Ever get the feeling that you are being totally manipulated but you don’t know how or what you can do to stop it? Some people are so good at manipulating that you never even notice it! Here’s 7 ways that people manipulate you and how to spot it.
1. Complimenting You Often
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Of course, you needn’t automatically assume that every time someone pays you a compliment they are trying to manipulate you into something, but someone who pays you a lot of compliments, particularly if they never did much before may be trying to coax you into something. Watch for sugary compliments in regards to your valuable skills, knowledge and experiences.
2. Flattering You Publicly
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A manipulator know that if they make themselves seem like your biggest supporter, and number one fan, you are more likely to feel somewhat indebted to them. Be wary if someone constantly seems to brag on your abilities and accomplishments. You are possibly being manipulated without even realizing it!
3. Sudden Change in Behavior
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If someone who has never before gone out of their way to help or please you, and you are suddenly their newest “buddy” or “pal”, watch out! They must have some sort of ulterior motive behind the seemingly friendly advances. One sure way to tell is watching their eyes when they smile. You can always spot a genuine smile in someone’s eyes!
4. Putting Words into Your Mouth
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Someone with an overbearing personality can use his or her leverage to walk all over you and do it in such a nice way that it’s over before you realize it happened! For example, if the lady in charge of your office party wants you to bring your chocolate truffles, she may say something like “ oh your chocolate truffles are simply so divine, you have to bring them to our party. Tell you what, be ready at 6:00, I’ll pick you up. We are expecting around 50 people so make sure you prepare about 100.” Stand your ground and make sure this doesn’t happen!
5. Expecting Reciprocation
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People who use this technique to manipulate will offer to help you do something, or volunteer to do it for you, then expect you to return the favor. Before you accept any help or assistance on a project from someone you’re not sure is trustworthy, be sure there are no strings attached and that it’s just friendliness if you do not want to have to return the favor someday.
6. Challenging Your Ego
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Has anyone ever said something to you such as “ I thought you said you were brave” or “Oh, you could never afford it anyway”? That’s manipulation at it’s best! Although no one likes to feel less than great, before you jump on it, ask yourself what he or she will get out of it if you do the thing they are challenging you to do. Then ask yourself what YOU will get out of it.
7. Mind Games
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People with power over you in some form or another may use fear to manipulate you. For instance, your boss may threaten to fire you if you don’t put in the extra hours or your boyfriend may say that he will leave you if you don’t spend more time with him. Some people turn it around to their advantage so that it’s guilt instead of fear in your mind. Your boyfriend may say something like “If you loved me you would spend more time with me” and your boss could word it like “You took 5 extra vacation days last month, I really need you to make it up this month.” But if you know that you still have 10 vacation days and if your boyfriend knows good and well you have SAT tests this week, don’t let them manipulate you.
It can sometimes be hard to spot who’s manipulating you and why they do it. No one wants to think that those we love or those we work with might be the cause of our stress! But it’s true and it’s important to make sure you break the cycle once you spot who’s doing it and how they go about it. Did this list give you any pointers?
Top Photo Credit: fotoJENica a/k/a Jenny Romney