By Steven Aitchison
Definition of manipulation: the social influence from one person over another, or a group, in order for them to agree or adopt their beliefs or philosophy.
In plain English, manipulation is someone who deceptively tries to (and successfully) gets you to see things their way, whether good or bad. They can do it several ways and unfortunately some of us don’t realize we are being manipulated because they are just that good at it. By the time the manipulator is done with you, you won’t understand why you never saw their point of view in the first place. That’s a professional manipulator!
Often, you discover manipulation in your relationships including in your marriage, your partner, your boss, your co-worker, a family member and ...even your neighbor. Some of us have experienced manipulation in the workplace which makes it extremely difficult to do anything about it as sometimes this person is your boss, and you need your job. Being manipulated is a tough position to be in, depending on who the manipulator is.
Some of us don’t even realize we're being manipulated. Here are a few signs that you are. If you recognize any of these signs in your relationships you should try to address them immediately.
1. Your emotions get played.
Manipulators play on your emotions very hard...to the point where you either break down, cry, get mad, or slip into helplessness. They know the way to get you to agree with them is to feed on your emotions. If they know you're weak or vulnerable they'll prey on that emotion. If you're angry, they’ll attack that one. Keep your emotions in check. Feel them and own them and know they are your emotions to control and not to be controlled by someone else.
2. Manipulators are smooth talkers.
Manipulators want you to hurry up and side with them. They'll tell you whatever you need to hear and they’ll say it fast and smooth. They know they have to act fast to get you on their side and they have to be convincingly smooth. They know how to do both very well. Be careful when you feel like this is happening. Don’t fall for smooth talk. Always listen to your gut. It will never steer you wrong.
3. It’s all your fault.
Manipulators will use every trick in the book to make sure you see that whatever happened is totally your fault and they’re so good at their tricks, you’ll believe them in no time. They'll never take responsibility for any wrong doing. If something went wrong, it was either your fault or because of you, they did it. Either way, you’re doomed. It'll eventually get to a point that you just automatically start apologizing for things you didn’t even do. Do not apologize for something you didn’t do. Let it go. It’s just a power trip. Let manipulators trip by themselves.
4. YOU'll get a Cold shoulder.
Manipulators will ignore you or just give you the cold shoulder. Totally brush you off until you feel so guilty that you end up going to their side and try to make it up to them. You didn’t do anything wrong in the first place, but it’ s just the game they play and remember, they play it well. If manipulators give you the cold shoulder, ignore them. They’ll get over it eventually. Start standing your ground.
5. Emotional outbursts.
Manipulators are good at outbursts. It’s their turn to flip things so that you’re the bad guy and you broke their heart or whatever the case. Their outbursts will consist of crying, fits of frustration or any other crazy emotion that will eventually tug at your heart and you will, once again, end up saying sorry and desperately try to make things better because, really, it is all your fault right? Try to be sensitive to their outbursts but let them know that it’s unnecessary and you won’t be swayed by tears of manipulation. In other words, tell them they need to chill out.
Being with a manipulative person is very damaging to your self-worth so pay attention to the signs and take a stand. Let them know you aren’t playing their games. They'll eventually stop trying to manipulate as they know you won’t be such an easy target anymore.
Steven Aitchison is a personal development writer and creator of personal development products like Positive Life Affirmations He is also a Facebook Engagement expert and teaches others how to grow their Facebook pages, which he has done from 35,000 likes to nearly 2 million likes. Check out his program here.