To be surrounded by a supportive and collaborative network of friends and well wishers is always a great thing. Sometimes influences or those who talk back to us can be manipulative and the difference is hard to tell. In friendships, manipulation is very common. Relationships can sour when personal gain takes precedence over relationship goals. An astute manipulator is one that gets his or her motives cleared without much effort at all. They will work around the system and find benefit as usual. The biggest hurdle in a manipulative relationship is that most people don’t know what is happening and then allow it to continue for elongated periods of time.
Here are the sure shot ways to control and disarm a manipulator:
Recognize the issue at hand
If you can recognize the problem that is the source of trouble in the relationship, then you can instrumentally solve it. The first sign of a problem is the fact that you don’t leave an encounter when someone is feeling right and is questioning outcomes. You should be able to address the motives that harbor a request. Manipulators often have their needs take precedence over others and often expect that the person around should be available on a moment’s notice.
Try and question
Part of the entire manipulative relationship is all about meeting the never ending demands put on us. The phrasing is such that one feels privileged when they dole out help. A manipulator thrives on exerting control and the idea is to put back the focus on manipulators and ask questions. When you ask probing questions, you actually shine light on the true nature of the favour. When there is a self awareness, you will see the true nature of the situation and manipulators would change the request and withdraw it altogether.
Always say No and exert firmness
You probably cannot change the ways of a manipulator but you can stop being a victim to their manipulation. This starts when you start saying No to requests. By refusing to get manipulated is the first step towards breaking the cycle of falling victim. Most victims often pull heart strings and it is imperative that you free yourself from their influence.
Make sure you use the time and responses to your advantage
Manipulators are always good at what they do and have all sorts of responses to objections. If they get you on board, they as a matter of fact agree immediately. They do not commit to the request and use the time to their advantage. Serving relationships that are manipulative is not fun and you should buy time to advantage. The idea is to stop falling prey to manipulators. It is fine if you create boundaries and say no for the well being of your mind and body. You are better prepared to help others if you put yourself first and say no when things do not suit your interests. The idea is to honour your needs much before someone who manipulates.
You have control over the choices you make. What you don’t have control over are the choices that manipulators make.Focus on the what, why, when, and how of your own life—and give up trying to manipulate the manipulators. Just let their demands go. Let them focus on fulfilling their own needs while you work on taking care of your wants and needs.
The only way to deal with a manipulator is to change ourselves. We have to be the kind of people who can’t be manipulated.
If you’re feeling manipulated, ask yourself what you need from that person. If you don’t need anything, they can’t manipulate you. The most common manipulation tactics is a sort of unhealthy “exchange.” For example:
Between a parent and a child: “If you obey me, I will love you.”
Between spouses: “If you keep me happy, I will stay with you.”
Between a boss and employee: “If you never upset me, I will keep paying you.”
We can see how manipulation thrives because each person is upholding his or her respective end of this distorted agreement, and how the only way for the manipulated person to come out from under the thumb of the manipulator is for her to realize she doesn’t need the thing that is being leveraged anymore.
So in other words, as a grown child, the love and approval we crave is already inside us. As an employee, we can find another job if the demands become unreasonable. As a spouse, we don’t need our partner’s approval in order to feel good about ourselves.