The world over, people use power, media, and interpersonal relationships to manipulate others. We encounter true masters of manipulation quite often every day. Manipulation is a form of emotional blackmail.
Manipulators use certain behaviours to influence how other people think, feel and act without them noticing. In effect, the manipulator gets them to do whatever they want. Essentially manipulation works, but it only works if you don’t know how the game is played. The more familiar you are with these tactics, the harder it will be for anyone to use them against you.
Below are a few manipulative tricks so that you can recognise them when they arise.
This is part one of a two-part piece. We shall bring you part two in subsequent days.
- They’re almost always charmers.
manipulators typically start by acting pleasant and wonderful. They’ll flatter you and try to show you that they have good taste. Their conversations are super entertaining, and they’re highly sensitive to your expectations. Once they’ve convinced you of what a great person they are, they start to manipulate you with all their charm. They spin a net of seduction around you, and you’re unable to evaluate it objectively. Even though you occasionally have doubts, they will always find a way to remind you just how great they are.
- They are overly complimentary.
Some people are sweet talkers and will try to influence, persuade and manipulate you by showering you with compliments or praise and an attempt to flatter you and win you over. Everything they say is just like music to your ears. Instead of telling you the truth, they just kiss your ass and tell you what you want to hear. This is a smart tactic because everyone likes to be complimented, approved of, and told nice things. And compliments are one of the quickest ways to build rapport, make new friends, and get someone to lower their defenses. Sweet talkers know that when they make you feel good, you’re more likely to want to repay the favour by doing something nice to make them feel good. And the more you like someone, the easier it is for them to manipulate you.
- They ignore you or play hard to get.
Similar to the silent treatment is when someone makes a conscious effort to ignore you, or plays hard to get. Watch out for anyone who tries any of the following tactics. They acknowledge everyone in the room but make a point of ignoring you.
They act bored, disinterested, and inconvenienced whenever you try to speak to them as if they had more important things to deal with.
They don’t respond to any of your comments, questions, emails, phone calls, or messages. And they’re always unavailable or too busy whenever you need to speak to them.
They leave the room when you enter and purposely avoid eye contact whenever you speak to them. They refuse to acknowledge your existence.
When someone ignores you, ignore them. If they take one step back from you, take 10 steps back from them. If you need to speak to them, call them out on it and ask them what their problem is.
- They use emotions.
Some people are masters at emotional manipulation and won’t hesitate to play with your emotions to get what they want. They’ll tell you they love you, or they’ll tell you they hate you. Or they’ll try to make you angry or sad or jealous. It doesn’t matter. Whatever it takes to get what they want. Whatever it takes to produce the desired result. It’s a slimy trick but it’s effective and it works. Don’t let anyone play with your emotions and manipulate you into doing something you shouldn’t. Your decisions should be based upon a combination of intuition and logic, and not upon the emotional manipulation and trickery of someone else.
- They don’t give you much time to decide.
Unless you’re in the middle of a heist, or other time-sensitive situation, there is usually time to think things through before making a big decision. So be wary of people who pressure you for an answer, especially if money is involved. This is a common sales and negotiation tactic with the manipulator putting pressure on you to decide before you’re ready. By applying tension and control to you, it is hoped that you will crack and give in to their demands.
- They tell jokes at your expense.
Another shitty tactic used by manipulators is making jokes at your expense, especially in front of others. Maybe they tease you online or seek to humiliate you in front of others by making fun of the way you walk, talk, or dress, or even worse of something you can control such as your eyes, nose, ears, face height, or skin colour. To make things worse, if you get angry and ask the manipulator what their problem is, they’ll often try to defend their behaviour by saying they were only joking or having fun. They might even add insult to injury by telling you that you’re being overly emotional or too sensitive.
To be continued….