There are plenty of differences between men and women that range from the obvious to the far more subtle. Though it's not impossible for a man to adopt more traditionally feminine traits and vice versa, it still remains less common.
And this goes for every area in life, including some darker parts. When we look at manipulation tactics used by men and women, we'll see some themes on both sides, with women in particular having a very unique manipulating style.
If you know something's wrong but need some help identifying it, this free quiz is designed to help you uncover the roots of your trauma so you can then grow beyond its effects. Click here to get started today and live a life free from that which hurt you.
To Take Control
When it comes to methods of manipulation, there's a lot that someone can do to get under another person's skin and into their head. No two manipulators will ever use the exact same set of tactics, but there are some common trends among certain groups, like the methods men use versus those women use.
Below is a list of manipulation tactics that women are using more often to achieve their goals of some kind. Whether that be to get ahead in the workplace or to simply have control over a chosen victim, this is how they're doing it.
1. The Silent Treatment
Pure silence is a very powerful tool, an easy psychological war to wage on someone. Manipulators will use the silent treatment like a secret weapon, cutting off communication and affection to breed anxiety and insecurity in their victims.
When you're left in the dark, uncertainty creeps in, making it easier for them to manipulate you since you'll be in a vulnerable state of mind. Remember that their communication with you shouldn't be the center of your world. If this is how they react to things like criticism, pushback, or non-compliance, recognize it as the childish response it is.
Manipulators aren't just openly mean all the time, they can actually spin some flattering as a means of coercion. They sprinkle this flattery and charm into their interactions, showering victims with compliments and affection to wrap them around their finger. Why? It's a tactic to make people more receptive to their whims.
When you're drowning in kindness, it's easy to overlook the strings attached, but real connections aren't built on empty praises. Remember that a genuine relationship is built on so much more than just compliments, there needs to be elements of trust, respect, and integrity too.
3. Selective Disclosure
Manipulators are very good at withholding information. They strategically reveal tidbits, carefully choosing what suits their agenda while concealing details that might unveil their true intentions, like a mental chess match where they control the narrative to their advantage. By holding onto crucial information, they keep their position strong and their motives hidden.
In cases like these, your discernment is your best weapon. Stay curious, ask questions, and dig deeper. The truth has a way of revealing itself, and your sharp instincts will always outwit their carefully crafted facade.
4. Emotional Blackmail
In extreme cases, manipulators may lean on fear in order to control their victims. They resort to threats, often emotional but sometimes even physical, if their desires aren't fulfilled. It's a dark tactic, preying on fear and vulnerability to bend others to their will.
By exploiting these emotions, they force compliance, making others dance to their dangerous tune. Your safety and peace of mind should never be compromised for someone else's sake. No one deserves to live under the shadow of threats, ever, for your well-being is non-negotiable.
5. Guilt Tripping
Weaponizing guilt is a frequent tactic used by manipulators who want to take heat off of themselves. They make others feel accountable for their happiness, highlighting unmet needs and suggesting others are the sole culprits. It's a cunning move, laying the responsibility for their well-being on someone else's shoulders, setting the standard that they're not in control of or at fault for their feelings. This also means they're not at fault for any actions that result from those feelings.
Their happiness isn't your burden to bear, and it's not your job to keep them in a good mood. Setting boundaries and recognizing your worth will help you remain strong in the face of a woman who's trying to make you feel guilty.
6. Manufacturing Drama
Manipulators sure know how to stir the pot. They create drama and chaos, not for the thrill, but as a diversion tactic. Well, sometimes for the thrill, too. By exaggerating problems or blowing conflicts out of proportion, they keep everyone on their toes and either divert attention away from themselves or elicit sympathy so people hesitate to think badly of them.
In moments of drama and intrigue, be sure to keep a level head. Remember the motivations of everyone involved and think to yourself, would this really happen naturally? Can you be sure a story isn't being spun on purpose here?
7. Playing The Victim Card
Manipulative women are masters at making others feel bad for them. They paint themselves as perpetual victims, magnifying their struggles to tug at heartstrings and win favors. It's a sneaky tactic aimed at gaining sympathy and support.
By exaggerating their hardships, they hope you'll come running to their aid and forget any recent wrongdoings. Remember, not every sob story is as it seems, and if something seems suspicious, it's always worth doing some extra digging.
Triangulation is when a manipulator ropes a third party into personal conflicts or issues, not out of fairness, but to gain leverage or to weaken the victim's stance. This creates situations in which there are alliances where there should be none.
Should you see this happening, remind yourself that personal matters should stay personal, and bringing in another person immediately makes the argument you two are having wildly unfair. There's now a power imbalance that you should not be subjected to. Shut that down before it gets that far.
9. Pretending To Be Helpless
Manipulators will often play a totally helpless role, making others believe they can't manage even some simple tasks on their own, so those with well-meaning souls will want to step in and help. By feigning incompetence, they create a dynamic where others feel compelled to rescue them while also seeming incapable of doing anything malevolent.
Your compassion should never be manipulated. If you notice this pattern, encourage the manipulator's independence, but don't let their helplessness guilt-trip you into doing more than is fair. You can be kind without being taken advantage of.
From All Sides
Of course, it's not just women who use these tactics, men are equally as capable of giving someone the silent treatment or manufacturing drama. These specific methods are simply seen more often in women. Male manipulators tend to have bolder strategies because they can get away with more, while female manipulators have to work in the shadows.
No matter who is pulling these types of tricks on you, know that you deserve better. If you spot them, call them out and remind them that there's no place for games like this here. Be the bigger person who rids your circle of anyone ill-intentioned.
Aspiring to be that hero could be a sign that you needed that very same person to rescue you when you were young and have suffered through trauma because of it. You deserve a life beyond that trauma, and there are tools that can help.
This free quiz is made to help you dig deep into the core roots of your childhood trauma. Once you're aware of the origins, you can start down the proper path to healing. Learn more today and see what awaits you.