trips force you do things that you wouldn’t normally do. The manipulator induces you to feel a certain way in order to control your behavior. They can make you feel like you are disappointing someone or everything is your fault. These people constantly compare you to other people who appear to be doing better.
STOP: Understand that your journey is your journey. Other people are not responsible for how you feel. So if you allow others to make you feel guilty without your consent, then you are not accepting ownership of your life. Have zero tolerance for manipulation and as soon as you notice it, cut them out your life or manage them appropriately.
“Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.”
3. Know your human rights
SPOT: You must know your rights, and recognize when they’re being violated. As long as you are not harming others, you have the right to stand up for yourself and defend your rights.
Your have the right to:
*be treated with respect;
*share how you feel;
*set your own priorities;
*get what you pay for;
*have a different opinion than others;
*be happy and have fun.
STOP: Anyone that violates your rights gives you the permission to consider them a manipulator and for you to act accordingly. Begin to ignore everything they say and do and always trust your own judgement.
“When it comes to controlling human beings, there is no better instrument than lies. Because you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts”
4. They switch things up depending on the crowd
SPOT: See how they act with different people in front of them and in different places and situations. Manipulators tend to be extremists, being really nice to some and completely rude to others. The are ‘fake’ for whatever situation benefits them.
STOP: If their behavior isn’t consistent around different types of people, keep your distance unless you absolutely have to interact. Avoid people who claim to be thinking, talking, or acting in line with your best interest because they should be acting in their own.
5. They make you feel bad when you spend time with friends
SPOT: It says a lot about a person when they try to cut you off from your support system. Manipulative people attempt to isolate you from your community in a subtle way. They do things to turn you against your friends like pout when you go out, say negative remarks about your family & friends and don’t support the things your passionate about. The overall goal is eliminate the people that matter and get you to be solely dependent on them.
STOP: No matter what type of relationship you get into, never forget the people you loved before the “new situation.” But more important that that, never allow a person to interfere with your individuality. Embrace and love who you are without judgement and manipulation from people who care more for themselves than for you.