We have different types of relationships with the people in our life, be it family, friendship, or intimate relationships. And there’s no doubt that some of these people can be complicated to understand and deal with. When it comes to manipulative people, the case becomes even more complicated as you may feel like you are trapped in a never-ending sham.
Manipulators are intelligent people; they detect your weak spot and use it against you by tricking you into doing things that serve their interest. Perhaps they employ positive tactics such as flattery or disguised closeness but execute their trick through negative means like criticism, emotional abuse, deception, or silent treatment.
Manipulative people can be tough to spot and even harder to deal with because they good at disguising and making you feel like you are the problem. If you find yourself tangled in a manipulative scheme, or you suspect you might be in one, here are ten ways to spot and deal with such persons.
Hints they are manipulators
1. They make you believe there’s only one way out (their way)
Manipulators are hell-bent on standing their ground on their opinion; they tend to continuously tell you how their solution is the only possible way out of your problem. This is because they want to gain full control over the situation, and quickly cover up for shortcomings if things get out of hands.
When you unknowingly play along with their scheme, you give them room to remain in control. So if someone is hell-bent about an “only” solution to your problem, you may want to pay close attention to their actions and be more careful when dealing with them, especially with sharing information.
2. They cross their boundaries in your relationship
Manipulators would cross-relationship boundaries to get what they want; they’ll make you feel unworthy of a relationship with them, this can make you feel uncomfortable, at fault, or feel like you owe them something. This is a way of messing with your sanity, to the point where you start to question it and succumb to their manipulative scheme.
It is essential you set boundaries in your relationships, and let people know their place in your life; this way, you become less susceptible to manipulation.
3. They play the blame game
If you suspect you may be under someone’s manipulation, consider how often you feel bad about yourself or others after having a conversation with them. Some manipulators could even make you feel guilty about making their situation worse, and make you question yourself on where you went wrong.
The aim of playing the blame game is to make them look like “good” people while making you and those around you look bad. Passing blames a very effective manipulative skill they use, to make their victims feel bad and try to make up for mistakes they didn’t make.
4. Their words don’t match with their actions
The best way to detect a manipulative person is to pay close attention to their actions, if they say one thing and do something different, chances are they are hiding something, telling lies, or keeping a secret. Although it is difficult to always understand why people do what they do; if someone keeps lying to you about what they’ve been up to, but keep trying to tell you what to do, chances are you are being manipulated.
5. They work on your emotions
Manipulators can be very cunning in their words and actions; which enable them to work situations with confidence in a way that makes you feel emotionally uncomfortable. Some manipulators would undermine you in your presence and make you feel guilty for your emotions; they would ask questions.
When someone tries to guilt-trip you with your feelings by asking you questions that make you question them, step up your guard, as you may be under manipulation.
How to deal with manipulators
1. Don’t confront them
Even if you discover they are telling lies or gambling with your feelings, try not to confront them about it, as it is unlikely that they admit to their behaviour, or change all of a sudden. By facing them, you’re letting them know you are aware of their scheme or have a lead on what they are up to.
On the other hand, you’re also giving them room to device new tactics to keep you under their control. When you get a hint that someone is manipulative, silently device means to confirm their scheme and deal with them.
2. Keep your emotions in check
Manipulative people are brilliant at playing the victim; they can turn situations to make it seem like you are at fault even when you aren’t. Since they are good at playing mind games, its let to you to up your guard.
Try not to apologize for their destructive behaviours just for peace to reign; it only gives them more control over you. Do not try to explain, or defend yourself too much; manipulators don’t care about your perspective as much; they only want to get you emotional to up their control.
When having interactions with them, hold your ground, remain confident and collective. Your “No” should stay no, even if they try to influence you into making decisions you feel uncomfortable about.
3. Have clear boundaries
You have to avoid being a “people-pleaser” if you want to handle manipulative people. They are very cautious about boundaries and wouldn’t want to destroy your relationship with them, so that they achieve what they want. However, if they keep crossing their bounds unknowingly, know when to walk out of their life.
In every relationship, you want to have boundaries, and not have anyone cross them. You can write down your likes and dislikes if you feel you have fragile boundaries, this will help you stay cautious about them. Also, decide what the consequences will be if someone should cross their bounds.
4. Make your own decisions
Manipulative people are often in a hurry for answers, putting you under tension to make quick decisions. Do not succumb to this manipulative tactic, if you need a time out to think about your choices, take time out. Don’t forget that every person decision you take directly affects you, and if it turns outsoar, they wouldn’t be around to bear the consequences.
5. Keep your distance
If possible, it is best to cut off any relationship with highly manipulative people and ignore them. However, this isn’t possible in some case, especially if the person is family or a working colleague, in such cases, try to minimize your contact with such people, unless necessary.