Unfortunately, we live in a society where dishonesty, arrogance, and of course, manipulation are the way through success, especially because those of us who choose to be compassionate, just, and honest often end up being silenced, harmed, and neglected by these people.
There are many types of manipulation; it can happen at work, at home, between colleagues, your partner, or your family. It can appear as friendly advice or even a request.
Everyone tries to benefit from the next person, and manipulation is often the key to it.
Is this right? Of course not! That’s why you need to learn how to remove yourself from these toxic environments.
Here’s how you can remove manipulative relationships from your life:
1. Know your rights!
It’s always important to understand your rights as a human being, but when you begin your professional career, you might find yourself dealing with a manipulative boss or bad colleagues who’ll use manipulation to make you feel unimportant and replaceable, which results in a desire stand out more, and how do you do it? By working extra shifts, saying yes to everything, and so on. One of the main things manipulators say within the work industry is that they make their own rules. They use this as a way to appeal to you. After all, a company that works on its terms is a company that works fewer hours, values its worker’s mental health, and so on… When in reality, it means that whatever they say goes. So if they want you to work more hours without receiving any compensation for it, they will. Or if they suddenly decide to stop paying you on time, they will. This is why you should be able to stand up for your rights and realize when they’re being violated. Working for a company that doesn’t respect basic human rights like the right to have vacation days, health support, and so on is a company that’s not worth working for.
2. Keep your distance
Keeping a distance from those who rely on manipulation to get what they want is the best you can do to live a happy life. Whether the manipulative person is close to you or not, it is always important to never trust them with information that they can use against you in the future. Manipulators usually act differently with different people and situations. If you see your boss or a family member acting nice but suddenly being aggressive towards you, then it’s a clear sign they are not to be messed with. Even if you feel the need to help these types of people, there’s nothing you can do. The best option is to get away and for them to find professional help.
3. Don’t blame yourself
One of the most common manipulation signs is that the person who is manipulated ends up feeling guilty. Of course, this is the main objective of the person who’s manipulating you to get you to feel bad about something, even if there’s nothing to feel sorry for. Their goal is to look for your weaknesses and fears, exploiting them. When you find yourself in these situations, take a step back and ask yourself: Is this person making sense? Is this person showing genuine respect for me? Is this conversation making me feel good? If the answer is no to every single reasonable question that crosses your mind, likely, the problem isn’t you. Therefore, there’s nothing to feel bad about.
4. Let them know you have a voice
Don’t back down just because you feel threatened; instead, show them you have a voice. When you feel like someone is trying to force you into doing something or feel a certain type of way, they need a reality check. And how can you provide this for them? Ask them, “Are you asking or telling me?” or “Does this sound fair to you?” “Do I have a say in this?” These questions will make the manipulator realize what he’s implying and how manipulative he’s being. If they don’t realize this, they have no sense of self-awareness, almost like a narcissist. They will insist on what they were saying, which means that they are not the best person for you to socialize with. Nonetheless, never show weakness to a manipulator.
5. Saying no and taking your time
Since manipulator’s objective is to control you, they normally pressure you by giving you a little time to answer their questions or requests. Even though it may be difficult to play hard to get, it’s exactly what you have to do. You can’t show them that they have so much influence on you to make you answer everything right away; instead, show them you can also take control of things and say something like “I’ll think about it” or “Let’s talk later.” Taking your time and expressing it shows strength and assertiveness, something manipulators aren’t used to. Saying no is also a sign of strength; even if you feel pressured into saying yes, please consider your actual feelings, and if in your heart you know the answer is no, don’t be afraid to say it.
6. Let them know what the consequences are
If by any chance, this person is not taking “no” for an answer and keeps playing dirty, the next thing you should do is to make them see what the consequences are. Let them know you can also play the game, and explain what the lack of respect and consideration will lead them to. It’s not a threat; it’s simply letting them know the facts. This will make the manipulative person shift their attitude from aggressive to respectful.
7. Don’t be afraid of confrontation
Manipulation comes hand in hand with bullying, after all, manipulation is intimidation in a certain way, and it’s common for the victim to feel mistreated. You should know about bullies because they only pick on people they find weak or at least weaker than they are. So as long as you keep your head low and behave passively, you’re only allowing them to perceive you as weak. Remember that all bullies are cowards, and as soon as you behave like a powerful person, they’ll immediately back down. Ultimately, there’s no magic way on how to stop being manipulative. Some people are just too deep into the manipulation game to the point of no return, but that’s not a “you problem”; therefore, you shouldn’t even allow them to dictate your life or feelings. Our job is to look out for ourselves in the first place, so start thinking more about how you feel, and stop trying pleasing others. That’s the only way you can have a fulfilled life.