“If you are an approval addict, your behavior is as easy to control as that of any other junkie. All a manipulator needs to do is a simple two-step process: give you what you crave, and then threaten to take it away. Every drug dealer in the world plays this game.”
― Harriet B. Braiker
All of us have encountered a manipulator at some point in our lives. Remember that “something” you didn’t want to buy, but had to because someone convinced you? Yes, there is a good chance of that someone being a manipulator.
Manipulation is a dirty game. You never know what is going on in a manipulator’s head, and you have no idea what they can make you believe. Psychology defines manipulation as an act of exercising unjustified control over someone by mental misrepresentation or emotional abuse with malice aforethought of taking power, advantages, and favors, all at the cost of the prey.
How does a manipulator succeed in doing what they do?
Manipulation is not like social influence. Social influence is a process of being inspired by those around us. It is the foundation of constructive relationships. It’s best to detect them and stay away from them!
What set manipulators apart from normal people are their modus operandi :
Detect: It’s like a superpower. Manipulators can detect weakness, and they know exactly how to use it.
Advantage: Once they understand what makes you vulnerable, they will weaponize it against you.
Convince: They have amazing convincing abilities. They will have you at their feet because they’ve convinced you to give something up for their selfish interest.
Repeat: Success reinforces the high spirits of manipulators, and they will repeat their actions until you identify and eliminate them.
How to spot a manipulator?
You can find manipulators on any page of your life: Work, Home or Love. The scary part is that they are very cunning. If you suspect that you are dealing with a manipulator, it’s time to be sure and get rid of them for the better.
Characteristics of a typical manipulator
- Sympathy seeker: Manipulators are great at playing the “victim”, and they have no realization of responsibility. They live with the feeling that the world has done them wrong. They utilize the “sorry” feeling of people to get anything they want from them.
- Guilt tripper: They are excellent at making you feel guilty for crimes that you didn’t commit. You may even feel that you’re in the wrong after they’ve pressed your insecurities.
- Passive aggressive: Manipulators just don’t want to lose an argument. They will use anything and everything against you to win it. If you are unhappy about something, they will do their magic of word twist and convince you it is their reaction to what you previously did. With a manipulator, the fault will always be yours.
- Fake helper: They will try their best to help you when you are in need. In fact, they will go to great lengths to ensure that everybody knows about their favor. But don’t be fooled, they do this just to make sure that you have no choice but to help them when they need help. They can ask for anything, and they don’t care how valuable it may be to you or what you will have to do to get it.
- Always right: No matter how good you are at debating, you can’t win against a manipulator. They will never stop arguing because they are never wrong. If you are not a fan of argument, it’s a guarantee that you will never win with them.
How to stop a manipulator
Now that you know what you’re dealing with, it’s time to stop them. Getting rid of manipulators isn’t always easy, especially when the manipulator is someone close to you. But trust me, only your withdrawal is going to change them.
Realize that you don’t need to stay in a toxic friendship or relationship unwillingly. Understand your basic human rights and don’t let anybody convince you to go against them. Learn to be straightforward without being rude, and remember that you have the right to say “no”.
You deserve to be free from manipulation. There are numerous scientifically proven ways to handle a manipulator successfully, and they can save you from the personal violation that is manipulation.