Manipulation, like other toxic traits, is a common problem that has evolved over time, and various forms exist today, including subtle and indirect forms. Whether you like it or not, people will always try to manipulate you into doing things. This article provides a guide on how to recognize manipulation and draw the line when necessary.
What is manipulation?
Manipulation is described as having a harmful influence over someone, and it’s often used to trick them into doing something they don’t like or that’s harmful to them. If you want to avoid being manipulated altogether, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from letting this happen.
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Ways to spot a manipulator
1. Over-use of flattery
If someone uses too much flattery, they might be trying to make you feel obligated to do something for them. Although you should be open to appreciation, overuse of flattery is a sign of manipulation, and you should be wary of someone who tries to push compliments.
2. Over-critical and judgemental
If someone is overly critical or judgmental of your actions, they may be trying to manipulate you. Being too critical of someone is a sign of manipulation, and it’s essential to identify this behavior to avoid being taken advantage of.
3. They make you feel guilty for saying no
You can spot a manipulator if they try to make you feel guilty for drawing boundaries. They may share a sad story, a possible negative scenario, or express their disappointment to make you feel bad for saying no.
4. They try to control the outcome of a negotiation
If someone refuses to compromise during a negotiation, they may be trying to manipulate you. Disagreeing is okay, but it’s a red flag if they push their deal without accepting any compromises.
5. They use charm and charisma to hide their agenda
A manipulator may try to use charm and charisma to hide their agenda. While charm and charisma are not inherently bad, it’s essential to be cautious if someone is using them for the wrong things.
6. They use threats or intimidation
This is the most apparent sign of manipulation and should be avoided at all costs. If you sense a threat or intimidation, you should try to distance yourself from the manipulator since these people can be aggressive or even violent.
7. They twist words and use false information
Manipulators twist words and use false information to influence people. It’s crucial to verify the information and avoid relying solely on what someone says.
8. They make you feel like you owe them
Some manipulators will do a favor for you and then make you feel like you owe them because of it. If you did not ask for help and they helped you anyway, this could be a sign of manipulation. Expect this type of person to ask for a favor in return later on.
9. Their talk is passive-aggressive
Manipulators often use passive-aggressive language to get what they want. They may make sarcastic or snarky comments, use backhanded compliments, or say something that sounds innocent, but is actually meant to hurt the target. For example, a manipulative partner may say: “Oh, you’re going out with your friends tonight? That’s great. I guess I’ll just stay home alone like usual.”
10. They don’t want accountability
If someone tries to turn the situation around when they are at fault, this is usually a sign of manipulation. A common trait of a manipulator is that they do not want to accept any accountability.
To avoid being manipulated, it’s crucial to identify manipulators and draw boundaries. You can decide whether to give a manipulator a second chance, call them out on their behavior, or cut ties with them permanently. Protecting yourself from manipulation is essential, and it’s possible with the right mindset and knowledge.