5 tips to avoid being a victim of manipulation

Learning to set limits and recognize your own emotions are pillars to avoid falling into the game of manipulation. Discover other tips.

Last update: September 30, 2021

"Not all that glitters is gold" … with this phrase we could begin to describe what a manipulative person is. On the outside they present themselves as charming and seductive beings, but on the inside they know what tools to use so that the people around them do what they want. Are you a victim of manipulation?

Manipulation is sometimes more obvious, sometimes less, since not all people proceed in the same way. Similarly, not all victims have the same characteristics. On an individual level, the manipulated begins to experience a feeling of loss of control of their life, as if they were cornered or doing things they do not want to.

Later, interpersonally, the relationship begins to wear out over time, since, when noticing the manipulation, it will seek to avoid the manipulator or establish a distance. Despite this, it is not always easy to "escape" from such behaviors. Let's see a little more about it.

Characteristics of a manipulative person

It is clear that no two manipulative people are the same; however, it is true that they do share some characteristics. Among them, we could mention the following:

  • They are people who are guided by the phrase "the end justifies the means." In this sense, the first is their will, the second their desires and the third, themselves. To get what they want, they can deftly order the pieces and make their psychologically abusive plays.
  • They are not swayed by what they consider to be "sentimentality," nor are they concerned with ethical behavior. That is, they are not moved by the fact that the other person has to do something with which they do not agree, just as they are not to blame for what they do. They are moved by narcissism, hedonism and selfishness, always far from empathy.
  • Many times, when they see that they cannot manipulate, they become perfect interpreters of the role of victims, in an attempt to move (and convince).
Manipulative people are experts in psychological abuse. They always try to make their victim feel guilty.

5 tips to avoid being a victim of manipulation

Avoiding the manipulation game may not be an easy task. Nevertheless, There are some simple strategies that can help keep manipulators away. Put them into practice!

1. Learn to know yourself, respect yourself and listen to your own wishes

Many times, you give the easy "yes" and put aside what you really want to do. In short, you don't give yourself the opportunity to think about what you like and what you experience in certain situations. Next time, don't put these questions aside, what do I want? What do I not want?

It is essential to give yourself space for self-knowledge, as everyone has their own fears and insecurities that are the perfect target for manipulation.

2. Set limits without guilt

In relation to the previous point, based on self-knowledge and self-respect, it is essential to learn to set limits. You must be consistent with what you want and what you don't. Sometimes this can be complex, especially if the person manipulating uses your weak points to try to convince you.

3. Stay firm in the pose

Always try to make clear what you think and what you are going to do. Learn to say no. Most of the time, the person manipulating will try to persuade you otherwise. However, there is no room for doubt or hesitation. It is convenient to speak with confidence and conviction, even through body language.

If the manipulator starts to get insistent, it is best to interrupt the conversation and tell them that you no longer want to talk about that topic at that moment. You must not allow disrespect nor do you have to apologize for not accessing their requests.

4. Work your emotions

This point is related to all the previous ones; it is necessary to work on emotions, recognize them, validate them and learn to manage them. Otherwise, they become that weak point that we already mentioned, and through which the manipulator seeks to exert his control.

The arguments of a person who manipulates always end up appealing to the «It doesn't cost you anything »,« for me it's really important, otherwise I wouldn't ask you »,« I thought I could count on you », among many others. Hence, identifying how you feel and being consistent with it is so necessary to avoid falling into guilt and fear.

Self-awareness and knowing how to recognize emotions is decisive in order not to fall into the manipulation of others.

5. Restrict your contact

If you think you are a victim of manipulation, Try to get as far away from the manipulative person as possible. If you can't do it (for example, because you have a working relationship), try to reduce the contact and limit it to what is fair and necessary.

Use "yes, no, got it" and other monosyllabic responses so that they don't get a chance to start a conversation or get private information about your life. The people who manipulate are experts in turning the speech around. Therefore, it is best to avoid giving too many explanations.

Don't think you're weak

Finally, when talking about cases of manipulation, it is very common to hear comments such as «is that he is very weak of character "," is that he has little personality " in reference to that person who is a victim of manipulation. Comments that run the fault of the place of who manipulates to dump it in who is manipulated.

One of the most frequent and harmful cases of manipulation is gaslighting, which refers to a very subtle form of emotional abuse, which ends up making the person doubt their own thoughts and even their own sanity.

It is one of the most invisible, but most pernicious forms of manipulation, with terrible consequences on a psychological level. It usually disguises itself as relationship problems, but in reality it is manipulation with all the letters.

For all the above, you must be very careful with what you say or suggest, since it seems that people should be in this or that way so as not to be victims of something, instead of demanding or expecting manipulators to behave as they should be .

This position ends up compromising the self-esteem of those who are manipulated and, many times, they end up thinking that they are really to blame. The truth is that the environment itself ends up reinforcing the vicious circle between manipulator and victim.