Manipulative people try to exercise undue influence on others through emotional exploitation and mental distortion. Their main agenda is to seize control, power, privileges and benefits at the victim’s expense. Manipulation can sometimes be confused with healthy social influence which is a healthy component of constructive relationships where your friends influence your decisions and habits for mutual benefit. However, when dealing with a manipulative person, they will try to create an imbalance of power and exploit you for their own benefit. Manipulative people are normally very good at detecting your weaknesses and using them against you. They will usually try to get you to give up something of yourself to serve their selfish interests. You need to be able to spot and nip manipulative tendencies at the bud. Below is a guide on how to deal with manipulative people.

Tips for Dealing with Manipulative People


Learn How To Spot Manipulators

You can avoid becoming the victim of a manipulator by becoming a better judge of character. Manipulative people tend to be aggressive and care a little bit too much about winning. They are also bullies and tend to have selective amnesia regarding certain circumstances.


Ignore Them

One of the best strategies for dealing with someone who is manipulative is to ignore them. They have a habit of flip flopping on issues and get slippery when someone tries to hold them accountable. They are likely to make you feel guilty constantly. Never try to correct or pin point their shortcomings. You’ll only sink deeper into their trap. They use confusion and frustration to bait their victims into conflict. This way they get to know what makes you tick. They will use this information against you when they need to control you. Ignore them completely.


Trust Your Judgment

When you don’t trust your own judgment or if you are always seeking approval from others, you’re likely to fall victim to a manipulative person. Believe in yourself and your convictions. Do not depend on others’ opinions to make decisions. By having a strong belief in yourself and your abilities, you will find it easier to keep manipulators at bay.


Don’t Try Too Hard To Fit In

Want to know how to deal with manipulative people? Learn how to keep reinventing yourself. The perception that consistency is the secret to success is not entirely true. Most manipulative people prey on your predictability and rope you into their agenda. They expect you to get home on time to clean up after them. Have an uncanny habit of expecting you to make them feel good about themselves every time they are feeling down. They prey on your routine to take advantage of you. They know you’re always home by 7 in the evening every day and take that opportunity to burden you with their problems. Avoid trying to fit in into a mold by constantly reinventing yourself.


Don’t Compromise

One of the most useful tools for a manipulative person is guilt. They will try to make you feel guilty for one reason or another in order to have you do their bidding. Whether it’s your past failures or small mistakes, they will use anything at their disposal to have you under their control. They will also use doubt. They will try to instill self-doubt within you by making you second guess your worth and abilities. To avoid falling into the trap of a manipulator, avoid self-doubt and guilt trips. Believe in yourself and learn to forgive yourself for past mistakes.


Be Assertive

Know what you want and go for it. You don’t need to ask for permission or seek advice whenever you want to do something. Just go for it. Do not be too concerned about appearing polite and making others feel comfortable. If you’re not assertive and decisive you are likely to fall prey to a manipulative person. A manipulative person will want you to be beholden to their imaginary rules and ideals. This usually involves not making any decisions and seeking permission from an “authority” before taking any action. Living your life without seeking permission from anyone is how to deal with manipulative people in your life.


Say No

You do not have to care about everyone’s needs and wants. A manipulative person will get angry when you stop catering to their every need. Stand your ground and offer a diplomatic “No” without feeling an ounce of guilt.


Use a Time Buffer

Whenever a manipulative person asks you to do something for them, your standard response should be “let me think about it”. This is a good strategy in cases where you might saying “no” might attract the wrath of the manipulator. This is handy in situations where the manipulator is your boss. Playing for time also gives you adequate time to think through their request and determine whether you want to do it or not.


Question Their Motives

Sometimes you may have no choice but to confront the manipulative person. They play mind games to get you to do their bidding every time. They make you feel like it is a privilege to attend to their needs. The next time a manipulative person approaches you with a request for a favor ask them questions like – “Does this request sound reasonable?”, “How do I benefit from this?”. Such questions will make it clear that they are being selfish.


Don’t Get Fooled Twice

If you realize that someone in your life is manipulative, do not fall victim to their machinations again. Cut them off if you can or simply try to avoid their overtures. Friends who are only around because of what you do for them should also be cut off completely. This is how to deal with manipulative people.


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