8 effective strategies that could help you fight off manipulative people
Are you good at reading when someone is trying to manipulate you? Sometimes, a manipulator can be way more subtle than what you think. It takes just the slightest insult or condescending remark to create vulnerability in their "victims." This vulnerability leads to feelings of inferiority to the point where they finally have you where they want you: at your weakest. And when you're at your weakest, manipulators can get exactly what they want from you, when they want it. That's why we've put together a list of some strategies that can you help deal with manipulators/keep them at bay.
via Psychology Today
Preston Ni is an expert in the field of Psychology and claims that there are 8 effective ways to confront manipulative people and stop their manipulative tactics in their tracks. They are in no particular order:
- Ask them difficult/pressing questions: When you feel like they are being irrational with their requests, one of the best things you can do is press them about it. Ask them why they asked you do it and if they realize how inappropriate or irrational it might be.
- Give them consequences for their actions: When a manipulator asks you to do soemthing and won't take no for an answer, offer them consequences for their actions. If you do it correctly, they'll back off. They would rather not risk upsetting you or suffering any consequences of their actions.
- Don't let them bully you: one of the most important things to remember about manipulators is that they prey on the weak. If you show any ounce of weakness around them, they're likely to pounce. Most manipulators and bullies, however, are cowards deep down. They act the way they do because they actually have even more insecurities than you. They more you show them how confident and secure you are about yourself, the more they'll back off.
- Know how to say no like you mean it: knowing how to say no nicely and mean it definitely takes practice. Once you've mastered the art of saying "no," however, you'll find that your life gets a lot better and easier. That's because you're finally making your own choices instead of having someone else - with 0 good intentions - make them for you.
- You have fundamental rights that need to be respected: when you're dealing with a manipulator, it's important to remember and recognize that you, as a human being, have rights that should never be violated. If someone is infringing upon those rights, and purposefully so, they don't deserve your time or energy.
- Try to maintain your distance: One way of knowing whether a person is or isn't a manipulator is observing how they behave with different people. If their behavior changes based on the person they are with, chances are they really are a manipulator. Once you've identified them as such, try to keep as much distance between you and that person as you can. The psychological reasons behind why some people become chronic manipulators are many. It's best, however, not to get too close to find out.
- Don't feel guilty: once a manipulator has found your weak points, they will do all they can to break you down and even make you feel guilty when you're unable to satisfy their selfish needs. In these situations, it's important to be aware that you are not the problem; in order to get what they want, they first have to make you feel your worst.
- Use time at your own advantage: apart from their irrational requests, a manipulator often expects an immediate answer. It's a tactic to maximize the control they have over you and the situation. Instead of responding immediately, consider using time to your advantage. An easy way to even out the playing field again is to simply tell them that you will "think about it."
These 8 suggestions aren't the easiest to put into practice, but they will definitely be useful for when you might find yourself face to face with a manipulator. Good luck, and stay confident!