|People who tend to manipulate others are often unwilling or unable to resolve conflict or even participate in a healthy, mature discussion / Photo by: studioprodakshn via 123RF|
Many of us might have encountered manipulators at some point in our lives. They can be someone sitting on a bench, eating ice cream across the street, or someone close to us. Despite the mental and psychological impacts they can cause, it’s still surprising how many of us fall into their trap.
People who tend to manipulate others are often unwilling or unable to resolve conflict or even participate in a healthy, mature discussion. At first, no one, especially most people close to them, will not suspect any of their odd behaviors because they mostly use deceptive and underhanded tactics. They do this for one goal: to control you. They play on your good intentions, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities just to get what they want.
One thing that a person needs to remember, especially if they are in a toxic relationship, is that most manipulators are highly skilled. Most of their tactics are so subtle, they can control you for a long time before you finally figure out what’s happening. They tend to twist arguments and put the blame on you. However, what drives a person to manipulate others? The main reason is fear.
Manipulators are afraid that they will not gain their desired results produced from their own merits – that life will not be favorable to them. They fear that they will not gain what others have. This fear stems from a person’s lack of worthiness, which sometimes comes from their childhood experiences.
Upon being manipulated, victims end up questioning their self-worth and losing their sense of purpose. Here are some of the manipulating tactics manipulators use:
Considered the most insidious manipulative tactic, gaslighting works by distorting and eroding a person’s sense of reality. It devours people’s ability to trust themselves and inevitably disables them from feeling justified in calling out abuse and mistreatment. According to Urbo, an online site that creates intriguing content, manipulators gaslight their victims so they will rely on them for help. This vulnerability makes them susceptible to further harmful tactics.
One of the smartest but toxic ways for a manipulator to distract you is to focus your attention on the supposed threat of another person. This is called triangulation. Triangulation can be dangerous in a relationship when the attention is drawn away from important issues in a two-person relationship. The victim would begin to feel ignored, excluded, or rejected. The people involved may experience stress, anxiety, and more.
Shaming is a classic manipulation technique but also one of the most damaging. Unfortunately, this can’t be noticed, especially when you are blinded by the love and trust you have for that person. Christine Hammond, a licensed mental health counselor, stated that one of the ways that manipulators shame their victims is through their speaking style.
“This belittlement is done in several condescending ways such as literally talking down, calling the other person immature, and saying the other person needs to grow up. The implication is that the narcissist is more mature and has developed beyond the level of the other person,” Hammond said.
|Shaming is a classic manipulation technique but also one of the most damaging. Unfortunately, this can’t be noticed, especially when you are blinded by the love and trust you have for that person / Photo by: daisydaisy via 123RF|
Provoking, Bullying, and Intimidating
Manipulators use aggression to dominate their victims. According to Psych Central, the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health online resources, they resort to calling you names, yelling, acting overly emotional, trying to hurt you, and lying. Most of the time, they derive pleasure from making others feel small, look weak, or appear less intelligent than themselves. This form of manipulation is dangerous to one’s mental health.
Minimizing Your Worth
At the beginning of your relationship, manipulators will shower you with compliments, praise, and love – making you feel that your relationship is the best. However, things will change when they start to realize that they can’t control you. They will invalidate your feelings, experiences, and opinions just to minimize your worth.
|Manipulators use aggression to dominate their victims. According to Psych Central, the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health online resources, they resort to calling you names, yelling, acting overly emotional, trying to hurt you, and lying / Photo by: Katarzyna Białasiewicz via 123RF|
Dealing With Manipulative People
While it is difficult to leave a manipulator who has been a great part of your life, it’s important to prioritize yourself. Manipulators won’t stop controlling you because this is where they get their satisfaction. Thus, it’s necessary to know how you will get out of the relationship.
According to Survival Report, a news and opinion article website, you should avoid feeling sorry for them and agreeing to things that go against your will. The more often you agree with them, the easier it will be for them to manipulate you. Set boundaries within the relationship. You have to be clear that you will not tolerate or accept toxic behavior. This will inform them that you do not welcome any manipulation in the relationship.
When dealing with a manipulative person, the biggest mistake you can make is trying to correct them because you are sinking deeper into their trap. They will use frustration and confusion to bait you into conflict. They want to play with your emotions and eventually control you.
It is also best to keep a close friend that you can trust. Having a friend will help you get through these hard times. No matter how manipulators try to shift the blame on you or influence your version of the truth, you must hold onto yourself.
While it's difficult to tell if a person is a manipulator, you must keep your guard up. Recognize red flags, and remember that keeping a toxic relationship is never worth your own health and safety.