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How to Spot and Stop Manipulators

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/communication-success/201406/how-spot-and-stop-manipulators

psychologytoday.com

How to Spot and Stop Manipulators
"There are those whose primary ability is to spin wheels of manipulation. It is their second skin and without these spinning wheels, they simply do not know how to function." ― C. JoyBell C. P sychological manipulation can be defined as the exercise of undue influence through mental distortion and emotional exploitation, with the intention to seize power, control, benefits, and privileges at the victim's expense.

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Confront Bullies, Safely

Confront Bullies, Safely

Manipulators become bullies when they intimidate or harms others, and pick on people they perceive as weaker. But standing up to bullies often cause them to retreat. 

When confronting bullies, be sure to place yourself in a position where you can safely protect yourself, whether it’s standing tall on your own, having other people present to witness and support, or keeping a paper trail of the bully’s inappropriate behavior. 

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Set Consequences

Set Consequences

When a psychological manipulator insists on violating your boundaries, and won’t take “no” for an answer, deploy consequence.

Effectively articulated, consequence gives pause to the manipulative individual, and compels her or him to shift from violation to respect.

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Know How To Say “No”

Know How To Say “No”

Diplomatically but firmly. A well articulated “no” allows you to stand your ground while maintaining a workable relationship. 

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Use Time To Your Advantage

Use Time To Your Advantage

Manipulators often expect immediate answers, to maximize their pressure and control over you in the situation. Don’t answer right away and use time to your advantage by saying you will think about it.

Take the time you need to evaluate the pros and cons of a situation, and consider whether you want to negotiate or just saying “no.”

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Ask Probing Questions

Ask Probing Questions

Psychological manipulators make requests of you that often make you go out of your way to fulfill them. When they do so, ask questions about the unfairness of the request, to see if the manipulator has enough self-awareness to recognize it in their scheme.

If the manipulator has a degree of self-awareness, he or she will likely withdraw the demand. Truly pathological manipulators (such as a narcissist) will dismiss your questions and insist on getting their way.

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Avoid Personalization And Self-Blame

Avoid Personalization And Self-Blame

A manipulator’s agenda is to exploit your weaknesses, it is understandable that you may feel inadequate, or blame yourself for not satisfying the manipulator. In these situations, it’s important to remember that you are being manipulated to feel bad about yourself and that’s not your fault nor is the problem at hand.

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Keep Your Distance

One way to detect a manipulator is to see how they act in different company and situations.

When you observe this type of behavior from an individual on a regular basis, keep a healthy distance, and avoid engaging with the person unless you absolutely have to. They don’t change easily and is not your job to change or save them.

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Know Your Fundamental Human Rights

Know Your Fundamental Human Rights

They are your boundaries and, as long as you do not harm others, you have the right to stand up for yourself and defend your rights.

Psychological manipulators want to deprive you of your rights so they can control and take advantage of you. But you have the power and moral authority to declare that it is you, not the manipulator, who’s in charge of your life.

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Manipulative Individuals

  1. They know how to detect your weaknesses.
  2. They use your weaknesses against you.
  3. They convince you to give up something of yourself that serves their self-centered interests.
  4. Once a manipulator succeeds in taking advantage, they will likely repeat the violation until you put a stop to the exploitation.

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Psychological Manipulation And Social Influence

Psychological Manipulation And Social Influence
  • Psychological manipulation is the exercise of undue influence through mental distortion and emotional exploitation, with the intention to seize power, control, benefits, and privileges at the victim’s expense. 
  • Healthy social influence occurs between most people, and is part of the give and take of constructive relationships.

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Manipulation

... is an emotionally unhealthy psychological strategy used by people who are incapable of asking for what they want and need in a direct way, to control someone or something t...

Common Types Manipulators

The two most common types of manipulators are bullies and “victims”.

Bullies make you feel fearful and might use aggression, threats and intimidation to control you, while “victims” engenders a feeling of guilt in their target by acting hurt when denied something.

Gaslighting

The term refers to manipulation that gets people to question themselves, their reality, memory or thoughts. Gaslighters twist what you say and make it about them, hijacking the conversation or making you feel like you’ve done something wrong when you haven’t.

Gaslighted people often feel a false sense of guilt or defensiveness, as if they failed completely or did something wrong when they didn’t.

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Manipulation Techniques

  • The ‘foot-in-the-door’ technique consists of making a small and reasonable request, which then leads into a larger request. The initial appeal we supposed to make you feel more comfortable and invested in cooperating.
  • The ‘door-in-the-face’ technique consists of making a big request, having it rejected, then making a smaller one. Following the larger request, the smaller appeal seems reasonable comparatively.

“A manipulator doesn’t believe there are any win-win situations. If someone else wins, that means they lose, and t..."

Donald Miller

Dealing With Manipulators

Manipulators do most of the manipulation unconsciously, as a survival mechanism.

Manipulation stems as a defense mechanism of an unwillingly twisted mind and these people need professional help. While you don’t have to judge these people, you should always try to keep a safe distance until they begin to truly trust you and drop the act.

The Scorekeeper

Treats life as a contest in which they set the rules and frame the scoreboard in order to always win. He/she keeps tabs on owed favors and call them in when he/she wants to control you.