How to Spot and Deal With Manipulators
If you feel that some of the people in your life are trying to take control of it, you are right! Manipulators are everywhere!
We all find ourselves having to deal with them at one time or another, but they can only gain a foothold in our lives if we allow them to do so.
Dealing effectively with manipulators isn't always easy because some turn out to be the very people you feel are the most important in your life!
They are the
- mother-in-law who forces you to eat that extra piece of chocolate cake when you don't really want to,
- the friend who asks you to pick something up for her at the store and never pays you for it or
- the significant other who is always too tired or too busy to help with daily chores.
You know these people are quietly taking advantage of you, but confronting them is difficult, and can have negative consequences so you tolerate the uncomfortable situations they put you in.
However, that the longer you tolerate them, the more they will abuse you, and the more miserable and resentful you become.
Whether you realize it or not, you are being manipulated every single day of your life not only by those you love and care about, but also by,
- fellow workers,
- employers and
In most cases, you don't even know this is happening. As a result, many of the choices you make in life are based on pressures that others put on you.
- you may not really want to buy a product, but a smooth talking salesman convinces you to do so,
- a restaurant advertises a deal that isn't quite what they said it would be,
- your boss gives you jobs to do that he really should be doing himself.
Manipulation Comes in Many Forms
Manipulation comes in many forms.
- Some are so minor that we rarely even recognize them for what they are, such as when a friend tells us they don't think a certain color looks good on us.
- Others so common that we just take them for granted, such as when advertisers tell us things about products that we know cannot possibly be true.
- Several are so blatant that we find ourselves forced to deal with them, such as when a mechanic tells us there is something wrong with our car that we know cannot be the case.
However, the big problem is really not with the manipulators, but with us. We can always choose to ignore their attempts to control us, and we should make every effort to do so.
To do otherwise is to endanger our own mental and physical health.
Maintaining Healthy Relationships Is Important
All of us are taught from an early age that maintaining relationships is important, but what we are not taught is that relationships must be healthy in order to be worthwhile.
When they're not, we spend parts of our lives trying to please people who don't deserve our efforts to do so.
We end up saying and doing things that are just the opposite of what we feel are right in terms of our own value systems and in so doing imprison ourselves in difficult situations that bring many problems our way.
For this reason, it's important that we learn how to spot manipulators and deal appropriately with them.
How to Spot a Manipulator
The best way to spot a manipulator is for you to ask yourself whether you are are OK with bending to demands that make you uncomfortable.
If you feel guilty, shamed or "forced" in any way, someone is trying to control you.
You can easily spot people who are trying to do this simply by paying close attention to what they are doing as well as saying.
- Years ago some friends decided that they hey wanted to "treat" us to an expensive dinner and show as a Christmas present.
- We told them we'd prefer to have a nice meal together at home instead, but they used the "..but it's Christmas" guilt tactic on us.
- We tried to compromise by accepting their offer to treat us but at a less expensive restaurant and then taking them out afterwards to a nice nightclub for drinks and dessert.
Our plan didn't work. They were unhappy because they didn't get their way, we were unhappy because they tried to force us to do something we didn't want to do, the evening was a total failure and the friendship was never the same after that night.
They had used guilt to try and manipulate us, but we refused to be controlled. We suddenly realized that perhaps the friendship wasn't quite as healthy as we had thought and vowed to be more careful with them in the future!
How to Deal With Manipulators
If you truly want to find some peace and happiness in your life, there are several things you can do to deal with those who have been taking advantage of you.
- Identify the manipulators in your life.
- Choose the ones who are causing you the greatest amount of grief.
- Understand that they are well aware of what they have been doing and obviously do not care.
- Be prepared to walk away from those relationships.
- Do not waiver. Once you decide, make sure you consistently follow through with what you tell them.
- Contact each person and tell him or her (or them) that you will no longer be available to do the things for them that you have done in the past.
- Understand that they will keep asking, and make it a point to say “No” each time they do ask until they finally stop!
People will tell you that saying "No" is selfish and will use guilt to keep you under their control, but this is just a ruse meant to feed their own egos.
Those trying to control your behaviors do not deserve your support, love or friendship. You need to be in control of your own life, not them!
Maintain Control of Your Own Life
It is important for your well being to be in total control of your own life.
Therefore you need to learn how to stand up for yourself in ways that are both healthy and productive.
The best way to do this is to pay attention to what others say and do so that you can spot manipulators and deal with them in ways that are beneficial to you.
In some cases, doing so will lead to some negative consequences, in the long run you'll be better off because you'll be happier and healthier.
Do you think you are being manipulated by other people?
Questions & Answers
© 2016 Sondra Rochelle