We are all different, and while many of us might be naïve and inexperienced, others are skillful in manipulating others and getting what they want from people.
If you have ever felt like someone is using you for their gain, contact you only when they need something from you, or use their power to exploit you, you already know that manipulation is a dangerous weapon.
Manipulative people mold us into their servants, by twisting our actions, thoughts, and desires. Yes, it is scary.
Sharie Stines, a California-based therapist who specializes in abuse and toxic relationships, explains:
“Manipulation is an emotionally unhealthy psychological strategy used by people who are incapable of asking for what they want and need in a direct way. People who are trying to manipulate others are trying to control others.”
She explains that this behavior involves three factors: fear, obligation, and guilt.
“When you are being manipulated by someone you are being psychologically coerced into doing something you probably don’t really want to do.”
Here are five signs you have a manipulator nearby:
- Manipulators try to get to know you well, to be able to manipulate and control you easily. They will undermine your self-confidence, make you doubt yourself, in order to take advantage of you
- People who have a history of manipulating will probably try to manipulate you too. Yet, they will never take the blame, as they try to rationalize their behavior
- These people will find a way to turn the situation upside down, play the victim, and make you feel like you are the one that needs to apologize
- These people will leave if you do not provide them with what they need, and if you do not achieve their goals fast
- Manipulators quickly develop relationships with people, so they can use them. And move on when they have nothing more to take from them
If you recognize these signs, try to have a conversation with the manipulative person and possibly find a solution. Manipulative skills do not make people bad if they are willing to change and learn more about true relationships.
Yet, manipulative people can also tell you what you want to hear from them, and still not change their behavior. If this happens, protect yourself and put an end on this relationship.