Friday, November 02, 2007

Manipulation: How to Detect It?

There are many people who do not realize that they’re being manipulated. From, there’s a perfect description for detecting when and if you’re being manipulated. Here are the signs:

Manipulation is a set of behaviors whose goal is to:
  • Get you what you want from others even when the others are not willing initially to give it to you.
  • Make it seem to others that they have come up with an idea or offer of help on their own when in reality you have worked on them to promote this idea or need for help for your own benefit.
  • Dishonestly get people to do or act in a way which they might not have freely chosen on their own.
  • "Con'' people to believe what you want them to believe as true.
  • Get "your way'' in almost every interaction you have with people, places, or things.
  • Present reality the way you want others to see it rather than the way it "really is.''
  • Hide behind a "mask'' and let people see you in an acceptable way when in reality you are actually feeling or acting in an ``unacceptable'' way for these people.
  • Maintain control and power over others even though they think they have the control and power.
  • Make other people feel sorry for you even though it would be better for them to make you accept your personal responsibility for your own actions.
  • Get away with not having to do the things necessary to meet your obligations, responsibilities, and duties in life.
  • Involve everyone in your life's problems so that you do not have to face the problems alone.
  • Keep everything the same so that the "status quo'' is not affected or changed.
  • Make others feel guilty or responsible for actions or thoughts which are yours alone.
  • Get others to feel like they are responsible for your welfare so that you do not have to make a decision or take responsibility for anything that goes wrong in your life.

Some people are so “put together”, that anyone who knows them as acquaintances or platonically would never suspect this person to be this type of character. Their intelligence exceeds the norm sometimes, and they can really use that to their advantage—even fooling your own intelligence making you feel as the ‘bad guy’. There are other times when a manipulating person can actually forget what they tell you, simply ignoring their statements and moving on with the next; almost like subliminal messages. It really screws with your head.

Dishonest people. The one thing I ask for in a friendship or relationship is honesty. What was George Bush’s statement one time, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice….errr…..then you’ve fooled me again.” When somebody is caught in numerous lies, I tend to build a proverbial wall and guard myself for the ‘next lie’…which may lie ahead. My trust factor drops and all my ability to believe anything they have to say goes right down the drain. There are people that lie so well, that their lies almost become their honest answer. They believe what they’re saying. Is it a sickness? Is it something they’ve trained themselves to do?

I always try to focus on the positive side of people, however, when lies and deception take place of trust and honesty, then there’s no room for them to be in my life any longer. I forgive, I forget, but sometimes, you have to know when enough is enough and just let go. Give it up to God and pray for the person whose life is ruled by lies and manipulations. By all means, I’m not perfect, but I refuse to take emotional blows from somebody that I’ve trusted and believed in for so long. It hurts and it makes me suspicious of other people- and I don’t like that feeling. I want to be able to trust. No wonder there are so many people with trust issues.

Toxic people. These people wreak havoc on your emotions and set goals to make sure that whenever you are happy, they’ll make sure to disturb it a little or a lot. They don’t want to see other people happy, so they make sure that you’re in the same funk as they are. Don’t let these people manipulate you into thinking you’re in the same funk. Their bad attitudes and grudges will only leave you feeling drained. It’s best to remove yourself from the person or situation if that ever happens.

Upbringing. Does it matter? In my opinion, people who are from a broken home or have been jaded many times in their past will potentially be toxic to you if they didn’t get the necessary help resolving certain issues in their own lives. My mother always told me, “Marry a man who loves his mother.” Of course, the man part is out of the question, however, I think it speaks volumes for people in general. How do they treat their parents and siblings? Sometimes, that’ll effect the way they treat you. Through my own experience, I have seen this to be true. Some may debate me on this, and that’s ok, however, I feel strongly about that issue.

Gratitude. There’s a lot to be said about a person who doesn’t have an ounce of gratitude for people who help them. They take take take, without the consideration of giving back. I’m not talking material-wise - I speak upon giving back in love, respect and compassion. There are many self-centered people who don’t realize that all they do is take take take. They never give it a second thought that maybe, just maybe, it would be nice to actually make somebody feel good, give them loving and emotional support, or just be there as a friend with a non biased outlook.

These scriptures below are helpful in understanding manipulators and their motives.

Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future lies before those who love peace. ~Psalm 37:37

Let the lying lips be put to silence. ~Psalms 31:18

All day long you plot destruction.
Your tongue cuts like a sharp razor;
you’re an expert at telling lies.
You love evil more than good
and lies more than truth. ~Psalm 52:2-4

Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight. ~Proverbs 12:22

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!


Art said...

I agree, Deb... Well written and a great application of the verses. Nice. Hope you have a great weekend!

PDDivine said...

How can anybody expect a healthy friendship or relationship if their is dishonesty? I really needed to read this today! Couldn't have come at a better time. Thanks!

PDDivine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
~Deb said...

Great points! Lying only adds up to insecurity issues or maybe it’s a deeper rooted problem that hasn’t been resolved. It hurts when someone you are close to lies to you. It’s a slap in the face and it shows a lack of respect as well. How can you trust when somebody has lied? Do you think it can be fixed or worked out? How do you get over that hurdle if you still want that person in your life? Or maybe…they just don’t change…?

vincenzo said...

Manipulation is a form of control. If you give it power it becomes more stronger. My advice is that nobody should be subjected to this type of behaviour. Makes sense, no? It's not good for health.

You write beautifully.

Queenie said...

I feel somewhere in life we have cared and been tricked by the same person, how is this possible we both cry, there is one hell of a pond between us. I so wish the person I refer to could read your post, you put into words what I can only cry and grow old with...
Take pride in having recognizing manipulation in the disgise of friendship..............

CP said...

You just remember those who hold your best interests at heart. We love you enough to never betray your emotions.

An email is on the way, my darling.


Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

Well said, Deb.

Idealize that some folks, because of the dynamics of their families of origin, believe that the only way they can get their needs met is through manipulating others. I find it sad that those folks are unable to ask directly for what they need or want.

There are others—who I have encountered too many of—who manipulate even though they have other skills they could use to obtain what they desire, whether it be shelter from the elements or a new car. I seldom define their actions as manipulations; rather, I think that “scams” and “cons” are closer to the truth.

Matt-Man said...

I would leave a comment but I think that that is exactly what you are trying to manipulate me into doing. So I wont. Cheers Deb!!

kathi said...

Manipulation is like an artists way of's artistically conning someone. Still, you usually know in your gut when you're being manipulated, we need to learn to trust that gut. Wait, where have I heard that at lately? Oh, never mind. :)

I love the way you break it down. I just love you period.


i absolutely think i am being manipulated, it pays to be yourself, the real you^^

Ricardo said...

I was surrounded by these people at my last job. It was an awful time. But the good thing is that I can spot them a mile away now.

Caroline said...

I love this post. I am finally realizing that just because I love someone, it doesn't mean they are good for me. I have had a lot of people in my life that have been toxic and have manipulated me in every sense of the word. It's hard realizing this and even harder to change those patterns.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Good post. But I often wonder if I am guilty of manipulation--not consciously in a Draconian way, but do I play tricks that will get a reaction, namely from my spouse? I think about this when I look into my own behavior, because I've been severely manipulated in the past--you name it--and I hated it. There is also that problem of attracting those kind of people in your life; on that I have improved greatly, but those kind smell weakness 5 miles away.

TK Kerouac said...

just reading enemies last line...attracting those kind...manipulators smell weakness 5 miles away..
so true, they are like vultures going for a kill, getting another hit.

May I manipulate you into voting for my daughter, for best Canadian blogger
She was nominated but was placed in a group of political bloggers and is coming in second.

In fact, if you have any readers that would like to vote, please send them my way


How'd I do on the manipulation scale?

DaBich said...

Great post...everything well said and oh so true.

I'm with you 100% on the person treating others as he treats his mother/family. It's true!!!

Crassius Maximus said...

If you get a chance, read "Man the Manipulator". It really delves into this subject.

Leesa said...

Great post. One aspect that I would like to explore, perhaps today, would be the difference between manipulation and incentive.


nice post.
great insights.

I've been manipulating people in the past,consciously and unconsciously and vice-versa.

It's a vicious cycle.Once I got out of it,I had lot of energy and brain power which used to be wasted before on such wasteful things.

It's almost like a release from some sort of bondage.

Far too many people are living under false realities created by people around them.It is very important to have a strong character and mind power to keep away from those,esp the sublimal ones.

Our upbringing certainly helps a lot.

Just_because_today said...

so much feeling in this, so much pain in it.

Anne Angelheart said...

I was married to a man whose sole purpose in life is to lie, manipulate and cause deception. The tool is my daughter. She is now 17 and I no longer have to talk to him. His tactics now are worse than ever, now she plays a bigger pawn than before, I know I have given her the tools and the knowledge to deal with this but he is a serious threat to her well being and happiness. It's such a mind fuck. I am still learning how to deal with this particular type of person, but I keep drawing a blank. Can anybody help me? Please