I'll bet every one of you knows a manipulative person - someone who nitpicks, criticizes, finds fault, or acts mean. Your gut tells you they're bad, but your brain tells you not to be judgmental or insensitive. After all, they seem nice some
of the time...
Stop playing into their hands! Here are my tips for dealing with manipulative people:
- Don't take them on. Confronting a manipulative person or becoming emotional only encourages them. Manipulators want control. They also like the entertainment. Similar to the crowds watching gladiator fights in ancient Rome, manipulative people enjoy seeing the blood, guts, and chaos.
- Don't feed them. A manipulator will grab at anything that gives them the opportunity to blame you. If you corner them or try to explain yourself, they'll switch into victim mode. They'll point out what you are saying or doing wrong. They'll make you out to be the bad guy. They'll hold on to something you said in anger and throw it back at you years later.
- Don't try to fix them. You are a nutcase supreme if you try to reason with a manipulative person. They are better at it than you, and they won't change because they are always right.
- Don't ever be alone with them. I received a call from a woman who complained that her mother-in-law said mean things to her whenever her husband left the room. My solution? Leave the room, or make sure somebody else is always there!
- Don't reveal your weaknesses. Have you ever told a friend or family member something personal or private in an attempt to be nice only to be strangled with it later? That's what manipulators do. They see your compassion as weakness and use it against you.