How to deal with a manipulative person

We come across manipulative people in every sphere of life. They leave us feeling defensive, guilty and pressured to do things we might not want to do. Here are a few ways how you could deal with a manipulative person.

Don’t let them make you feel guilty

The guilt trip is a classic manipulator move. Even when you know they are doing it, you still fall for it. One of the ways to deal with it is by nipping it in the bud. By making you feel guilty, manipulators put themselves in the driver’s seat and you end up doing things you don’t really want to but feel pressured into doing. In this trick sentences normally begin with “If you really loved me…”, or “If you really cared…”, etc. Another way is by them telling you what they think you wouldn’t do, thereby making you feel guilty about something you have done. In these cases you could use what they’ve said right back at them and give them a taste of their own medicine. If they don’t like what you’re doing that’s their problem. Don’t make it yours.

Don’t get into confrontational situations

Manipulators often start loud and confrontational situations. It’s their way of showing you who’s the boss. If you are a person who is private and likes peace and tranquility, they will use this method even more. It’s all about pushing the right buttons. The aim is to upset you enough to get you to do something you don’t really want to. You’ll end up feeling worried and guilty over something you haven’t really done at all. The way to deal with this is to be calm and logical. Stick to pertinent facts. Be firm and polite when you say no. Use body language, such as shaking your head, to make your point. Try not to snap at the person or make faces like rolling your eyes or grimacing.

Learn to recognize lies

Manipulators are also great liars. They twist and distort facts to suit their own needs and feel no guilt about doing it. If you know they are lying, ask them simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions in order to clarify the situation. You could also tell them that this is not how you remember the situations and would like to get a clearer view. Always let them know that you know they are lying. If they are lying about someone else, you could go and ask the person to clarify the situation. The key here is not to get taken in by their lies. Another common trick manipulators use is selective memory. They will conveniently forget that they had promised to do something. The best way to deal with this is to be as self-reliant as possible. Don’t expect anything from them and believe no promises that they make.

Ignore emotional blackmailing

Lovers, children and parents use emotional blackmail to manipulate you into doing something. The only way to react to this type of manipulation is to ignore it. They are testing the boundaries of how far they can go and it is up to you to cut it off as soon as it starts. There are times when parents or other loved ones do have an illness and use that as a manipulative method. They normally tend to exaggerate their symptoms and use the guilt to ensure you do as they want. In such cases you could suggest that they talk to a professional therapist to deal with their anxiety and worry. This is a very difficult manipulative tactic to deal with, but it is also very important that you don’t get taken in by it.

Don’t borrow or lend anything

Try never to borrow anything from someone you recognize is a manipulator. They will be very helpful and generous when you are in need but this is only because they know that you will owe them something in the future. They won’t hesitate to play on your sense of gratitude. In essence you could say that they will use the favor you owe them as a blackmail tool. If you have lent a manipulator anything, don’t expect it back anytime soon, if ever. If you have lent them money and want it back, make sure you have things written and signed if you ever want any of the money back.

Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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