How To Put A Manipulator In Their Place
Knowingly or unknowingly we sometimes come across people manipulative behavior. Regardless of who the person is—whether a friend, partner, colleague, boss, or sibling—if they are emotionally and mentally draining, you might be dealing with a manipulator. Sadly, you can’t always avoid them.
However, by following certain tips, you can push them back and defend yourself against manipulator. We had Conversation with Suramya Kaushal, A certified REBT & Solution Based counselling practitioner Regarding Manipulation behavior and How to defend yourself against manipulation.
Scroll down to Know How Do You Recognize a Manipulator? and how to beat a manipulator at their own game.
How to Recognize Manipulative Person
Manipulative individuals generally use their charm to influence and control others to take advantage of them. They are often witty, quick, and intelligent and use emotions like guilt or fear to achieve their goals. These individuals lack empathy, which is why, without remorse, they can deceive or exploit others. Moreover, they are fluid, they can change themselves and their behavior as per the situation and always disregard boundaries set by others.
Manipulators never take responsibility for their actions and resort to gaslighting so that others get confused and think they did something wrong. This is why it is essential to recognize manipulative behavior, as it helps protect oneself from potential harm and deal with such individuals. Here are some prominent signs of manipulation.
1. Frequent Use of Guilt or Shaming:
To get their job done, manipulators often take you on a guilt trip and follow shaming tactics so that you get entangled in your emotions and doubt yourself. They hit when they find you in the most vulnerable state.
2. Playing the Victim:
Often, when you try to question them or ask them why they did a thing that wasn’t right or affected you, manipulators will portray themselves as the victim in situations, making it difficult for you to express your concerns or needs. They always show themselves as weak and vulnerable.
3. Selective Truth-Telling:
Manipulators never share complete information or details about the event with you. They only tell that part of the story where they look like the one at the receiving end who is innocent.
Manipulators often, through their actions and words, make you doubt your perceptions, memory, or sanity. This causes confusion and self-doubt clouding your decision, and making you unable to see what is happening.
5. Constant Criticism:
They always undermine your decisions, abilities, or choices, making you lose confidence. Because of this, you become dependent on them and always seek their confirmation before taking action.
6. Emotional Blackmail:
Manipulators are cunning and know how to use emotions or weaknesses to gain compliance or control. They always talk in a manner where you always have a soft corner for them, and you are willing to help them even if it is against your values. They even use charm or flattery to gain and manipulate your trust.
7. Crosses Boundary:
Despite you maintaining boundaries, manipulators frequently cross boundaries and push you to do uncomfortable things. To make you do things, they use affection, approval, or positive reinforcement as a means of control, giving it only when you comply with their wishes.
Manipulators use silent treatment to draw your attention and make you feel you might lose the person. They intentionally create conflict or drama to divert attention or control a situation, making you feel guilty and anxious.
When you spot any of these signs, try to maintain a distance from this person. However, if you can’t do it or it seems difficult then you can take the help of the following techniques to put them in place.
How do You Put a Manipulator in Their Place?
Dealing with a manipulator is never easy because sometimes they are too close to your heart, or you fear their authority. However, for mental well-being, asserting yourself and setting boundaries is essential. Here are some steps to put a manipulator in their place:
1. Recognize Manipulative Tactics:
To avoid or keep a distance, you must be aware of their tactics, such as guilt-tripping, gaslighting, or emotional blackmail. You need to understand these methods and never fall for them. Always respond to these methods with patience and emotional intelligence.
2. Stay Calm and Composed:
Never lose your calm and composure. Maintaining it is important because the minute you lose your calm, you give the manipulator the control to take advantage. When a manipulator sees you cannot control your emotions or are getting restless, they escalate the situation and take control, making you think they are there to help and you can trust them.
3. Take a step back:
Manipulators never respect boundaries set by you. They always try to get into your space. Therefore, when you find someone trying to get too close to you or patting you, take a step back and rest the conversation. Do not let anyone use physical contact to manipulate you, as when someone gets the leverage to be in physical proximity, they start to take advantage of you.
4. Set Clear Boundaries:
Another way to deal with a manipulator is to let them know their limit. Let them know that the behavior they are trying to follow is unacceptable, and you won’t tolerate it. Be firm in what you say and set strict boundaries, don’t get fooled by their charm. Be specific about what you will and will not tolerate.
5. Call Them Out:
Manipulators are good at using their skill set to get things done. When you notice this, let them know that you know what they are doing. Call them out, speak confidently and assertively, and express your feelings. Avoid being aggressive or confrontational when talking to them as they might take advantage of it.
6. Avoid Reacting Emotionally:
Manipulators try to provoke an emotional response. Therefore, when dealing with them, respond with facts and remain rational. If you find them gaslighting you or getting you involved in a conversation where you might lose, never get into such conversation and don’t get angry. Take a break and a deep breath before responding in such situations.
7. Trust Your Instincts:
If something doesn’t seem right, don’t negate the feeling because the manipulator is saying otherwise. Trust your instincts and do what feels right to you. Stay neutral, don’t let the person know your feelings or perceptions.
8. Limit Interaction:
If possible, minimize contact with the manipulator. This can give you space to regroup and protect yourself. Let them know clearly that you are not always available to them. They can connect with you only during certain hours and if you feel like you no longer want to communicate with them be assertive. Don’t let them use emotional tactics to cloud your judgment.
9. Document Incidents:
Keep a record of manipulative incidents, including dates, times, and details. This will help you revisit them and understand their behavior. Also, you can use it as evidence and can make the manipulator understand you will not ignore them anymore and are ready to take a stand for yourself.
10. Consider Consequences:
Let the manipulator know there will be consequences if their behavior continues. Follow through with those consequences if necessary. If necessary, walk away and distance yourself from them, it is good for your overall well-being.
Prioritize your own mental and emotional health above all else. Never let manipulators distance you from your family and friends. Spend enough time with your family and friends. This will help push the manipulator away from you and you no longer will be dependent on them for emotional support.
How can you Outsmart a Manipulator?
Outsmarting a manipulator requires careful observation, assertiveness, and strategic responses. However, there is nothing that you cannot achieve. By staying vigilant, setting clear boundaries, distancing yourself emotionally from them, asking questions, having clear communication, limiting the sharing of personal information, and trusting your instincts you can easily outsmart a manipulator.
Moreover, you can talk to friends and family in advance, check how you feel when you are around that person, and don’t let them manipulate you emotionally or cloud your judgment by playing the victim and making you believe they need you more than anything in their life.
What are Manipulators Afraid of?
Manipulators often fear losing control and facing consequences for their actions. They also fear being exposed or rejected once their manipulative tactics are recognized.
A Word From Calm Sage
Manipulation is about taking control and making the person do things that benefit the other party. Dealing with such techniques and people can be challenging, but it’s important that you understand tactics to deal with them. This will not only help you be emotionally stable but will also take care of your mental health. So never let anyone break the boundaries you have set.
Be assertive and never get angry or emotional when talking to such people or anyone as you never know when someone might take advantage of it. Trust your instincts, limit interaction, and seek support from trusted individuals. Prioritize your well-being and remember that putting a manipulator in their place is about reclaiming control and safeguarding your mental and emotional health.