How to Recognize a Manipulator
and Not Fall For His Tricks
Are you questioning whether that special someone is a manipulator? Do you feel manipulated or used by someone? Are you being gaslighted by a partner, colleague, teammate, friend, or family member? Do you know how to recognize manipulators and their tricks?
- What is a manipulator?
- 2 must-know signs that show you’re being manipulated
- What does being manipulated feel like?
- 3 manipulation tactics and how to spot them
- 3 ways to defend yourself from manipulators
What is a manipulator?
A manipulator is someone who is skilled in the art of influencing people by deceptive, illegitimate, and unfair means. Manipulators do this without regard to either the feelings or rights of others. They try to bend others to their will by gaining their confidence and trust and then using this as a basis for their own selfish ends.
2 must-know signs that show you’re being manipulated
Here are 2 must-know signs that show you’re being manipulated:
1. You feel anxious around someone.
If a person makes you feel uneasy and you can’t understand why it’s likely you’re being manipulated. Manipulators will make you feel uncertain, uncomfortable, and anxious. This is done in order to make you more susceptible to their influence and control.
2. You make excuses for someone’s bad behavior.
You may be in an abusive relationship or being manipulated if you consistently make excuses for the other person’s behavior.
Manipulators will use your good nature against you. That’s because manipulators want to control you, and controlling you starts with controlling your emotions.
What does being manipulated feel like?
Being manipulated feels like you are being forced to do something that you don’t want to do. You may feel uncomfortable, unhappy, stressed, and anxious. If a person is constantly criticizing you and making you feel bad about yourself, you’re likely being manipulated. Being manipulated can feel confusing and frustrating.
3 manipulation tactics and how to spot them
Here are 3 manipulation tactics and how to spot them:
1. They give you false compliments.
It’s important to know that manipulators can also give you false compliments. You may be so used to being complimented by a manipulator that you don’t even question it. When someone compliments you in a way that feels weird or off, remembers that they’re trying to manipulate you.
2. They use threat-based language.
When a manipulator wants something from you, they may try to use threat-based language. Threats can be explicit (“If you won’t do this, I’ll do that”) or implicit (“If you won’t do this, I’ll be really upset”). Manipulators often use this type of language because they know that threatening you can make you feel stressed, anxious, and uncertain.
3. They ask lots of questions.
This might sound strange, but manipulators ask lots of questions. They may do this in an attempt to find out more about you. Or, they may do this because they want to divert attention from themselves and what they’re doing. If someone seems to always be asking questions, it’s worth paying attention to why.
3 ways to defend yourself from manipulators
Here are 3 ways to defend yourself from manipulators:
1. Don’t pretend everything is okay.
When you feel like someone is manipulating you, it’s important not to pretend everything is okay when it’s not. If you’re with a manipulator, they may try to get you to do this. Remember that manipulators want you to feel uncomfortable and anxious. Say what you’re feeling, even if it’s something that the manipulator doesn’t want you to say.
2. Don’t feel responsible for fixing someone else’s problem.
Manipulators want to make you feel responsible for fixing their problems. They want you to feel like you owe them something. If someone tries to make you feel responsible for their issues, don’t let them. You don’t have to fix anyone else’s problems.
3. Keep an eye on your self-esteem.
When you’re being manipulated, it’s easy to feel bad about yourself. It’s also easy to start defending the manipulator because you feel so bad. You can’t control other people’s words and actions, but you can control how you react to them. Keeping an eye on your self-esteem will help you to defend yourself from manipulators.
If you feel anxious around someone, if you make excuses for someone’s bad behavior, or if you feel pressured to make a decision, you’re likely being manipulated. Don’t pretend everything is okay when it’s not, don’t feel responsible for fixing someone else’s problems, and keep an eye on your self-esteem.
This article is written by a therapist from Sensera – a self-help app that provides daily CBT audio sessions and exercises. The app helps people deal with a variety of mental issues (anxiety, low self-esteem, relationship problems). Download Sensera now to become happier!