Many times, you come across sly, cunning people who pose as friends and manipulate you to their advantage. This leaves you fuming and wishing that you could have been more careful in dealing with them. Here are some ways to deal with cunning people.
Toss the ball back into their court
Cunning people usually ask probing questions to get more insights into your personal life. The idea is to get some kind of valuable information that they can take advantage of and secondly, to find out negative aspects of your life, so that they can make you feel low by constant criticism. This particular trait is more or less used as a rule to satisfy their intense desire to win and feel superior.
To avoid victimization, turn their questions into counter questions and make them the subject of discussion. For instance, questions like “Why are you still single?” can be used against them by asking counter questions like “Are you married?” If answer is negative, ask, “Why?” If not, ask, “For how long?” etc. In short, shift the focus from you to that person.
Do not allow a cunning person to play emotional games with you. If you appear naive, chances are that a sly person may ask for a favor citing how lucky he is to have you around in such a difficult situation and so on. You know that he is trying to make you work against your wishes. In such cases, be assertive. Keep refusing politely stating that you have other commitments. He may present continuous requests with different statements like “Please be around for just an hour or so.” followed by “I cannot rely on anyone else but you to do this” You have to show him that you are not changing your mind under any circumstances. In the end, he may show his disapproval or irritation, but this should not affect you. Rather, you must be happy that you fended off his attempt to manipulate you and emerged successful.
Change the subject
Be evasive when it comes to very personal questions like your monthly salary. Change the subject. Be modest and say something like “Oh it is enough to cover expenses every month.” Do not let your ego get the better of you. Such people are wise enough to gauge your monthly income by your lifestyle. You are merely avoiding their questions by being humble. It does not actually make you any less. If the person still insists on knowing the actual figure, follow step two mentioned earlier – Be assertive. Say the same thing in different ways like “Expenses are sky rocketing, I am glad I have a well paid job that takes care of it.” This attitude will eventually put him off.
Portray your weaknesses well
For this, you must understand your weak traits. If you are self conscious, naive or short tempered , present yourself as being none of those.These are the most common traits which cunning people use to their advantage. Give them the impression that you cannot be emotionally blackmailed. Set strong boundaries which will deflect every attempt to manipulate you. Know that you cannot be trifled with and handle manipulative tactics on a war footing. Once they know that they cannot flare you up against others, control you or use you for their personal needs, they will inevitably give up.
Ignorance is bliss
Ignorance works best in the case of cunning people who go all out to bother you. Just ignore the person outright when you meet him. If he cannot be avoided, acknowledge his presence with a smile and go right ahead with your work without waiting for a conversation to begin. If a conversation does begin, feign ignorance in that subject and excuse yourself for some imaginary task that needs to be done. There is nothing better than constant ignorance to shoo away a cunning person. This will annoy him in the long run. He may even decide to find a new target.