We all want to get our goals and needs met, but there are some who will stop at nothing to achieve that. They’re the manipulators. These people don’t have boundaries and are extremely determined and ruthless in their pursuit of what they want.
If you’ve ever been manipulated, then you must know how horrible the feeling is. Although most of us can recognize when we’re being manipulated, there are others who can’t. The reason for this is that manipulators can look kind, honest, and respectable but that’s just their mask. They use underhanded and deceptive techniques to take advantage of you. If a manipulative person notices that they can use you to get what they want and they discover your weaknesses, you’ll immediately become their target.
You can preserve your dignity and avoid falling into their trap by recognizing the 12 most common techniques manipulative people use to control you.
Here they are:
1. They emphasize your weaknesses.
Your weaknesses make you an easy target for them. If your weakness is fear or anxiety, they’ll use every opportunity to point them out so as to shatter your confidence and make you feel like a coward. The more you feel unworthy the better for them because this allows them to have total control over you.
2. They play the victim role.
If they know you’re a kind and helping person, they’ll act like a victim to take advantage of you. They’ll behave as if they’re disappointed and hurt about something just to make you pity them. They’ll frequently say something like: ”Poor me! This always happens to me.” Or “I’m so disappointed. Nothing I do is good enough.” They know if you start feeling compassion for them, they’ll more easily persuade you to help them or do something they request from you.
3. They never admit the things they say or do.
They act as if they suffer from memory loss. They will say bad things about you and others, lie, betray, and hurt people, but they’ll never admit it. They’ll go to the point of accusing you of making things up again and acting unreasonably. Or they can just shift the blame onto you. They’ll do whatever it takes to make them look innocent.
4. They use your words to serve their purpose.
A manipulative person is always ready to add a new meaning to your words if they feel threatened by them. For example, if you tell them that you got promoted or bought an expensive gadget, they’ll immediately use this against you. They might tell you that you’re selfish and inconsiderate because you enjoy bragging about your achievements and making others feel unworthy.
5. They use your feelings for them to get what they want as well.
If they know that you hold them dear, they’ll use your feelings for them to get what they want from you. For example, they’ll often tell you something like: “If you really care about my feelings and opinions, you’ll break off your relationship with your friends.” Or “If you really love me like you say so, you’ll tell me his/her secret.”
6. They guilt-trip you into doing what they want.
If you refuse to do what they want, they’ll always be there to remind you of the things they did for you. They’ll often say something like:” That’s very selfish of you. I thought we were friends.” Or “You never appreciate the things I do for you.” They’re always willing to take you on a guilt trip.
7. They give you the silent treatment.
When you’re having an argument with a manipulative person and they have nothing smart to say or are guilty of something, they’ll ignore you. They’ll just keep silent, thereby stressing you out to the point that you’ll want to end the discussion and let them get away with theirs.
8. They downplay the importance of your problems.
Yeah, their problems are always more important than yours. The things that worry and make you feel uncomfortable are nothing compared to theirs. In their view, you should focus on solving only their issues because they’re really serious and deserve all your attention.
9. They make you feel unworthy.
To make themselves look smarter and more important than you, they’ll act as if nothing you ever do is good enough. They want to make you see yourself as irresponsible and useless. In fact, this is exactly how they feel themselves and by attributing these feelings to you they manage to boost their ego and gain control over you.
10. They pretend they’re incapable of doing something so that you do that instead of them.
They won’t be ashamed to act as if they’re too busy or tired to perform a task. And if they know you’re easy to manipulate, they’ll just put on a modest face and ask you politely to do the thing for them.
11. They bait you into things.
You’ll agree to do one thing for them, but they’ll add ten more to the list. If they notice you never say “no”, they’ll know you’re the person they can always come to and take advantage of without any effort.
12. They can be aggressive too.
They know that if they start yelling at or physically threaten you, they’ll easily make you fear them. To avoid their anger and aggressive behavior, it’s very likely that you’ll agree to do whatever they want.
Riley Cooper is a professional writer who writes informative and creative articles on topics related to various fields of study. Written with love and enthusiasm, her articles inspire readers to broaden their knowledge of the world, think and get ready to act.