Manipulating A Manipulator: 8 Subtle Tricks That Will Give You The Upper Hand

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Manipulating A Manipulator: Subtle Psychological Tactics

Ever found yourself tangled in a web spun by a master manipulator? It’s a frustrating dance where you are treated like a pawn in their toxic mind games, and your are always the one who is one step behind. But what if I told you there’s a way to turn the tables? What if manipulating a manipulator may not be that hard?

Yes, you read it right. This isn’t just about defending yourself and holding onto your sanity; it’s about mastering the art of subtle manipulation.

In this article, we are going to talk about eight remarkably clever and subtle manipulation tactics that will empower you to regain control and outwit even the most cunning of manipulators. So, are you ready?

Related: How To Manipulate A Manipulator: 10 Psychological Tricks

8 Subtle Psychological Tactics That’re Perfect For Manipulating A Manipulator

1. Directly question their motives and intentions.

Manipulators often conceal their true motives because they do not want to take responsibility for what they do or say. One of the best manipulation tactics in such a situation would be to question their motives by asking questions like “what do you mean by that?” or “I am sorry, I didn’t get it”.

Normally, they will take a step back because they wouldn’t like to be the center of attention, especially when the heat is on them. And in case, they keep trying to shift the blame on you, continue asking these direct questions, so that they have nowhere to run.

Manipulating a manipulator

2. Have a firm grip on your emotions.

The more you give into your emotions, the easier it will be for manipulators to control you. They thrive on your emotional reactions to succeed. The more you show emotion, the more aggressive they become. It’s sad but true – that’s just how manipulation works.

By having control over your emotions, you are giving off a clear message that they cannot mess with you and they have no influence on you, hence rendering their tactics ineffective.

Eventually, they’ll see you as a difficult person to manipulate. This is one of the best ways of manipulating a manipulator, and also gain their respect.

3. Show that you are not interested.

Manipulators feel powerful as long as they get attention and interest from you, especially from their targets. It’s like they gain power when you react emotionally, because they realize they have the power to influence you to a great extent.

When you don’t show emotions that easily, especially anger, excitement or pain, they lose their power over you. Manipulating a manipulator requires you to maintain a calm stance, speak in an even tone, and appear disinterested in their tactics.

4. Say “no” with confidence and assertiveness.

The word “No” is simple but impactful. It clearly shows what you want and what you don’t want; this one word gives you the power to resist their demands. Make sure that you are always firm in your decision and don’t let them take you for a ride.

I know that saying “No” might be hard if you tend to empathize deeply with others or often feel compelled to make them happy, however there are many people out there who try to exploit your goodness and compassion.

These people have no regard for your personal feelings or boundaries. When you learn to say ‘no’, you are showing them that you have boundaries and you have not given them the permission to cross those boundaries.

Related: 4 Techniques To Control and Disarm a Manipulator

5. Ignore them.

How do you manipulate a manipulator? Simply ignore them, and see how much that annoys them. Narcissistic manipulators often crave attention and will do almost anything to get noticed, even if it involves causing drama or feigning injury.

However, you can turn the situation to your advantage by simply not giving them the attention they seek. The more you ignore them, the more agitated they will become, and gradually they’ll realize that you won’t be manipulated.

This strategy is know as the Gray Rock strategy, and is really effective when it comes to handling manipulative people. Practice gray rocking by staying unresponsive and appearing disinterested, and before you know it, they’ll lose interest and look for another target.

Manipulating a manipulator

6. Apply the technique of “fogging”.

One of the best and subtle manipulation tactics, fogging involves responding to their manipulation with vague answers, which reduces the chances of a conflict, and at the same time, you also maintain your cool.

Narcissists and other manipulative individuals often provoke arguments, by making false statements, express inappropriate beliefs, and even criticize you directly. They do all this to rile you up and make you lose your cool.

However, fogging can really help in manipulating a manipulator. What you have to do is simply acknowledge what they have to say, and then promptly shift the conversation. You might respond with “You’re right,” followed by an unrelated question or you just ignore them.

This reaction disrupts their strategy because it prevents the defensive response they were hoping for. By agreeing with them briefly and avoiding confrontation, you effectively neutralize their aggressive or conflict laden plans.

7. Stop yourself from apologizing when they guilt-trip you.

How do you manipulate a manipulator? Stop apologizing when you are not wrong. You might notice that a manipulative person often blames you for their mistakes, which makes you feel guilty or ashamed.

However, resist apologizing or sacrificing your dignity over something you didn’t do. When you say sorry for something you are not guilty of, you are giving them to power to treat you any way they want.

Acknowledging our own mistakes instead of blaming others shows maturity. Clearly, you’re dealing with someone who lacks emotional maturity and empathy.

8. Impose strict boundaries.

One of the best ways of manipulating a manipulator is by setting strict boundaries. Manipulative people hate limits and they hate it when you maintain distance from them and take a stand for yourself.

Manipulating a manipulator by setting strong boundaries

So, when you impose boundaries and tell them clearly what is allowed and what is not, it irks them to no end. Clearly tell them how they should behave around you and let them know that you are not going to fall for their games.

Make it clear when they overstep boundaries and explain the potential repercussions. This is like setting rules for what’s acceptable and what’s not. Manipulators often persist, despite warnings.

Related: 9 Signs You’re A Person Who Is Hard To Manipulate

So you see, manipulating a manipulator is not that tricky; these subtle manipulation tactics can really turn the tables. Stand your ground, be confident and keep an eye out for out of the ordinary behavior.

Have you ever had to use such manipulation tactics to deal with a toxic person? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!


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