Never Blame Anyone In Your Life
5 Simple Ways To Deal With Manipulative People
Manipulation is defined as "a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior or perception of others through abusive, deceptive, or underhanded tactics."
It's important to know the difference between healthy social influence and manipulation.
Healthy social influence occurs between most people and is part of the give and take in healthy relationships.
In a manipulative relationship, one person is used for the benefit of another.
The manipulator deliberately creates an imbalance of power and exploits the victim to serve his or her agenda.
All manipulators share some common characteristics:
They know how to detect others' weaknesses; once found, they use these weaknesses against you; they convince you to give up something in order to serve their self-centered interests.
Whether it's a work, social, or family situation, once a manipulator succeeds in taking advantage of you, he or she will repeat the violation until you put a stop to it.
So, how do you deal with a manipulator and put a stop to their manipulation? Below are 5 simple ways to deal with a manipulator.
1. Know your self-worth
Knowing your self worth and standing up for yourself are two important keys in dealing with a manipulator.
The more you allow someone to drag you down, the more your self-worth will suffer.
To protect your self-worth, remember your basic human rights:
the right to be treated with respect; the right to express your feelings and opinions; the right to say no without feeling guilty; the right to protect yourself from being physically, emotionally and mentally harmed; and the right to live a happy, healthy life.
2. Say no and mean it
Say "no" when the manipulator is trying to get you to do what you don't want to do, and mean it!
A manipulator will use all the tricks they can think of to try to get you to do something even after you say no.
It's in this situation that you have to remember the basic right to say no without feeling guilty.
Be strong, don't allow anyone to make you feel guilty, and stand your ground! If they keep badgering you and won't take no as an answer, then walk away and find a safe place to be.
3. Keep your distance
One way to spot a manipulator is to see how a person acts in front of different people and in different situations.
Manipulators tend to live with extremes; being incredibly polite one minute and then suddenly becoming extremely rude.
Or, they will be totally helpless one moment and fiercely aggressive the next.
When you observe extreme behaviors from someone on a regular basis, keep a healthy distance, and avoid being around the person unless you absolutely have to.
If you have to deal with them, such as in a work situation, make the interaction as brief as possible.
4. Avoid self-blame
Since a manipulator's agenda is to look for and exploit your weaknesses, it is understandable that you may feel inadequate, or even blame yourself for not satisfying the manipulator.
In those situations, it's important to remember your self-worth and those basic human rights I mentioned before.
It's also important to remember that you are not the problem; you're simply being manipulated to feel bad about yourself so that you're more likely to surrender your power and rights.
5. Put the focus on them
Inevitably, a manipulator will make requests (or demands) of you. When the manipulator asks you to do someone unreasonable, it's sometimes helpful to put the focus back on him/her by asking some questions to see if she or he has enough self-awareness to recognize how unreasonable they're being.
Does what you want from me seem fair? Does this seem reasonable to you? Do you really expect me to (re-state the request)? Would you do this if I asked you to?
When you ask questions like this, you're putting up a mirror, so the manipulator can see that they're being unreasonable.
If the manipulator has any degree of self-awareness, he or she will likely withdraw the demand and back down.
Again, if they don't back down, walk away and go to a safe place.
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