From time to time each of us uses different types of manipulation in one form or another. For some people these are just isolated cases, for others manipulative behavior represents a style of relationship. Sometimes this action seems to be absolutely harmless, but we never take into account the condition, the state of soul and the mood of the person who is subjected to our influence.
But what would happen if the manipulation is turned against us? A lot of questions arises: "How has it happened?" "Why did I let him \ her do it?", etc. Manipulators cleverly inspire us with a sense of guilt, blackmail, threaten, flatter. We fulfill their wishes or orders even if they contradict our happiness and peace of mind, as if deprived of our own will. Such games often last for years, poisoning our life.
Nobody wants to be in the role of puppet in the hands of the puppeteer. We want to break the strings that make us dance to the tune of the person behind the curtain. But how we can do that?
We need to use the most powerful weapon - the knowledge! We'll give you the armor, sword and shield to fight the puppet masters in the form of an answer to the question: "How can we spot a manipulator and how to fight him (her) off?".
Personal space is our armor
The first thing you should know that each of us has the boundaries of our personal space. We have the right to express our feelings, opinions, and desires; set priorities; say "no" without feeling guilty; get what we pay for; receive respect from others; express our views that can differ from those of other people; protect ourselves from physical, moral and emotional threats. In the end, we have the right to build our lives in accordance with our understanding of happiness.
Of course, manipulators, coarsely violating our borders, do not respect and do not recognize these rights. But only we, and no one else is responsible for our life.
To know the enemy is our shield
If we do not want to be held hostage to another's will, automatically fulfilling any desire of any prudent "puppeteer", it is necessary to move the curtain aside and look at his (her) face. How to identify our puppeteer from a variety of acquaintances? Marina Lebedeva, psychologist, indicates the following classification of manipulators:
• Active manipulator
. This type demonstrates its superiority in the relationship. He is domineering, use his social status (for example, the status of the boss or a parent).
• Passive manipulator
. This type pretends helpless and stupid, forever offended, thus forcing people to feel sorry for him (her) and doing this or that action in his favor.
• Competitive manipulator
. For him (her), the life is a constant competition, the eternal struggle in which he (she) can either win or lose, all the people around them are their potential rivals. This type uses both active and passive methods.
Mystery intention is the main sign of manipulation. A puppeteer acts in such a way as to reliably hide it from us the purpose, for which he actually picks the game. In any case we should not understand that a manipulator wants to use us.
Also, you should be careful with the promises. "Well, you promised! I relied upon you! "- there are the main arguments of the manipulator. As a result of this pressure, a person - contrary to common sense and self-interest - dutifully (or indignantly), but still carries out the "order" of the puppeteer.
Manipulators rely on our gratitude and decency, play on the interests. In order to spot them one should be aware of some signs of "insincerity" of such a person: a manipulator always turns to the victim at the wrong time, asking to do a good deed for a third person in front of him (which makes it impossible to deny), he abruptly changes his behavior and stereotypes, exaggerates the importance of the request and puts pressure on the sense guilt.
Be aware that manipulation persists only until the moment when its true goals are realized by the manipulated
The rules of communication is our sword
Now, we are getting to the weapon that will crush "the enemy." Our sword is made up of 7 simple communication rules applied to the manipulator. This sword will protect us from the harmful effects of a "dishonest person".
Learn how to say "no." The ability to say "no" is generally the most important part of the art of communication. The clearly articulated negative response allows us to stand firm while maintaining normal relations with the manipulator.
Tell him about the consequences. The ability to predict and clearly formulate the possible consequences is one of the most powerful tools to bring the manipulator of the game. This puts him in a deadlock.
Give rebuff to the offender. Sometimes manipulators make use of direct bullying, trying to intimidate their victim or harm them. The most important thing here to remember is that these people try to dominate over and put pressure on those whom they consider to be weak.
Do not hurry! Manipulators like to seek from us an immediate response or action. If you feel that you are being pressurized, do not rush to make a decision.
Do not take manipulator’s words at your own expense. Manipulator’s task is to play on our weaknesses. The problem is not in us. We are manipulated to make us feel not good enough, and therefore ready to submit to the will of another, and to give up our rights.
Keep your distance. In conversation with one person a manipulator is polite, with other people he can be rude. In one situation he (she) is absolutely helpless, in the other - very aggressive. If you notice that someone’s behavior is characterized by such extremes, keep a safe distance rom that person and try not to enter into contact with him (her) unnecessarily.
Well, here we are, armed with knowledge and ready to fight back the manipulator. We are all people, and it is difficult to see the reality of the hidden intentions and motives of various behaviors. Guiding symptoms of tricking behavior along with the ability to manipulate sometimes are very subtle and go unseen. They are easy to overlook, because they are hidden behind a sense of duty, love, or habit. In spite of everything, it is quite possible to spot them. And if we see the manipulator, we should raise high our sword and shield and stand on guard of our dignity and right to privacy.Violetta Sheichenko
Translated by Maria Kryzhanovska