Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Manipulator's Behavior Defined

Manipulators are very good at controlling others. Their behaviors consist of flattering, threatening, making you feel guilty, and demeaning you. You may get confused over a period of time because they use different tactics to best fit what they want at the time. If you often feel stressed and resentful after spending time with this person, you are most likely dealing with a manipulator.

The manipulator's behavior defined:

Flattery. Manipulators will pour on the flattery when they think it will help them work their way into a person's life. Manipulators use flattery to pull in unsuspecting prospects. Every time you turn around they pour on the compliments, sometimes to the point of being ridiculous.

Threats. Threats can be subtle or they can be severe. Some threats may include refusing to allow family members to see the children, divorce, and even suicide. In many cases these are just empty threats because manipulators are bullies on the outside, but cowards on the inside. However, never take a threat lightly and always take the proper precautions to protect yourself.
Guilt. Manipulators will make you feel guilty if you try to call them on the carpet. They are never wrong in their eyes and in most situations you cannot win against a manipulator. They play the victim and place the blame on everyone but themselves. You will find yourself constantly apologizing when you haven't done anything wrong. The best thing you can do is not deal with a manipulator at all.

Demeaning. When things don't go their way they will try to tear you down. They will call you names, talk bad about you to others, and sometimes even physical abuse is involved. The manipulator will try to wear down your self esteem so that you will become dependent on him/her. Most manipulators have terrible self-esteem issues.

Tips on dealing with a controller or manipulator.....

*When you recognize that you have been controlled or manipulated, distance yourself from the manipulator and his/her agenda.

*You should know that you cannot change them. You can only change your reaction to their bizarre behavior. (Many times you don't even realize how bizarre their behavior really was until you are away from it for a while.)

*Have the self-respect to stand up for yourself and do not let the controller take away your independence any longer. Life was meant to be enjoyed with a person who respects you and allows you to be yourself.

*Don't blow off the opinions of your friends and family. They have your best interest in mind. If everyone who cares about you is concerned about your relationship, trust them. You may be under such control that you just can't see it for what it is. Once you get away from the manipulator you will begin to see it for what it truly is.

*Know that people like this rarely change and probably the best thing for you to do is remove yourself from this type of relationship and not look back.

(If you found this post helpful, you may want to read Dealing With Manipulative People and Are You Dealing With A Manipulator?)


JunkerJorge said...

I used all of these methods because of my learned behavior while hanging around fellow wof pastors and listening to their Cds

Aida said...

This brought back some memories. When I was in the abusive church I had emailed the pastor concerned about what had been said from the pulpit by a close friend of his. Well, I got a phone call a few days later and his tone reminded me of a snake hissing.

I was already almost out by that time and that phone call only helped to make me know that he wasn't willing to listen to any genuine concerns so it was time for me to exit.

Chandra said...

Very good points! It was encouraging to find another like-minded person who feels much the same way I do! I love all of the resources you have on your blog, its a great source!

Anonymous said...

You describe the behaviour well- but you do not give any advice to the person who is dealing with manipulation from family members?

How does one 'have nothing to do with them' in this situation?

Set Free said...

I have been around two master manipulator's in my lifetime and one of them was a family member. It's very hard and I can relate to what you are asking. I think the main thing to remember is to stay on guard when you know you will be around this person. Manipulators rarely ever change and it will be a challenging situation every time you are around them. Don't give in to their tactics and stand your ground. In my situation I continued to give the benefit of the doubt to this person, but every time I got burned. I finally realized that you can't trust these type people with any amount of your heart. You have to keep it very surface and when it gets too stressful you just have to remove yourself from the situation. I hope that helps and I'm adding a link to some helpful articles on dealing with manipulators.

Anonymous said...

I gave this person chance after chance. After a few years I finally realized she wasn't going to change. I had to get out. Once I did I saw things so clear. A manipulator will drain the life out of you.

Truth & Justice said...

She was my colleague when I was working in a christian organization serving the persecuted church. Ironically, I was persecuted by her. Trying to keep the peace and keeping quiet did not do much good for me because she still accuse me of not talking to her. Things are never peaceful around a manipulator as she is never satisfied and she will always portray herself as a poor innocent victim. Realising the unhealty situation, I removed myself from it by God's grace. Thank God!

Anonymous said...

Set free: Thank you for all your posts. The master manipulator in my life was my older sister. I stayed under her thumb decades, always hurting, always confused, until I had virtually no self-esteem left. I trusted and loved her, because I thought she loved me. It took a long time for my eyes to be opened to the fact that she didn't care about me one bit. She only cared about getting whatever she wanted. Period.
I'm about 5 years out from breaking off contact with her - I had been the one to always call and it took her 3 years before she contacted me and it seemed to me that she had only just realized that she hadn't spoken to me "in a while."
Still healing, hope someday to not be dealing with all this.
My sister is not a pastor, but it's interesting to note that her manipulation of me really started when I became a Christian. She professed to be a Christian for about 10 -15 years before I did. As I learned more and more about Christ and was in those early fired up stages, she used this to manipulate me. The edicts on "serving" and "self-sacrifice" were used to guilt and manipulate me to do everything she wanted. To the point of my own physical exhaustion and unsafety,even. When I pointed this out to her, it just didn't matter. As a new Christian, I took her "advise" to heart, and it didn't matter if it was unsafe for me or I was beyond physical exhaustion - I worked nights and her "requests" almost always entailed me missing sleep for days on end and/or driving without sleep for days in order to do my job and do what she wanted - I did everything she wanted for years.
Now, I am trying to rid myself of my anger and resentment toward her.
Your blog is so important.
It's important for people to know that manipulators can be not only pastors or leaders, but your own family members, as well.
Anyone who manipulates you does not deserve to be in your life. And, when you block them from your life, you are not being selfish, you are not harming them, you are not acting against Christian principles.

Anonymous said...

Good advice. Unfortunately the master manipulators are my sister and my mother and I am the scapegoat. My precious brother died yesterday of cancer. We had a good relationship until my mother began to interject herself into it after we were young adults. She craved my brothers worship her alone. Then my younger sister took over from her and spent the last twenty years disrupting my relationship with my brother and my sisters. It is painful. Master manipulators look like saints to the outside world. But in the family unit they are a nightmare.

Anonymous said...

As I sat here in the quiet thinking about a coworker I really have issues with decided to Google the word manipulators. Wow have I been enlightened. I have been working with her in the medical profession for a year now. and if you're reading this blog I feel emotionally violated by her. I think to myself how in the world did I get here.

Mary Chouinard said...

What a great article, short and concise. Straight forward and to the point . It's so blantent and obvious to me when it's presented to me like this that I have a mother with these characteristics. How sad and how unfair, but I must move forward with my life and leave her in the dust, especially if there is no chance that she will see herself in this light or be willing to look within and change. Like it says, the manipulator doesn't think they are ever wrong. This could not be more true. My older sister, her first born, is written out of my late fathers will and my mother does it speak to her because my younger brother doesn't want her to. They are both master manipulators. I like my father am the peacemaker and the codependent, but now at age 43 I realize this is unhealthy behavior and I'm peacing out. It's hard and sad, but it's harder to stay and take the abuse. Thanks for summing it all up for the readers.

zachariah Mushanyuki said...

I am being accused of being a manipulator,I have been struggling to descover in what way am I violating my partner's happiness,she has defined me as a manipulator but when I check the meaning and behaviour of a manipulator the opposite is true,I'm heartbroken because I'm always the one to make up things after a conflict of despite,I apologize even when I am right thinking one day she will realise but she literally told me that she never wrong people,she is always right and she orally confirms that,she is stiff to say sorry,never make up for anything ,I love her but the only solution she has to our problems is leaving me,she has come to enjoy doing that because she knows I will berg her with my life not to walk out of my life because of the true love I have for her,I feel unappreciated she hardly say thanks for anything,she is rude to me to the extent of making me desperate,she threatens to leave me and accuses me of being manipulative,I believe in dialogue but she declines to speak, whenever she opens her mouth she flatters with words that rise anger,this is the only time she would piple a multitude of hurting and empty phrases on you,she wrestles with her mouth like a fool,she speaks without honor and in a very disrespectful manner, I try hard to stay in the game buy her gifts but that hates me because it's rather expected than appreciated,All the characteristics of a manipulator defines her clear for me but I had never called her that,still believe she will get better,I accommodated and tried to change many things for her but I'm scared I would even change my name,she is good defining terms like cycopath,manipulator,etc.She has pride!she would rather be buried alive than have her pride taken away,can prayer change this,even when things spell out wrong for her ,she can even run through trash pick something up put it there and be right,she is the kind that argues with mathematical formulas,I'm confident that only God is the Answer.

Set Free said...

It sounds to me that she is the manipulator. Sometimes people call others what they are themselves and that seems like what she is doing to you. I don't know if prayer will change her because she has a free will but it never hurts to pray. Maybe you need to ask her if she's willing to have an honest conversation and talk about the things that she's doing that hurt you. If she's not willing to see that then maybe it's time for you to move on. You don't want to lose yourself trying to make someone happy that's never going to appreciate you.

Anonymous said...

Perfectly describes one of my family members. When I finally began to see her for what she was I found it hard to believe . I also felt sorry for my parents who were nice people that had an awful child. Although I feel completely abused and disenfranchised and ruined by her I’m am glad that I am not her. I have to live with the effects of what she did to me but I am relieved in the end not to be anything like her. I am glad that I could believe in God . I can’t imagine how she is going to end up. Frightening to think but thank God for the hope I have even tho my life was almost completely ruined by her. I still don’t see the appetite for being that kind of person except evil gets ahold of them and blinds them. Prayer is the only thing I can do and keep her and those who blindly take her side out of my life.