Recognize a Manipulator

via Be Aware of These 8 Signs Of A Manipulator.

This image is for illustrative purposes only. The pictured individuals have no actual connection to the article contents. 

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BY KRIS LEE

While we all are manipulative to some degree, manipulators engage in set behaviors on a regular basis. Manipulators use deceptive and underhanded tactics by exploiting another person for power, control, and privileges at the other person’s expense. They 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 love.

When someone is clearly wronging or hurting you and you are the one feeling bad and apologizing for their wrong doings, you are being manipulated. Manipulative behaviors are learned, most often in childhood. Thus, unfortunately it’s something that can’t be quickly unlearned. So, watch out for some common signs to spot them and once you do, pull them out of your life immediately. They are toxic weeds in your life.

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1. They are experts in playing mind games.

Some manipulators are highly skilled and their tactics are so subtle that it can control you for a long time before you finally figure out what’s happening. Skilled manipulators have a way of twisting a previous conversation or replaying it to suit their needs. They will do something to hurt you and when you express how you feel about it, they’ll turn the situation around, make you feel guilty and end up justifying their actions.

Does your partner say or do things that make you feel like you must be crazy and then tell you you’re making something out of nothing?  Obviously your partner twists the truth or leaves out certain information to make you doubt your own perception and sanity.

ManipulateBullshit

2. They have their best interests in mind, not yours.

They twist your thoughts and actions bit by bit until you look to them for guidance on everything. They mold you into someone who serves their own purposes. Sadly, you trust them more than you trust yourself. Their motives are almost always self-serving, and they have little interests in how you feel or how their behaviors impact you and your life.

They consistently point out your shortcomings, then show you that with their help, you can do better and become better. In that way they convince you that they have your best interests in mind, but the truth is they don’t.

3. They are emotional bullies and control freaks.

Manipulators need to be in control, and the desire for control often masks underlying feelings of their own insecurity. They need to feel superior and powerful. They have a deep narcissistic desire to shift the focus somehow to themselves and seek you out to validate them.

Virtuous EvilManipulators claim that they know how the world should be, how you should act and of course by their rules. They are virtuous and righteous. They are saints in their own minds, so you’d better agree. They know what’s best for you. Just ask them and they will give you advice and will make your life miserable if you don’t do what they say or utterly worship them. Besides, they are great debaters, so you never win.

4. They are irresponsible and inconsistent.

Manipulators have difficulty accepting responsibility for their behavior and it is always about what everyone else had done to them. If you call them on their behaviors, they’ll find a way to turn it around to make you feel bad or guilty. Manipulators may say yes to a request or make a small commitment to you, and then when the time comes to follow through, they conveniently forget what they said or deny the fact that they even promised.

Salem-Witch-Hunt---Blame-is-the-name-of-the-game

5. They blame you for their behaviors.

They blame you for what they’ve said, done, not said or not done. If you point out how they just turned the tables, they’ll most likely make you look selfish and pitiful. Thus, you can’t really prove anything so it’s your bad memory against their lying words. You begin to question yourself and even feel bad that you challenged them. Manipulators will never admit their wrong-doings when it puts them at a disadvantage. Instead, they’re always on the lookout for someone to blame, and here, alas, it’s you.

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Manipulators are good at keeping score so that one day they will blame you if things don’t work for them. They are willing to help but it always comes at a price. They remind you of that one time they helped you out and use it as a way to manipulate you into feeling like you owe them something.

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6. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

They attempt to establish intimacy by sharing their deep personal information that they make you believe they trust you and in turn, you trust them. You may initially perceive them as very sensitive, emotionally open and a bit vulnerable. You won’t suspect at all that you are being played. Since they are able to mirror your needs and desires perfectly, they are able to create the persona or mask of who you think they are, but it’s all an illusion.

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Manipulators want to listen to what you have to say in order to find out your strengths and weaknesses. Although it may feel like genuine interest and that they are good listeners, keep in mind that there may be a hidden agenda behind all this interest. They won’t hesitate to use all of these against you with an arsenal of effective manipulation tactics.

7. They have no desire in having authentic real communication.

Once again when you call them out on their behavior, more than likely, you’ll get a defensive and angry reaction rather than being direct and forthright communication. They usually sidestep honest communication and use passive aggressive methods instead. They try to intimidate you with aggressive language, subtle threats or outright anger, especially when they see you are uncomfortable with confrontation.

SincerityIf you try to have an open and honest conversation about moments when you feel hurt or invalidated, you will be shut down with allegations that you are being too sensitive, insecure, or over-reacting. They may pretend to be sweet and open-minded to your face, and while they might not hurt you directly, they will find subtle ways of undermining or belittling you.

8. They are afraid of vulnerability.

Manipulators seldom express their needs, desires, or true feelings. They seek out the vulnerabilities in others in order to take advantage of them for their own benefits and deflect their true motives. They have no ability to love, empathy, guilt, remorse, or conscience. To them, life is merely a game of taking power and control and getting what they want. They see vulnerability as a weakness and staying invulnerable is a great way to hide who they really are. So, if you don’t live up to their so-called standards and they are filled with contempt for you, it’s so easy for them to simply get up and move on.

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Why Would Anyone Want to Control You?

ManipulationThe sociopath uses a number of tools to manipulate.

By Sarah Newman, MA

The need to control others may not make a lot of sense to you. If you’re a live-and-let-live person, you’d never want to control someone else. Even if you’re a perfectionist, you stay on your own case all day, not necessarily someone else’s.

But controllers are out there. They want to micromanage what you say, how you act, even what you think quietly in your own mind. It could be your boss, your spouse, or even your parent. You can’t be yourself around them. They insist on being your top priority and want undue influence over your life. They might push your buttons to get an emotional reaction out of you because they want to exploit it as weakness. They have no respect for you or your boundaries.

There are plenty of theories why someone would want to control you. One is that people who can’t control themselves turn to controlling others. This happens on an emotional level. A person full of insecurities has to exact a positive sense of self from other people because their self esteem is too low to do it for themselves.

Maybe people control because they are afraid of being abandoned. They don’t feel secure in their relationships and are often testing to see if they’re about to be betrayed. The paradox is that their behavior creates exactly what they fear the most… Continue reading: 

Why Anyone Would Want to Control You | World of Psychology.

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Published on PsychCentral.com.

Sarah Rae Newman is an Associate Editor at Psych Central and a science blogger. The author of several books, she received her MA in psychology from the New School for Social Research and an MFA in writing from CCNY.

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See also:


Never Underestimate the Power of Manipulation

joyce_mitchell

“I don’t understand why she would give it all up for a piece of sh*t killer. He must have played some serious mind games on her.”

~ A relative of Joyce Mitchell


From psychopathsandlove.com:

When this story was unfolding in the news, I thought it would turn into a Major Teaching Moment about psychopaths and their powerful manipulative skills…

Continue reading: Manipulation: How Far Can It Go?


Manipulation—Read All About It!

Manipulation is a way to covertly influence someone with indirect, deceptive, or abusive tactics. Manipulation may seem benign or even friendly or flattering, as if the person has your highest concern in mind, but in reality it’s to achieve an ulterior motive.

Favorite weapons of manipulators are: guilt, complaining, comparing, lying, denying (including excuses and rationalizations), feigning ignorance, or innocence (the “Who me?” defense), blame, bribery, undermining, mind games, assumptions, “foot-in-the-door,” reversals, emotional blackmail, evasiveness, forgetting, fake concern, sympathy, apologies, flattery, and gifts and favors.

Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT
How to Spot Manipulation, whatiscodependency.com


Manipulation

eBook (PDF) 287 pages
Price: $3.89
Unlike people who are trying to influence others, manipulators work with unfair means to get what they want. They do not respect the personal rights of their victims. They work with hidden agendas and deliberately use dishonest tricks like faulty reasoning, coercion, blackmail, and lying as they attempt to assert control. Manipulation is about suiting the manipulator’s advantage or purpose only, often at the expense of others. 

It’s often difficult to recognize manipulation. After all, would we allow ourselves to be manipulated if we are aware that it is happening? This book explains the tricks manipulators use and teaches you how to best defend and protect yourself.

Manipulation: Handbook of Social and Psychological Manipulation
By Dean Amory
Available in PDF Format


People who suffer from low self-esteem are at risk of getting stuck in relationships where they’re being controlled; becoming the unwitting targets of individuals with personality disorders that propel them to behave in a manipulative way.

Manipulation: How to Recognize and Outwit Emotional Manipulation and Mind Control in Your Relationships
By Sarah Nielsen


Being manipulated is a highly stressful experience. It is unpleasant, demeaning, and disturbing.

Every time you comply, capitulate, cave in, or otherwise satisfy your manipulator’s wishes and purposes, you reinforce the toxic cycle that is compromising your self-esteem, co-opting your values, and corroding your emotional wiring.

This book was written for people who are targeted, exploited, and controlled by manipulators.

Who’s Pulling Your Strings? How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life
by Harriet BraikerScreenshot 2015-06-14 16.38.56115 customer reviews
See also the author’s website: DiseaseToPlease.com


See also: Manipulation Tactics


We are not all the same.

According to Bullock, Hitler was an opportunis...

Psychopath?

All too easily, we assume that everyone else is honest, intelligent, and trying to do the right thing, just like us. Similarly, a psychopath thinks that everyone else is evil like himself. When a psychopath sees an honest and intelligent person asking questions or giving reasonable explanations, he believes it is an evil manipulation trick.

The Age of the Psychopath
(secondarywounding.wordpress.com)


The Mask of Sanity

sociopathicstyle.com

From an article on The Sociopathic Style™:

A sociopathic person is walled off from their inner core. How they present themselves to the world is a facade. Their operational system is power. To relate to them by playing the power game is a losing proposition because they are masters of the game and they will win at all cost.

Deceptive Mask

maskofsanityThe Mask of Sanity: An Attempt
to Clarify Some Issues About the
So-Called Psychopathic Personality

is a book by American 
psychiatrist Hervey M. Cleckley, first published in 1941. It is considered a seminal work and the most influential clinical description of psychopathy in the twentieth century. 

Cleckley, a pioneer in psychopathy research, coined the phrase mask of sanity to describe the psychopath’s ability to perfectly mimic a normally functioning person and to mask or disguise the disorder; a fundamental lack of moral conscience and internal personality structure. Despite the seemingly sincere, intelligent, even charming external presentation, internally the psychopathic person does not have the ability to experience genuine emotions.


Dealing with Manipulative People

Dr. George Simon, author of In Sheep’s Clothing—Understanding and Dealing with Manipulative People (See book cover in the sidebar!)

“A manipulative person … is a covertly aggressive personality.”
“You ask a manipulator a direct question, you rarely get a direct answer.”