How to deal with a manipulator

Manipulators try to control all aspects of others’ lives. It is very important to identify and deal with such people to preserve your emotional and mental health. Read on to find out how to deal with a manipulator.

Identify manipulative behavior

Manipulators are very good at controlling others and making them dance to their tunes. They use many different tactics to get things done their way without even letting the manipulated person realize that he/she is indeed acting under the manipulator’s influence. Manipulators can use guilt and sweet-talking to make you do things that they want you to do. They may also use anger, flattery, threats and other tactics to manipulate you. Keep an eye out for individuals who ask favors from you all the time, behave kindly to you when they want something done from you, come to you if they are in trouble, but never reciprocate. Also look out for people who give you “gifts” or offer to help you with money etc. More often than not, they pretend to be generous only because they want something in return from you. Always pay attention to such warning signs as this will help you to recognize manipulative people.

Don’t make excuses for the manipulator’s behavior

Although you need to understand the reason behind the manipulative behavior, stop making excuses for him. It is true that manipulative behavior stems from insecurity, unhappy childhood, lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Manipulators want nothing but to exercise control over people and situations as it gives them that feeling of security and power over others. However, you must also understand that it is these things that the manipulator uses as his strategy to control others. For example, he may use the “I was not loved by my parents during childhood” card to make you feel that you are not giving him adequate love and affection. Manipulators love to “play the victim” and this is how they attract false sympathy from others and make them do things for themselves.

Be confident and assertive

Manipulators are constantly looking for people with insecurities and low self-esteem as they know it is easy to control such people. People who lack confidence, are vulnerable, gullible and naive will not resist manipulators. Make sure you do not fall into this category if you want to prevent yourself from being manipulated. Show off your self-esteem, walk with your head held high, and speak confidently to let manipulators know that you will not be fooled by their manipulative schemes. However, even if you are not a very confident person the least you can do is to learn to say no to the manipulator’s demands. Be firm and assertive and don’t fall pray to their manipulative tactics. Plan your responses well in advance such as “I cannot help you” or “ I have already said no, don’t ask me the same thing again and again” and so on.

Move away from the situation/person

Sometimes moving away from the person or the situation is the best strategy to follow. This is a good strategy for those who find it difficult to say no to others. In such a scenario, it is best to politely leave the room than to succumb to the manipulator. Even if you are strong enough to stand up to the manipulator, ignoring him is the best thing to do to avoid any unnecessary conflicts as manipulators can become very aggressive if they realize their tactics are not working. This is especially true if you are facing this at your workplace. You don’t want to give rise to office politics or fights as it may ruin the working atmosphere as well. Maintain a cordial, professional relationship and try not to react to the manipulator’s antics.

Confronting the manipulator

Sometimes, the manipulative behavior can increase to such an extent that it may become impossible to bear it. Even if after ignoring the manipulator or refusing to act according to his wishes, the manipulator keeps trying to influence and control others, it is time to confront him. If the manipulator is someone you see or interact with on a daily basis, there is a limit up to which you can ignore the person. Try to talk to him calmly and explain that his behavior is offensive. Point out specific incidents and ask him to stop the manipulative behavior.

Dr Prem Jagyasi

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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