Friday, March 27, 2009

Dealing With Manipulative People

If you think you may be dealing with a manipulative person, ask yourself these questions....

*Have your friends or family members remarked on how you don't seem like yourself since you entered this relationship? Are they looking at you sideways?

*Have your family relationships become filled with tension at the mention of the manipulator's name?

*Are the people who care about you the most getting worried about you?

*Have you severed ties to the familiar stability of the world you have known and placed the manipulator at the center of your universe?

*Are you losing your individuality and strength?

*Do you find yourself doing things you wouldn't ordinarily do?

*Have the goals and dreams that previously defined you all of a sudden been pushed to the back burner?

*Does the manipulator try to isolate you from your friends and family members?

*Are your attitudes changing to more closely mirror the manipulator's rather than who you really are?

*Do you willfully close your eyes to behavior that you know is wrong?

*Do you excuse the manipulator's behavior? Are you constantly defending him/her?

*Does it seem that it's always "all about him/her?"

*Does the manipulator know how to pull your strings? Do you find yourself doing things you really wish you hadn't?

*Does the manipulator try to take over your financial decisions?

*Do you find that you are being controlled or manipulated through half-truths or omissions? Are you slowly finding out that you have been lied to repeatedly?

*Does the manipulator in your life play the victim and blame others for his/her problems?

*Is there just enough weirdness to make you stop and think, but not quite enough to get you to re-evaluate the entire relationship?

*Are the manipulator's apologies shallow?

Here is some information that you should know if you are dealing with a manipulative person....

*Being in a relationship with a manipulative person is a destructive cycle.

*People in healthy relationships have nothing to hide or defend.

*Don't blow off the opinions of your friends and family. They have your best interests in mind. When you cut off your support system, it only helps the manipulator gain dominance over you.

*Compassion is not easily understood or accepted by manipulators. It will only hurt you more in the end.

*Manipulative people are often very insecure. The root of their selfish control is their own damaged self esteem.

*Don't try to point out the above warning signs to the manipulator. This type of person won't recognize it and you will only be wasting your time.

*This control doesn't happen overnight, but it happens subtly over a period of time. Manipulators will invest months or even years in "training" you to accept and carry out their will.

*Severely controlling and manipulative people often have clinical mental disorders. You cannot hope to change or rescue such a person. As much as you may care for them, the best help you can give them is to refuse to be their victim and direct them to professional help - although most of the time they won't admit they need help.

*Manipulators are legends in their own mind, but the truth eventually comes to light.

(If you found this post helpful, you may also want to read The Manipulators Behavior Defined and Are You Dealing With A Manipulator?)


Anonymous said...

This really helped me to see some things about a relationship I am dealing with. Thanks!

The Cult Next Door said...

"*Manipulators are legends in their own mind, but the truth eventually comes to light. "

I so hope this is true.

beth said...

wow! describes to a "t" a past relationship i was in!

Anonymous said...

I would like to comment about where it says that manipulators do not understand compassion. Some manipulators understand how to abuse compassion, or how to feign the appearance of compassion, but they do not actually feel it themselves.
They will pick truly compassionate people as their victims, and prey exactly upon that - if you do not do exactly what they want, you are not compassionate enough, you obviously do not care about them and/or their interests or causes, and you are selfish if you just want your own needs met and want them to give back, too.
This person will go to great lengths to appear compassionate to others, but it is only an illusion; deep down, they are toxic and extremely self-centered.
Having worked in several non-profits, I think this niche of manipulators is common there - it makes them appear compassionate, it gives them a goldmine of potential victims, and they get to be self-righteous and manipulative and cruel in the name of a good cause, thereby often getting away with it.
These people usually ruin good causes, too, by alienating good people and they usually do lousy work anyway, while taking credit for others' good work. If they do not get their way with you, or you disagree with their opinions about anything, then * obviously * you are on the side of "the man", the rich, etc. Anyone who has done non-profit work or similar kinds will know exactly what I mean. These types are extremely destructive.

Set Free said...

I do understand exactly what you are saying. This is so true in some church settings. They realize that they have passionate, honest people who want to help and they totally take advantage of them.

The church I was formerly associated with caused many good people to lose faith in church all together. It has been especially hard for those who gave a lot of money and then later realized they had been manipulated into giving and that the money was used for wrong.

Victim is a great word to use. People who are trusting and just want to help get victimized by these so-called "pastors" who are only out to further their own cause and live the high life.

Thanks for the comment!

Anonymous said...

I agree with what anonymous says. I am experiencing this in my workplace. The manipulative person chooses to use compassion as her tool for control over her colleagues. She suffered from cancer 2 years ago and has underlying anxiety and depression. If we do not do as she expects, she will label you as having no compassion, even though everyone has provided support to a fault. We do not know what to do.

Anonymous said...

I'm not ashamed to say I never came across any manipulators before dealing with my brother's wife for 5 years! The lady is a total drama queen and can feign illness and helplessness to get you to do what she wants. To top it up, she even uses subtle sarcasm in her interactions with me and many others I'm sure. I'm a compassionate and loving person by nature who often went out of her way to help this lady only to be verbally and mentally abused later on. But I'm really glad I read this article and have atleast recognised what she's been doing to all of us! Gotta find ways to restrict her now though.

Set Free said...

I can totally relate to you. I have experienced the faked illnesses and helplessness many times so she could get her way. I have also experienced the sublte sarcastic remarks and it's done in a way that others don't pick up on it if they are not aware of who she is. It's subtle, yet so "in your face". I'm sure you know that to be true. I bet your brother doesn't see it for what it is. I too tried to accept her so many times only to be bashed behind my back and made to look like the bad guy in the situation. I always wanted to give the benefit of the doubt, but once I realized what was happening it all became so clear. It will always be a uphill battle when dealing with a manipulator because 9 times out of 10 they will NOT change. Thanks for the comment. I hope things get better for you. I feel your pain.

Anonymous said...

We had a family therapist hired to help our grandson who turned out to be an abusive/manipulative individual. Also a repeated liar, dishonest with health insurance claims and just a con-artist. This person was a legend in their own mind and in my opinion dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, this is so true. Just came through this with a guy I dated for almost a tear! Anyone dealing with this, dont deal any longer, get out get outwhile you can. It lamost always leaves your broken and damaged!

Anonymous said...

I've been dealing with a manipulator who is a family member. It is very hard, but every time I am around her I find myself getting angry just listening to her bull. If I could choose to not be around her I would, but it's harder when it's a famliy member.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Thank you so much. This really helped me. I've been in multiple abusive relationships, first my sister, and now my roommate. I recently stood up and walked away from my roommate, and she used so many of these tactics against me. She said that I never cared, that I was selfish for walking away and not giving her a second chance. She never took into consideration what I needed, and has been quietly abusing me for months. Thank you. The advice here felt so good to read. I really appreciate it, thank you for posting!

Set Free said...

I am so glad this post helped you! Thanks for letting me know!

Anonymous said...

I am in the middle of a breakup and am just beginning to unravel the web of manipulation spun by my former lover. Your post was a Godsend this morning. Thank you.

Set Free said...

I'm so glad this helped you!

Anonymous said...

manipulation has been the power-elite's go-to strategy since day one and pervades human society... no wonder we have such a hard time recognizing manipulative behavior right away.

recovering from being in any destructive relationship, that is what we all need on a mass scale. we need something beyond therapy cuz there ain't enough therapists to help us all recover. we can't just ask god to heal us because it's tempting god when we ask he do for us what we can do for ourselves.

so how do we recover from the damage this manipulation does to us? books? online posting groups that *aren't* sick and manipulative themselves? any thoughts would be very appreciated. :)

Anonymous said...

This article was really helpful. I like the comment "A legend in their own mind but the truth eventually comes to light" It's funny who a manipulative person talks a lot of bull and at first has everyone's attention but when it's empty with no follow-up, everyone quickly loses interests. The manipulator's worst nightmare!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness...This is a great article! Thanks so much! I am currently "friends" with someone who is little-by-little destroying me from the inside out! I didn't even know what to call her but manipulative, and when I read this, it brought up things even I hadn't realized, but that are so true! And especially the anonymous poster who wrote about how the seek out situations in which to display their fake compassion...that is just hitting the nail on the head! She has so many "friends" on Facebook, and she gets on there and brags about every good deed she does and then gets on there and bashes me without naming me. Then she texts me and tries to talk to me as if nothing happened!! She bashes me and then wants me to go on being her friend like always because SHE is over it. She's driving me nuts! And all these 500 people on Facebook only see her on the surface and would take her side because she's such a "great, giving, and kind person". And I'm shy, have a small circle of friends, and I feel very alone and depressed :( Thanks for clarifying some things for me!

Anonymous said...

This helped me greatly-I have known a girl for 13 years and she is the most controlling and manipulative person I have ever been involved with. Thank you so much for helping me wake up and see the light.

Anonymous said...

I live with person described in the article. I ask him repeatedly to leave, and he twists it around to make me appear to be a horrible person, not a friend, abusive, etc. I am at my wits end. I own the home, so I can't leave. Every time I ask him to leave, he tells me to give him his money back. He lived off me for 3 years and hardly paid a dime - he has been working for a total of 2 months now and is finally starting to pull his weight, so of course, now he uses that as a tool. He says I am not stable because I keep telling him to leave, then he pretends I didn't say it and he pretends everything is OK. So to him, that is unstable and wishy-washy. I have never wavered in my desire for him to leave - he just ignores me. He did the same thing to his ex, and he has destroyed her life, yet he blames everything on her. HOW do I get it through this guys head that he is no longer welcome (short of calling the sheriff to have him removed?) He has told me repeatedly that if he can't have me, his life is over. I don't buy it for a second, but he threatens me with money, reputation, etc.

Anonymous said...

In addition to my comment above, the guy uses the bible to try to control me. I love the Lord, and I don't like bible verses being tossed at me as a means of control.

Set Free said...

In my research I've learned that these type of people rarely ever change, so my best advice is to do whatever it takes to get away from him. If it's your home and he won't leave...calling the sheriff may be your only option. I don't think you will ever have a healthy relationship with him, so I would quit waisting time on him and move forward. There is someone out there who will love you and treat you the way you deserve to be treated. I'm so sorry you are dealing with this. I know it's got to be difficult.

Sheila said...

Wow-- Thanks Everyone! Good to know I am not alone. I dated a narcissistic Manipulator for a little over a year. (Duh me). They are also womanizers btw. I worked for him at a non-profit as well and has all the traits one poster talked about.

It took me 4 months to get him out of my life. He always came back, no matter what. Ignoring didn't help, but finally turning on him, telling him exactly who he is and what he does has kept him away.

I think outing him has left him with nothing. No reason to try to contact me again.

I feel so stress free without him in my life and now that I know the signs, this will never happen to me again.

Anonymous said...

My 'manipulator' is my Husband - he uses the silent treatment, walking away when I try to have him validate my feelings of neglect and indifference toward me...he ignores me for hours and when I leave and start to clear my head perhaps even find some small shred of dignity to be able to get on with my life, he starts with emails 'diagnosing' my psychotic behaviors or making veiled threats that only I would perceive. He phones and hangs up on me, or phones and leaves vulgar messages. It's like he has a sixth sense of when I've had enough and then pours on the charm....apologizing, seemingly offering insight into his abusive behavior and convincing me (I take the blame for allowing that) to come back and that it will all be rosy forever....'forever' lasts roughly 3-7 days. He is an alcoholic and has problems with depression and anxiety too. So, the 'underlying' mental health condition makes sense in some of the articles I've read. I have always had my friends and family tell me I'm strong and resilient, intelligent and very giving of myself....I've become insecure, angry, depressed, and filled with anxiety because somehow, I feel as though I've let HIM down. :(

Anonymous said...

I want to say that I am living with a guy and he bring up excuses when it is time to buy the bills that he have to do this and that. So I told him to go live with someone other than me, since he said that he can live anywhere. He lives with me and I have to pay the bills and we have two kids. He don't do anything until I say something about it. He goes in the other room to talk to his friends and family and say that I do this and that. And the next thing I know they are showing up giving him money, a ride to work, or his friend coming to pick him up to go out. So I finally told him to go stay with your mother. He didn't call me until 2-3 hours later than he called me the next morning after he said that he sleep in the car. Unexpectly I get calls private, I answered and they never said anything. So this helped me to open my eyes to what he is doing and almost 90% of the things he have already did. And I was nieve about this open relationship. This person is my husband, and.I don't want to be separated but he is leaving me no choice. I just needed some guts and more info. Thanks for the enlighment!

Anonymous said...

Follow these 3 rules at dealing with a manipulative person:

The 3 Ds:

1. Do not dispute - don't argue with them, just verbally agree with everything they said. However, this does not mean you comply.
2. Do not discuss - don't waste time discuss anything with them.
3. Do not disclose - don't provide them any information about yourself. It would only be used against your own interest. Lied if you have to and don't feel guilty. Manipulative people thrive at making you feel guilty.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is good news. My ex-partner has a very innocent look about her and plays loving, caring, helpless and the victim. If she does not get her way. she does things to make me react then says I'm a blamer or jealous. She uses the "I am always there for, I'll do any and everything for you" game. When nothing goes her way, its a crying game or she feels alone, hurt or ill. And the lies! I was so confused when she did or said something which was obvious and then lied about it making it look like I was makings things up. When I met her I noticed something was not right but just couldn't figure her out. Because of her playing so loving and innocent and at the same time doing things just to push my buttons, she made me believe that I was a blamer. Funny thing is, I was the "you never show me love, attention and care and treat me so bad" but if I tried to leave her she begged me to stay and gives me the "I can't live without you" and "You are the best thing that ever happened to me" game. Oh well, I'm laughing know.

Anonymous said...

I lived with a mtherinlaw for 10 years, the greatest champion of all the manipulators. For 10 years she was able to play the victim, wth me and got all her family isolate me including my husband. I became so out of it that it was my husbands brother that told me I had no choice but to flee with my children, otherwise they will completely distroy me. I did, and she only allowed my husband to come and live wth us 7months after we left. She not allowed it as she was struggling to feed him! My husbands stupid enough to be so loyal to her, and still allows her to force her games on me. A lot of family members have nothing to do wth her. It was a shame though because everyone due to their own selfish reasons refused to speak up for me. But the good thing is I have nothing to do with them now because the whole family collectively joined in wth my mtherinlaw. I feel so weak without my husband even though he has never spoke up for me, that's the only reason im still in this marriage. My children need him,I can't look after them without his support.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to recover money from a manipulator? He has quite possibly lied about the reason for the loan (to get an apartment)and everytime he gets paid has an excuse for not paying back. Claims to be my friend but says hurtful things to others about me. Denies this to the end of course and keeps claiming to love me and wants us to be in a relationship. When I tried to get stern about the money, he called me heartless and used a veiled threat. Do not want to go more into details.