Good day ladies. Not so long ago one client of mine asked me a question: “The man I love is a manipulator in our relationship, what am I to do about it?” I have realized that this is a widespread problem, so I decided to describe for you here how a manipulator sounds like, his methods and how to fight his influence.
Who is a manipulator?
You, me, a shop assistant in a store, your colleague, your child. We all somehow use certain manipulations in our life. Most of the time it happens unconsciously. We don’t even understand that we are manipulating at this very moment. It’s not big of a deal. You can call it a regular practice of everyday interaction.
The problem starts when we meet a professional manipulator. He is an egocentric person. He puts his own goal above all and doesn’t care about your needs and desires.
How can you recognize this person? Such people don’t treat anyone with proper respect, everyone around them are objects to realize their own goals.
Such behavior emerges in the childhood. The child understands that in order to get what he or she wants they should act a certain way. Therefore, he/she continues to practice this behavior and becomes proficient at it.
The main indication of you being manipulated is when you start feeling uneasy while doing what you have been asked, because the request is in conflict with your wishes.
How does a manipulation work? The manipulator disrupts his victim’s emotional balance, then instigates a certain action. You may ask whether such a person is capable of loving? Well, yes. Manipulators can be in love but it doesn’t prevent them from using other people for their own purposes.
I used to know one hardcore manipulator. Once upon a time, he fell in love. Do you think he stopped manipulating? No, he continued using people, as well as he used his techniques on his loved one because he didn’t know any other way.
Manipulator’s favorite techniques
I would like to introduce some of a manipulator’s favorite tactics which you can recognize when you are being manipulated. Remember they can vary in expression and may be pitched differently, but they are all the same in nature.
Between the lines. When the predator wants to achieve the result he challenges your inner child. For example, your loved one wants you to go to a show that you don’t find interesting.
He says, “This is a magnificent show that is likely to bore you.” Your inner child starts to protest: “No, I won’t be bored, why, does it mean I am a boring person?” Then you decide to attend, in spite of the fact that you didn’t want to go. You can easily recognize the trick by listening closely to your true desires.
Fait accompli. The person emphasizes your attention on what you are going to do before or after what he really wants you to do. “Before we go to my mother’s, we will stop by at a supermarket”, “Before I go to a bar, I would like to discuss our budget”, etc.
You are not discussing your going to his mother’s or him going to a bar any more, you are now figuring out what to buy at the market or how the last paycheck was spent.
Uprising. To conquer his victim a manipulator tries to show importance and value of that person. “You are so skillful, what is it for you to make me breakfast in bed.” In this moment you let your guard slip, feeling up high, you execute what do you have been told.
A kind manipulator. They won’t be cheap on approving gestures, praise, agreeing expression, as long as you follow their plan. Look for taps on the shoulder, strokes, smile.
Authority. People in this group frequently use their own authority or authority of respectful people. Buyer beware! Check the information carefully. You might be sold a lot of unnecessary or false information under other person’s legacy.
Guilt. People in this category catch their victim off guard in order to make them feel guilty. They play on your desires to do the right thing in life.
Phrases: “If you loved me…”, “A loving person wouldn’t have done this”, “If you paid more attention to me, then…”, etc. The manipulator himself plays a victim. The real victim puts the blame on herself and complies with the manipulator’s plan.
Sequence. Another feeling that manipulators like to abuse is your desire to be consequent. Your one action results in another and so on. He just needs to direct you to that first step.
A big secret. He tells you a big secret that nobody knows of. Most of the time it’s gratifying for you information. People tend to believe pleasant things. He gets you curious and then makes you go along with what he wants.
A lie. This is one of the main helpers of a manipulator. A lie can be huge or tiny. Sometimes he disappears on you for a purpose to make you run after him, fret about him and then attach yourself to him.
If a man stops socializing with you, he might be as well testing you. He wants to know if you really care about him.
How to fight a manipulation
Dealing with such people is very difficult but possible. To make it work, you have to pay more attention, work on yourself and learn to tell one manipulation from another, as well as assess your partner’s behavior in different situations.
First thing to turn to is your intuition. It is exactly what helps you win. However, we rarely listen to our intuition and think that we are mistaken and the person is innocent. This is what manipulators want you to think. They want you to think that you are at fault.
Learn to trust your guts. If you’re constantly feeling uncomfortable and uneasy, stop for a moment and think about it, the person may be using you.
Knowing your weak spots can prevent you from becoming a victim. If a weight topic is vulnerable for you, pay attention to all the phrases connected to this topic you hear. Manipulators always make use of your weaknesses.
The problem is that we don’t always know such things about ourselves. Start practicing self-analysis, take a trip to a therapist. Don’t let others use your sensitive sides.
Learn to say a firm No. Do never apologize for your No. You have a right to reject something. You have rights others have to respect. There are things that you simply won’t do. Don’t be afraid to say No and don’t feel guilty about it. Remember what manipulators use? That’s right, your guilt.
Reflect back. If you hear a phrase “You don’t love me that’s why you did this”, try to answer “Do you think I don’t love you?” and observe his reaction. Try to continue the logic thread to the end until the manipulator surrenders.
To put the person in his place, ask for time to ponder your answer. Most of the time, the manipulation is relied on right now right here as the person wants to gain things now. If you ask for more time you might ruin their moment to negatively influence you.
I don’t recommend that you manipulate him.
- First, you are likely to lose the battle with a professional manipulator.
- Second, such people are highly aware if they are being manipulated.
- And third, your relationship should not base on manipulations. Think twice, is this how you want your interaction to be?
If you want to know more about this topic you should read a wonderful work of Eric Lennard Berne “.”
How often do you become a victim of a manipulation? Do you understand when you’re being used? Are you yourself consciously manipulating others?
Love yourself and trust your intuition!