With a topic so widely experienced in our individualistic culture of “every man for themselves”, it is imperative to arm yourself against a manipulator’s sneaky tactics that could be stunting your life at work, home and social life. Bottom line: THIS IS IMPORTANT.
What A Manipulator Does
- Learns your every weaknesses
- Expects you to do things you wouldn’t normally do to please him/her
- Uses your weaknesses against you
- Uses charm to get what he/she wants
- Uses aggression when charm doesn't work
- Does something nice for you then holds it over your head
- Frequently uses the silent treatment to punish
Are you being manipulated?
- You feel useless and guilty when you don’t perform to someone’s standards
- You are unable to say no to someone without a consequence
- You have been turned against someone and don’t know why
- Even when you do something right, the praise is brief and subtle
- You never feel good enough or live up to that person’s expectations
- Someone has a strong influence on what you think and how you feel
- You are being blackmailed one way or another
What can you do?
- Respond with a question- Manipulators love control. It is a defining characteristic of them. So how do you shift the control to your side when dealing with a manipulator? Ask them questions. The right question can bring awareness to the inappropriateness of someone’s request or have them stumped and forced to reevaluate their stance. Here are some example questions.
- "It is clear how my doing this will benefit you, but can you make clear to me how doing this for you will benefit me?"
- "Will I have a say in this moving forward?"
- "Do you think this request is fair to me?"
- Saying no Knowing how to protect yourself to is vital when dealing with a manipulator. It's also important to stand your ground when you feel uncomfortable. Remember a manipulator loves power and when you stand firm that power is compromised. Good clear boundaries wouldn’t hurt either.
- Buy time- Six words never sounded so sweet; “Let me get back to you”. As opposed to giving an immediate answer to your manipulator’s request and falling victim to manipulation, tell them you need more time. By saying it exactly how it is written, the brevity will eliminate most of the manipulator’s chances to question you or convince you otherwise.
A Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: The Intern