Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 38 seconds
We would all like to think our interactions with others are mutually beneficial ones. Unfortunately, there are those among us who use other people to further their agenda, whatever that agenda may be, through whatever means possible. These manipulative people play on other's emotions, they play on their weaknesses. It's sad, because everyone wants to see the best in everyone, but it's important that we recognize the signs that we are being manipulated. No One wants to be manipulated, right? Wikipedia defines psychological manipulation as:
"a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or abusive tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at another's expense, such methods could be considered exploitative, abusive, devious, and deceptive. Social influence is not necessarily negative. For example, doctors can try to convince patients to change unhealthy habits. Social influence is generally perceived to be harmless when it respects the right of the influenced to accept or reject and is not unduly coercive. Depending on the context and motivations, social influence may constitute underhanded manipulation."
So as you can plainly see, manipulation doesn't have to be negative. But today I'm going to focus on the negative connotation attached to it and the behaviours to look out for as you live out your daily life.
Signs that you Are Being Manipulated
Emotional, spiritual and even physical seduction are the primary tools of the classic manipulator. The manipulator will often attempt to engage you in activities that though you may be interested in, will only serve to benefit the person seducing you. They seek and gather people that they can control. Control is an important part of their plan. They control you through money, physical contact, social status and a myriad of other things that will enable them to keep you on a short leash. They form romantic and other strategic relationships to further their agenda. It is often fun and exciting to be with them at first, but they quickly shift the focus of the relationship to themselves and their needs.
When you are being manipulated by someone you will see them quickly grow impatient with you. I define impatience as: 1. A very restless need for excitement and change, 2. Irritable behavior that results from being delayed. This behaviour often shows up when they are not reaching their goals. These goals could be everything from getting ahead of you at the drive thru to beating you out for a promotion at work. We are all human and have a tendency to be impatient and impractical at times, this does not correlate directly to manipulative behavior. People that are in the business of manipulation take this behavior to the extreme. This behaviour often develops from earlier negative experiences when they were a child. They misunderstood their self and others. They often had a sense of being insecure and "missing out".
When dealing with these people it is very important to be direct and firm. When they are not in control they become frustrated and annoyed, often quite easily. Never beat around the bush when you suspect manipulation, it will get you nowhere fast.
Do you always seem to be the bad guy? Are you the bad guy at work or in your social circles? This may be extreme, but manipulators are experts at twisting words and circumstances to fit their agenda. You may actually start to believe that you have done something wrong, yes they can be that good. The reality usually is that you have fallen victim to their classic scheme. To deal with this keep notes of conversations. Take notes of any details that you have a feeling will conveniently change sometime later. They may try to convince you that YOU said a certain thing, but you will know better with the notes you took. You may not be able to prove it to them, but they will soon realize you are onto their ploy to control you.
Do they have a long history of manipulating others? Do they have a general negative attitude or been caught in a lie with someone else? Do they spread rumors and gossip? Are their primary intentions individualistic? Many times people who make it a career to manipulate have egotistical tendencies. They believe they are often smarter and much craftier than everyone else around them. Be diligent in your dealings with your peers and people you see on a daily basis. Be able to spot manipulative behaviour before it starts. It is important to remain confident and positive in all social interactions. I don't mean arrogant, just confident. Arrogance is not attractive and will repel most people. People who manipulate prey on those with low self esteem and who are not sure of themselves. If you don't have confidence, fake it until you do, I promise you it will come. Don't be a victim to other people using you to further their unjust causes. If you don't want to do something, don't do it, you owe noone an explanation. Oftentimes we get caught up in thinking we have to explain ourselves to everyone when we really don't. Don't get trapped in the explaining cycle.
Exude confidence (remember, fake it if you have to) and get smart about your dealings with other people. Not everyone has your best interests in mind. When you do these things, those who have ill intentions for you will think twice about making you their emotional play toy. It's also important to keep a small circle of close friends that you innately trust and know they do not have a hidden agenda. Keep these people close, they are hard to come by.
if you have a specific question or something you would like some advice on, feel free to Contact Me . I can’t promise you will get an answer, but I sure will try. Want to see my other blog posts? See them Here. Also, feel free to comment below. I moderate the comments, so don't panic if they don't appear immediately.
Follow Me on Facebook
My Podcasts – Yeah I do a little bit of everything!
Some of my other posts.