In our last blog post, we went over characteristics of a manipulator and different tactics they use. In this post, we will discuss how to spot a manipulator and what to do if you have a relationship with one.

Anyone is at risk of falling prey to a skilled manipulator, but there are certain traits associated with those who are more susceptible to manipulation.

  • Feeling loved only when making others happy. Your sense of worth comes from doing things for others to the point that you compromise your own well-being.
  • Difficulty saying no.
  • Desire to avoid confrontation. Wanting things to be pleasant at all times and/or going well out of your way to avoid confrontation.
  • Weak self-esteem. When self-esteem is weak, it’s easy to attach onto someone who pays you attention. When you lack a sense of self, making decisions that will favor you are difficult to make.

Nobody deserves to be controlled or betrayed by a manipulator. If you read our last blog post and noticed that your friend, partner, or parent has the key characteristics of a manipulator, it’s important for you to look for these common signs of manipulation:

  • Fighting dirty.
  • Upstaging or One-Upping. If you have a bad day at work, he/she has had an even worse day (and makes sure to tell you all the ways in which it was worse).
  • Fake apologies.
  • Guilt. He/She uses guilt in order to get you to do something for them.

If you are being victimized by a manipulator, keep these things in mind:

  • Is it worth it? Assess your relationship with the person, as well as the severity of the manipulation you are facing. How much damage has it done to your self-confidence and integrity? Is it worth it to stay friends with this person? Is it worth it to stay in a relationship with this person?
  • Work on boundaries. These boundaries should work to protect you, your loved ones, and your property. If you feel that the manipulation is escalating, leave the situation until you both have time to cool off.
  • Focus on changing yourself. You might think that it’d be helpful to talk about the manipulator’s behavior and how it makes you feel, but typically, this isn’t helpful because most manipulators aren’t empathetic. You won’t change a manipulator by talking about their faults. Also, it isn’t helpful to try and out-manipulate a manipulator. An effective method of changing manipulative behavior is to stop it by changing yourself. When you change yourself (making yourself less likely to be manipulated in the future), you switch the dynamics of the manipulative relationship.
  • Seek counseling help. Discuss your concerns with someone who is familiar with personality disorders. A therapist will know how to deal with a manipulator. They will also help you work on your boundaries, assess the relationship, and help you make positive changes in yourself. If you plan on staying with the manipulator, you should seek counseling together, or the same problems will continue to happen over and over.

Whether or not you stay with the manipulator, it’s important to seek outside guidance. If you’ve been in a relationship with someone who manipulated you, you might need to talk things through in order to know that the end of the relationship wasn’t your fault.

You can contact Reka by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at, or via Twitter or Facebook.

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