Imagine this, you are nearing the end of your day at work when you quickly glance at the time. There’s five minutes left in your busy day. You begin looking forward to leaving work on time for a change. Finally you say to yourself. I will have a chance to go home, eat dinner on time, kick back on the sofa to watch my favorite sitcom.
All of the sudden your boss walks in to inform you that you need to stay an extra few hours to complete a last minute task. You politely mention that you have plans for the evening and suggest completing the task the next day.
She looks at you with a seriousness in her eyes. Standing tall with the intent to intimidate she tells you okay but I will remember this when it comes to staff bonuses at the end of the year.
Feeling guilty you begrudgingly relent to her request. At the same time you are upset inside. This has been the going on for the past couple of years. Occurring more often as of late as she knows you can be manipulated by guilt to achieve her objectives.
Why am I always trying to make every around me happy you ask? How come I’m the only one who feels miserable, unsatisfied at the end. This just isn’t fair you tell yourself.
Does this sound like you? You are not alone. Many of us please others first before turning the attention to our needs. We don’t enjoy disappointing others. Making others around us happy helps maintain the peace in our environment. However at whose expense? Yours, that’s who! Congratulations, you’re a prime victim for the master manipulator!
Manipulative people will tug on your emotions forcing you to move from a logical decision to an emotional one. It happens to us in business and relationships. These individuals are self-serving and their intentions are never good.
Are you a people pleaser? Do you constantly get manipulated by individuals all the time and feel helpless on how to deal with it?
What if I told you today you can easily stop it. Would you believe me?
Learning how to handle manipulative people is quite easy if you know the signs to look for. Do you know there are seven ways a serial manipulator influences your decision making?
Yes, they are guilt, intimidation, appealing to ones ego, fear, curiosity, our desire to be liked, and love. Let’s look at these seven signs in greater detail. Once you are aware of these signs you will turn the tables on your manipulators. Wouldn’t that be great? Let’s get started!
1. Using guilt trips
Kids love using this tactic on their parents. I also see this being used in the workplace between co-workers. You commonly hear the words why don’t you trust me or I can’t believe you don’t trust me. Followed by I’m hurt by what you have said.
Friends especially a pack mentality will use this to influence you to go along with the rest of the group’s interests. We see many people get into trouble with the law when this is used. Many times in business we go along with what the boss wants us to do for fear of losing our jobs or getting reprimanded.
Listen to sentences such as, “everyone here has agreed to go along with this except you.” Another is, why don’t you make a decision? What’s the matter? Don’t believe in yourself?
3. Appeal to the ego
Watch out for people who overly butter you up. Normally they don’t speak to you unless they want something. All of the sudden one day you are their best friend. How many of you have those?
I get this from many people in business. I always enjoy helping people if they are sincere. I will go out my way with my busy schedule to connect them with important people if needed. The problem is very few will return the favor when I need it. Sound familiar to you?
Sometimes a simple email is not even answered. The lesson here is I have a great memory on who is authentic and who is not. My rule of thumb is always respond to someone who is a key person of influence.
Building the right connections is the key as these successful individuals will propel you to success. A short acknowledgement is all it takes. It amazes me how many people do not take advantage of building relationships with the right people. People who can have a great impact on your life personally and professionally.
4. Use of fear
We see this used by high pressure salespeople who try to convince you to buy right now because you will not get a better deal elsewhere. If you say no the deal will be off the table.
5. Arousing curiosity
Someone may twist your arm by trying to convince you to try something at least once. We see this in high school when kids who feel pressured by peers to experiment with drugs.
6. Our desire to please others and be liked
This is a tough one. Who doesn’t want to be accepted and liked. No one wants to be hated by others. Many times we make ourselves unhappy just to please others.
I remember when I was working in the corporate world one of the staff members enjoyed having lunch by herself. She was a very pleasant individual. However, she felt pressure to get more involved with the social activities after work hours. If she didn’t, the co-workers or bosses would talk behind her back.
She confided in me one day to express how she felt alienated when she turned down getting involved in the companies social events. Quite often she felt pressured to go even though she did not enjoy it.
I told her it was okay and she was not alone as I did not attend many of the events after work. I had no trouble saying no as I explained to them I’m not a drinker and I have other obligations outside of work. The difference between myself and my co-worker was she did not set boundaries from the beginning. As a result they played on her weakness which was her inability to say no.
7. Don’t you love me?
Probably one of the most commonly use phrases to manipulate a love one. If you love me you will trust me. Whether it’s a cheating spouse or friend, when this phrase is used a red flag should be raised.
When you come across manipulative people make sure you listen to the message and words. Don’t react right away as they are trying to pull you into making a poor decision by appealing to your emotions.
Instead, sit back to evaluate the situation objectively and make a logical decision based on fact.
Now you’ve learn valuable tips on how to handle a manipulator. Recognize the signs, put them immediately to use. You will never be duped into doing something you don’t want to do again.