You’ve certainly encountered one or two master manipulators in your life. These people can twist any circumstances, change the narratives, and influence other individuals for their personal gain. Understanding their tactics can help you prevent falling prey to their sneaky behaviors.
Here are the most common manipulative techniques people use to trick others.
1. They Guilt Trip You
Manipulators often use guilt as a tool to convince other individuals to comply with them.
The guilt-tripping manipulation technique works extremely well because it makes you feel bad for certain actions or decisions of yours. So you’ll feel obliged to make up for past “mistakes” even if they’re at fault.
2. They Give You the Silent Treatment
If you have ever been on the receiving end of the so-called silent treatment, you might know that this manipulation technique can be extremely hard on the target.
When someone – let’s say your partner, friend, or co-worker – refuses to communicate with you despite your best try, it usually means that they want to punish, manipulate, or control you. Although this refusal to communicate might feel like a little sulking, it can also escalate to abusive, controlling behavior.
3. They Play the Victim
Some individuals like to show themselves as the sufferers so they can gain the sympathy of others. By playing the victim, the manipulator’s goal is to affect you emotionally and make you act out of pity in their favor.
4. They Don’t Give You the Whole Truth
Do you know those folks who don’t always tell the entire story?
These sneaky manipulators reveal only fragments of the truth, leaving out many important details that would allow you to see the full picture. Unfortunately, when you see things through a warped lens, your perception of the situation might differ from reality.
5. They Isolate You From Your Loved Ones
Manipulators very often try to cut off their targets from their family members, friends, or other individuals who are important to them. They mainly do this to increase control over them further.
If you don’t want this to happen to you, you can prevent the isolation by maintaining the relationship with your loved ones.
6. They Create Conflicts
Sneaky, manipulative people can sometimes appear as professional troublemakers. To get their way out of any situation, they are capable of causing a huge conflict or misunderstanding between individuals.
If you suspect that someone in your surroundings created a conflict just to escape the situation, open up an honest chat with the persons concerned and try to clear the air.
7. They Manipulate You With Compliments
Being sprinkled with compliments feels amazing. But don’t forget that predators are aware of this as well.
These shifty individuals have a few sweet words and compliments for every occasion, and sometimes, behind these kind words, there is a big plan! After pushing their limits with lies and deceit, it’s like they suddenly flip a switch and drop a compliment at just the right time.
8. They Distort Reality
Manipulators can mess with your head so much that you might even start questioning your own existence in this world. This is because they often distort reality by denying truths, twisting facts, or making up crazy stories.
Protect yourself against their gaslighting with a quick fact check!
9. They Downplay Serious Matters
Sarcasm and humor are frequently used by sneaky people to downplay serious matters. For example, you might be discussing an important issue when, all of a sudden, they make a sarcastic remark or tell a good old joke, making your problem seem like it’s not a big deal at all.
10. They Use Self-Disclosure to Trick You
Revealing information about yourself can help strengthen your relationships and build trust with others. But here is the thing: manipulators use self-disclosure for bad purposes.
Their tactic is simple: they share with you some unrequested or fake personal information, such as their dreams, goals, secrets, thoughts, fears, etc., to make you feel you must do the same and disclose some valuable information. Now they have something to hold over your head and use against you when they want you to comply.
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JayDee Vykoukal is a writer, author, mom, and Doctor of Physical Therapy. She has been writing about everything motherhood and health-related since 2018 when her first daughter was born, and she wanted to stay home. She loves to research new topics and fun facts with her kids to teach them about the world.