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12 Ways People Try to Manipulate and Control Situations

12 Ways People Try to Manipulate and Control Situations

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We’ve all encountered one or two master manipulators in our lives. They can twist any circumstance, change the narratives, and influence others for personal gain, so they’re always off the hook, and the situation conveniently leans to their advantage.

Understanding the tactics of a master manipulator can help you prevent falling prey to their sneaky behaviors and tricks.

Here are the most common manipulative techniques people use to trick others into getting exactly what they want.

1. They Guilt Trip You

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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

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If you have ever received the so-called silent treatment, you might know that this manipulation technique can be extremely difficult 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 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

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Some individuals like to portray themselves as sufferers so they can gain the sympathy of others. By playing the victim, the manipulator aims to affect you emotionally and make you act out of pity in their favor.

4. They Don’t Give You the Whole Truth

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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

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Manipulators often try to cut off their targets from their family members, friends, or other important individuals. 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

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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

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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, there is a big plan behind these kind words! 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

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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

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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

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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.

11. They Attack Your Self-Esteem

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Some people know how to make their words cut deep, whether by name-calling or other verbal abuse. This can quickly lower your self-esteem and make it easier for them to get what they want from any situation.

12. Constantly Changing the Rules

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People who are only looking out for themselves will often bend the rules to fit their needs. They’ll be moving the goal post of expectations or simply holding those around them to different standards.

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