17 Manipulation Techniques to Avoid

Psychological manipulation is described as any activity intended to assist another in achieving their own goals by misleading or otherwise illegal means. It usually includes establishing a power differential within the partnership or interaction, and it’s not unusual.

Manipulation Techniques

Here are 17 Manipulation Techniques to Avoid that you’re being manipulated (and how to stop it) to help you find out whether you’re being manipulated.

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Manipulation Techniques to Avoid

Spatial Power

Manipulators derive power from their surroundings. Consider your bedroom. No one knows your space better than you do; it’s familiar, it’s relaxing, and everything in that room is yours. There are no surprises or threats because the room is exclusively yours. What about the other person’s room? You’re a fish out of water in this foreign environment; your surroundings are unfamiliar and unsettling, which undermines your trust.

That is why manipulators keep on claiming their own area. So if you see each other, you meet at their door, and wherever you go, you take their car. An skilled manipulator has complete control over their world, putting them in a position of influence at all times.

Tactical Withholding

Manipulators cover key information. They pick and choose the right information to sway your opinion, giving them a control on the field. Manipulative individuals will attempt to explain their deceptive acts. They can say that I never said anything false. But it is also a tactic. Withholding details strategically is equivalent to lying through your teeth. So, if you have a dishonest person in your life, pay attention to what they say and don’t say.

Burying of the Mind

Many manipulators are indeed intellectual bullies. In any argument, they use details to their benefit by burying you under mountains of data. This causes confusion and stress, impairing the ability to protect yourself. When anyone wishes to support you, they will make their reasons clear; they will not befuddle you with jargon references and abstract ideas; instead, they will describe themselves plainly and concisely because they want you to understand.

A bully, on the other hand, raises the level of confusion. They use your confusion to further their own agenda.So, if you find yourself in this situation, don’t be afraid to walk away. You can always take a step back, do some analysis, and then form your own opinion.

Aggressive Intimidation 

Fear is a highly effective manipulative technique. When we are scared, we make rash decisions. We lead with our emotions and allow fear to rule us. However, that is precisely what a dishonest person desires. Manipulative people instil fear in others through strong vocal and physical cues. They shout, threaten, and violate your personal space to make you feel threatened. and it is this fear that gives them power and control.

So, if you’re dealing with a dishonest guy, there’s one tactic that almost always works. If someone is taking advantage of you, get some distance and get out of their way. Do not engage in their games, do not listen to their points, and do not feel sorry for them. Manipulative people use a variety of Manipulation Techniques and coerce you. As a result, generate distance and set yourself free.

Disrespecting Resources 

People who are manipulative do not respect your resources. In their eyes, your time and resources are both disposable; they’ll gladly waste your money to get everything they want, just like they’ll sacrifice your day to make their lives a little easier. This technique is common in toxic friendships; maybe your friend still forgets their wallet when you go out to dinner. You somehow end up footing every bill. But here’s the real issue: your friend doesn’t value your money because they don’t value you.

Bargaining With Guilt 

Guilt is used as a bargaining chip by dishonest friends. Let’s say a friend asks you for a favour, but you’re too busy that day, so you decline. A good friend will support your decision because they realise you have a life of your own, but a manipulative friend will not accept no for an answer. 

They expect you to make sacrifices if they need you. As a result, they use their relationship to instil remorse. They might say, “I thought we were friends,” but don’t friends support each other? These kinds of remarks tug at your heartstrings. But you must stand firm; if you make compromises for a manipulative person, they will take advantage of you at any moment.

Emotional Blackmailing 

Manipulative people are uninterested in the secrets you share with them. They see your secrets as weapons to help them further their agenda. When they need anything from you, they’ll keep those secrets over your head, effectively blackmailing you into doing their dirty work. 

This form of deception is easy to spot, but it’s difficult to avoid. It occurs in friendships, relationships, and workplaces, but emotional blackmail only works if you play their game. A manipulative person has no real control over you if you are not afraid of them.

Personality Targeting 

Some people are easily manipulated, while others are not. A skilled manipulator will target people they believe they can influence, people they believe they have a superiority complex over. If you’re prone to toxic manipulators, be cautious about who you trust because your personality style can attract the wrong people.

Coercive Surprises

Have you ever been taken aback by a last-minute change? Manipulative people take advantage of others by changing crucial information at the last minute. Let’s say you’re selling your car and you find a buyer who agrees on a price over the phone. When you arrive, they give you a slightly lower amount, which you are expected to accept. This technique is intended to force your side. The manipulator wants you to make concessions; they want to catch you off balance with last-minute surprises so they can bluff and manipulate you.

Also Read: How To Be Happy – 20 Habits That Will Increase Your Happiness

The Soft Spot 

Manipulative people take advantage of the flaws. If you have a controlling friend or family member, they are likely to be aware of your weak points. They may be aware that you are self-conscious about your appearance, your job, or a personal matter. As a result, if they need anything from you, they exploit your weak points. Consider a situation in which a friend needs assistance with a project.

You don’t have time to assist them, so it’s my way or the highway in their minds. So they strike you where it hurts because they know you’re concerned about your future and say you can’t be that busy because you have the best job in the world. Posts like these are used by manipulative people to get a rise out of you. You can become enraged or insecure, but in any case, the manipulator achieves their goal.

Twisting Your Words 

Assume you are dissatisfied with your manager. You want more responsibilities at work, but your boss keeps ignoring you. You get so angry one day that you vent to one of your coworkers. Your coworker goes straight to your manager the next day, and instead of repeating your remarks, they try to twist them.

Your coworker informs your manager that he believes he can do your job better than you. I realise that’s not what you intended or said, but the damage has already been done. So, be careful what you say to manipulative people because if they see a chance, they will take advantage of it and use your words against you.

Hot And Cold 

They can be your best friend one minute and then be as cold as ice the next. Manipulative people engage in games with their friends and partners because their relationship is dependent on need. They are just interested in you when they require something from you. Keep an eye out for hot and cold activity, as these untrustworthy friends might be taking advantage of you.

Desperate Criticisms 

Do you know someone who continually criticises you? Maybe they make fun of your appearance or threaten your personality. In either case, critics use negativity to manipulate your actions because a critic only has one goal: to undermine your self-esteem. People who are dishonest insult others for a variety of reasons. Some people criticise others in order to feel strong. Others lash out to cover for their own flaws. Whatever the cause, don’t let a dishonest person destroy your self-esteem. The less you believe in yourself, the easier it is to keep you under pressure.

Self Victimizing 

A manipulative individual will sometimes apologise for their behaviour. And when they apologise, they seldom accept liability. Rather, they portray themselves as the victim. They may, for example, blame you for all of their problems. They would argue that if you had really trusted me, I would not have lied. Such backhanded remarks are desperate and defensive. The worst thing you can do is believe their victim storey. A dishonest person takes over as soon as you feel sorry for them.

Moving The Goalposts 

Assume your supervisor assigns you a task over the weekend. You devote countless hours to this project. You’re proud of your job, but when it’s time to deliver it, you find your boss has changed her mind. Now she needs something entirely different, and she’s blaming you for failing to meet her expectations.

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Manipulation Techniques

But how can you play if you don’t understand the rules? This is referred to as shifting the goalposts. It’s a common tactic used by manipulative people in the workplace. They ask for one thing and then change their minds, leaving you hanging.

Confidence In Isolation

People who are manipulative excel in isolation. They throw their weight around because isolation provides them with a false sense of security. There is no one around to call them out on their shady methods, giving them the confidence to wield control over you. Manipulators wait until you’re alone to use their tricks and strategies. So, to stop risky one-on-ones, use the buddy scheme.

Rewriting History 

People who are manipulative can go to any length to save their own skin. Even if it means lying through their teeth, they can distort the reality, change the evidence, and even rewrite history to make themselves look better. This is known as gaslighting, and it is emotionally taxing. 

You begin to doubt your own memory, your judgement, and your ability to trust yourself, which is exactly what a dishonest person desires. They want you to be unsure of yourself because uncertainty gives them power. So, if you suspect anyone of gaslighting, be wary because rewriting history is a massive red flag.

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Have you ever been subjected to any of these manipulation techniques?

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