Signs of manipulation: overview
We are all a little manipulative at certain situations, but real manipulators are stuck in such behavior for life. Manipulators use deception and other tactics by exploiting another person for power, control and privilege at the expense of the other. Let’s see what are the signs of manipulation.
Signs of inappropriate behavior are quite common in romantic relationships and in marriage. But it’s not only our partners who demonstrate the signs of manipulation. It could also be your colleague at work, a family member, or even a neighbor. And that’s why some of us face different kinds of issues in life and at work. This may have adverse effect on our career, because you can be manipulated by your boss or by the person who manages you. You should therefore be able to identify situations where people are trying to manipulate you, identify the signs of manipulation and neutralize it.
Manipulators play on your good intentions, vulnerabilities and weaknesses to get what they want. Don’t be surprised if a manipulator is someone you trust, or even someone you love.
Keep your emotions under control. Be aware of them and learn to control them. You must learn to control yourself and your emotions so that noone else can take control of them. Don’t be too open when dealing with people you don’t know really well.
When someone blatantly does something wrong to you or hurts you, and it is you who feels bad and apologizes for their wrong actions, you are being manipulated.
Manipulative behavior is something you can learn, usually in childhood. Thus, unfortunately, it is something that can be quickly trained.
So, watch out for some common signs of manipulation and see how manipulators disappear from your life as soon as you detect them.
1. They are experts at playing mind games
Some manipulators are very skilled and their tactics are so subtle that they can control you long before you even know what’s going on.
Skilled manipulators have a way of twisting an earlier conversation to suit their own needs.
They will do anything to hurt you, and when you express how you feel about it, they will reverse the situation, make you feel guilty and finally make their own actions look good.
Does your partner say or do things that make you feel crazy, and then tell you that you’re making a fuss?
Clearly your partner is twisting the truth or omitting some information to make you doubt your own opinion and reason. This is the first item in our list of the signs of manipulation.
2. They look out for their own good, not yours
They twist your thoughts and actions a little at a time until you ask them for guidance on everything. They shape you into a person who serves their own purposes. This is the second of the signs of manipulation we want to tell you about.
Unfortunately, it’s because you trust the manipulator more than you trust yourself. Their motives are almost always good, and they have almost no interest in how you feel and how their behavior affects your life.
They constantly point out your shortcomings and then show that you can improve with their help.
That way you’ll be convinced they’re looking out for your best interests, but the truth is they’re not. They’re only looking out for their own good. This is the second item in our list of the signs of manipulation.
3. They are hard-hearted control freaks
A person who manipulates others needs to be in control, and all that desire for control often masks the underlying feelings of their own insecurity.
They need to feel superior and powerful. They have a deeply narcissistic desire to shift the focus to themselves in some way and also want you to validate this shift of focus.
Manipulators claim that they know how the world should be, how you should act according to their own rules. They present themselves as both virtuous and righteous.
They are holy in their own minds, so it’s best that you agree with them. They know what’s best for you. Just ask them and they will give you a piece of advice or make your life miserable if you don’t do what they say.
Plus, they love to argue, so you’ll never win that battle unless your behavior also demonstrates the signs of manipulation. This is the third item in our list of the signs of manipulation.
4. They are irresponsible and not serious
Manipulators find it hard to take responsibility for their behavior, and it’s always about what everyone else has done to them.
If you say something about their behavior, they’ll find a way to turn it around to make you feel bad or guilty.
Manipulators may say yes to a request or do you a favor, and when it’s time to follow up with it, they forget about it or deny the fact that it happened. Don’t miss this fourth item in our list of the signs of manipulation.
5. They blame their own behavior on you
The fifth item in our list of the signs of manipulations is the following: they blame you for what they have said, done, not said or not done. If you reveal this behavior and tell them about it, they are likely to make you look selfish.
Thus, you can’t really prove anything, and it’s your bad memory against their pack of lies. You start questioning yourself and even feel bad about what you said.
Manipulators will never admit their wrongdoing when it puts them in a bad place. Instead, they’re always looking for someone to blame, for example, you.
Manipulators are good at keeping track of everything that has happened, so one day they will blame you if things don’t work out in their life.
They’re willing to help, but it always comes at a price. This is an important fifth item in our list of the signs of manipulation.
They remind you that they once helped you and then use that as a way to manipulate you into feeling like you owe them something.
6. You never know where you can encounter them
This sixth item in our list of the signs of manipulation will help you identfy manipulators. They try to create intimacy by sharing deep and personal information, so they make you think they trust you and make you trust them.
You may initially experience them as very sensitive and a little vulnerable. You don’t want to suspect that they are playing with you.
Because they can mirror your needs and desires perfectly—they can create a persona or mask that you believe is them, but all that is an illusion.
Manipulators will listen to what you have to say to find out your strengths and weaknesses.
While it may feel like a genuine interest and that they are good listeners, remember that there may be a hidden agenda behind their interest.
They won’t hesitate for a second to use all of this against you.
7. They have no desire to have real communication
Try to understand this seventh item in our list of the signs of manipulation to make your life better.
Manipulators don’t really want to communicate. They communicate with you because they just want to improve their self-esteem against you in the background or get something from you or make you do something they want.
Again, when you call on them to behave normally, you will surely get a defensive and angry reaction.
Usually, they don’t care about honest and sincere communication and use passive aggressive methods instead.
They try to intimidate you with aggressive language, subtle threats or outright anger, especially when they see that you are uncomfortable with confrontation.
If you try to be open and honest about feeling hurt, you’ll only be told that you’re too sensitive, insecure or that you’re overreacting.
They may pretend to be nice and all, and while they may not hurt you right away, they will find subtle ways to do so later.
8. Most Important key! They are afraid of vulnerability
This is the most important key in our list of the signs of manipulation. Knowing this, you will be able to counterattack any manipulator and change the game rules.
Manipulators rarely express their needs, desires or true feelings. They seek out vulnerabilities in others to take advantage of them for their own benefit.
They have no place in their soul for love, empathy, guilt, remorse or conscience. For them, life is just a game of gaining power and control and getting what they want.
They see vulnerability as a weakness, and being invulnerable is a great way to hide who they really are.
So, if you don’t meet their so-called standards and they look at you with contempt, it’s easy for them to get carried away.
Being a person who is being manipulated is very bad for our psyche and our self-esteem. Therefore, pay special attention to such signs, and try to avoid people who demonstrate the signs of manipulation. Let them know that you understand what they want to achieve, and that you should not be manipulated by them. Eventually, the manipulator will get off your back. Because they will realize that you will no longer be such an easy prey.