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7 Ways to Deal With a Manipulator

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I am sure you would have come across supervisor in the workplace who claims to support you but makes sure you don’t get ahead, the co-worker who quietly complains about you, behind your back to the boss, the relative who says he loves and cares about you but seems to control your life and take advantage of you.

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On the surface these people appear charming and sweet talkers but underneath they can be calculating, cunning and ruthless. They take advantage of your weakness and use clever tactics to gain advantage over you. They are the kind of people who fight hard for everything they want but they do their best to conceal their aggressive nature.

Most of us know atleast one manipulative person. They are back-stabbing, fake and scheming individuals who can make your life miserable, You can get confused, anxious or depressed.

There are times in everyone’s life when they are in a bad situation and this is the right time for the manipulator to manipulate you. These manipulators are charming and smooth talkers and by the time you realize their true character you have put a lot of emotional investment in trying to make the relation work. This make it very difficult to simply walk away. Here are 7 Ways To Deal With A Manipulator

1. Understand the nature of the Manipulator

  • Manipulators seek power and dominance over others
  • know how to look good
  • know how to take advantage of your weakness
  • are smooth operators
  • will show you what you want to see
  • will tell you what you want to hear
  • will lie and cheat
  • will never give straight answers but vague answers
  • know how to cover their tracks
  • can easily fool you by being polite, charming and your well-wisher

2. Become aware of the tactics used by a Manipulator

Some of the tactics used by manipulators are

  • denial they may completely deny, I didn’t say that… I didn’t do that….
  • selective inattention they pretend as if they don’t know what’s going on, might even act dumb
  • rationalization rationalize and show they always meant good but you are the culprit.
  • diversion will change the topic and try to focus on something else
  • lying will repeately lie, they lie even when they have no benefit to lie, it has become second nature to them
  • guilt tripping or shaming I remember my partner asking me, “Why don’t you send some money to your parents?”
  • playing the victim this is a tactic they use again to make you feel guilty and give in to what they want.
  • projecting the blame when you confront them about their behaviour they will blame you for thinking like that, they never even thought about it, here they even make you feel guilty about it.
  • minimization ( making a mole out of a mountain) it such a small matter, why are you getting so upset about it?

3. Learn to spot a manipulator

If you want to avoid being a victim of a manipulator you should be able to spot them. So how do we do this, observe the way they habitually interact with others, if you find a person who always wants the upper hand, who rarely gives straight answers to straight questions, tries to make you guilty or uses the tactics we talked about earlier, you can assume that you are dealing with a manipulator.

4. Learn to spot the manipulators tactics

YOu should know all possible tactics a manipulator uses by heart. Label them immediately when you come across them. Confront the inappropriate behaviour directly, let them know that you will not be influenced by the tactic they are using. For example, let’s say that the person is trying to make you feel guilty you could say something like, “ Are you trying to make me feel guilty? I would appreciate if you stopped doing that and focused on this issue.

5. Don’t try to change the manipulator

The worst thing you can do is trying to change the manipulator. Don’t get caught in the trap of constantly trying to figure out what to say or do to get the manipulator to behave differently, as a victim, you don’t have the power to make that happen. And when you fail you will get angry, frustrated, helpless and eventually depressed.

6. Change yourself

Be willing to invest time and energy working on your own behavior doing this will make you feel more confident. I know it is difficult fo you to accept the idea that you should change your behavior, you want the manipulator to change and pay for their misbehavior. When you change you empower yourself. Here are some things you can do, Accept no excuses, judge actions not intentions, be sure of your real needs and desires in any situation. Set personal limits-decide what kinds of behavior you will tolerate before taking some counteraction or deciding to disengage. Make direct requests for example, I want you to stop lying, I don’t want you to give vague answers. Request for direct answers and responses.

7. Take action quickly

A train withoug brakes rolling down a mountain side is easiest to stop when it just begins to roll. Manipulators of all kinds lack internal brakes once they are after what they want it’s hard to stop them. If you want to make an impact then you need to act at the first sign that they are on the march. The minute you become aware that a tactic is being used be ready to confront it and respond to it. Move quickly to remove yourself from a one-down position and try to establish a more favorable balance of power. You will send a message to your manipulator, “You can’t mess with me and take me for granted”.

I am Rajiv Kumar Luv. My passion in life is to make a difference in the lives of people so that they achieve their personal as well as professional best. I am absolutely committed to specially helping youngsters become leaders in their chosen fields. In the past 28 years, I have trained over 100,000 people from all walks of life. Through my two-day program “Leadership Through Personality Development” I help the youth plan their career, build confidence, make better decisions, manage time and develop their employability skills to meet today’s real-life challenges. You can learn more about me and the work I do by visiting: