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