It’s a challenge to maintain a relationship with a manipulative person. People who manipulate will do almost anything to achieve their personal agenda. Having someone like this in your life can cause damage to your emotional wellbeing, so here are some tips for dealing with a manipulative person.
1. Know Your Basic Human Rights
Every individual has basic human rights. These rights include:
• Being treated with respect
• Expressing your feelings, opinions and desires
• Setting your own priorities
• Saying no without feeling guilty
• Having differing opinions
• Getting what you pay for
• Taking care of yourself to create your own healthy, happy life
If a manipulator’s behavior infringes on these rights, you have the moral authority to set boundaries with this person.
2. Promote Empathy and Understanding
Encourage the manipulator to see things from your perspective. According to research published by the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, even manipulative people have some capacity for empathy. Through rational, calm conversation the manipulator might see things from your perspective.
3. Distance Yourself From Manipulative People
If calm, rational conversation doesn’t work, distance yourself from the manipulator. Detaching yourself from this mentality can help you maintain your own health. Manipulative individuals will use whatever they have against you, including withdrawing affection to make sure you capitulate to their demands. Short circuit this process by creating distance.
4. Know the Typical Behaviors of a Skilled Manipulator
Manipulators will engage in several behaviors in an attempt to control you:
• Buttering you up by bringing you things and being “nice”
• Making you feel guilty
• Bullying you with their words
• Having a selective memory regarding certain circumstances
• Continually repeating themselves like a broken record to get their way
Maintain your boundaries and understand that these behaviors are intended to push their own agenda.
5. Understand That the Manipulative Person Is the Problem, Not You
Manipulative people are skilled in making people feel guilty, so they might attempt to make you feel like there’s something wrong with you. The manipulator’s behavior may seem easier to ignore instead of deal with, but over time this individual can erode your self-esteem. Take ownership if you’ve done something wrong, but remember that a manipulator will try to make you feel like you’re wrong even when you aren’t.
6. Listen to Your Gut
Manipulative behavior can have devastating consequences in the workplace. Because manipulation is often felt, rather than seen, you usually have to listen to your gut when dealing with manipulative people. Remember that they act intentionally, so avoid responding to efforts designed to humiliate you. This is the best way to thwart their manipulation. Confining your interactions to work-related matters is the best course of action when dealing with manipulators.
Interpersonal relationships can be difficult to navigate. Whether you’re at work or not, learning how to deal with manipulative people is a helpful skill. These tips offer some suggestions for identifying manipulators and setting boundaries with these individuals.