Manipulation means to control, change or warp the behaviours or perceptions of others. It involves the use of deception and underhanded methods to be manipulative achieve personal aims. Thus, there is often a negative connotation because it’s considered being exploitative and cunning. Have anyone in mind? Let’s take a step back and go through some signs of a manipulative personality. Here are some signs of how to tell if someone is manipulative:
They take advantage of your kindness
Ever heard of being too kind for your own good? Well, be careful because you are ripe for the picking by manipulators. They’re quick to exploit your kindness to their own advantage. Which is also a form of emotional manipulation.
A kind individual often wants to offer their help to those who need it however manipulative people tend to exploit that because help will be given to them out of goodwill. The one thing to notice is that they rarely return the favour when you need their help.
They spread false information on purpose. How does false information relate to manipulative behaviour you ask? The thing is it can affect an individual’s perception of various matters or about a person. The manipulation begins with a circulation of false information as an attempt to get people to view things in a certain way by doing so the manipulator can gain more control in achieving their desired outcome because they’ve manipulated people into thinking the same way.
They make you doubt yourself
They instil self-doubt in others. Has someone made you second-guess yourself? Often it also counts as manipulative behaviour. This is because doubt affects an individual’s self-confidence, having low levels of self-confidence potentially makes the individual more susceptible to further manipulative tactics.
We could also perceive it as manipulating a person to feel bad about themselves. In return, it makes the manipulator feel good in knowing that they have held power over the individual.
They’re experts at guilt-tripping. If you’ve ever done something because you felt bad about a situation. You can probably understand how guilt can be used to manipulate.
Guilt-tripping is a form of emotional manipulation. Guilt can be a potent factor in getting someone to act in a specific way as well. It manipulates the individual to be in a submissive position as they feel that they have to do as instructed to be free of that guilt. Thus manipulators sometimes use guilt to hold power over their victims.
They never take the blame. We all respect those who take responsibility for their actions, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case with manipulative people. They’ll always try to shift the blame to someone else if possible and sometimes manipulate people into thinking that they’re the victim instead. The common narrative that they follow is that the problem is usually never with them, but always with someone else.
They hide it well
They’re good at hiding their manipulative traits, ever seen a manipulator with a sign and an arrow above their head? They excel in the art of disguise. This makes them even more potent. Manipulators are aware of the consequences of being caught, so they use discretion as a tool to reap the benefits of their manipulative tactics for a longer period.
Through subtle manipulation, they bend situations to their advantage without having to expose their true selves. It often makes their manipulation less noticeable, which helps them maintain their facade.
They try to justify
They make their tactics seem normal. If it’s normal, how can it be wrong? As people tend to accept the norm most of the time, manipulative people will always try to justify their tactics. Making it seem normal helps to justify their actions and mask their true intention. It helps them prove to others that their actions are correct and their behaviour is appropriate. The scary part is that many people end up falling prey as they feel it is right.
This usually ends up as a last resort. When a manipulative person is being confronted depending on how well they act and lie, feigning ignorance might help them get out of a sticky situation. By confusing the other party, they make people question their own judgment. This tactic also allows them to continue their personal plans and exploits.
So how many of these signs have you noticed in people you may have met before? Or perhaps you see yourself having some of these manipulative traits? Although this article explains only some signs, there could be more ways of manipulation out there. It’s always important to be aware in case someone’s trying to manipulate you.