Being manipulated can be described as an action of undue influence, an attempted slight of hand deception, this through mental distortion along with emotional exploitation, if one is unaware. This with the intention of seizing control or power, gaining benefits or privileges, this at the victims expense.
Know the difference between strict manipulation, and common social influence from intentional complicity. Social influence, is common for those personal interactions at work, home, or among friends. Psychological manipulation, is used to gain some type of benefit or advantage over another, who may be unwary.
What this manipulation if one isn’t aware, does is deliberately creates an imbalance of power, while exploiting the victim to serve to their particular agenda. What manipulative people use, are tactics to coerce others into a form of deception.
There are variations of manners which deliberately attempts to manipulate. So what becomes vital is recognizing certain behaviors, this in situations when ones interests, rights, and at times safety becomes an issue.
Their Location Not Yours
Someone who has manipulative intent, will insist that you meet at a physical location of their choice, where they can exercise more control and dominance.
This can be their office, home, or any other space where they feel familiarity and ownership, that you don’t have.
You Always Speak First
This a well known tactic used by sales people and politicians, and that’s they force you to talk first, this to establish a baseline while they look for weaknesses.
They’ll begin by asking general probing questions to establish your mindset and behavior, where they can formulate a pattern. These types of leading questions has a hidden agenda to manipulate.
Overwhelming Statistics And Facts
Known as intellectual bullying, acting like they’re an expert and knowledgeable in certain areas where they know you’re not. They overwhelm and take advantage of you by imposing alleged stats, statements, facts, you may know little about.
This often happens in sales or financial situations, during negotiations, or in social and relational arguments. They presume expert power, in the hopes to push their agenda more convincingly. Some people use this technique for intellectual arrogance.
Some will use “red-tape” or bureaucracy, such as unfamiliar procedures, extensive paperwork, laws, rules, as roadblocks to maintain their power and position.
They make easy procedures more difficult. This technique, a favorite of lawyers, will use this tactic to delay fact finding, to hide weaknesses or flaws, while evading scrutiny.
Getting Upset Displaying Negative Emotions
Some tacticians will intentionally elevate their voice as a form of aggressive manipulation, this perhaps a teacher. The assumption being if they project their voice loud enough, or being negative gives them an edge.
That you’ll surrender to coercion and do or give them what they want. This loud aggressive voice, is often combined with convincing body language such as standing over their target.
Skilled salesman will use negative surprises to throw their target off balance to gain a psychological edge, such as low balling an offer when negotiating, or reversing a condition.
Usually, this sudden negative information is unexpected without warning, so there’s little time to prepare a counter. They may also ask for additional concessions from you to continue.
Exposes Your Weaknesses
Some will make critical personal remarks, this disguised as humor or sarcasm, making you feel inferior and less secure. This could be a variety of comments such as your weight, the way you dress, holes in your background or credentials.
That you were five minutes late because you’re out of shape. The intent is to make you look bad, and hoping you’ll feel bad, this in the hopes to gain an emotional stranglehold on you.
Constant Judgement And Criticism
To make you feel inadequate, which is a step beyond sarcastic remarks when the manipulator outright directly picks on you. This by constantly judging, ridiculing, bullying, marginalizing, and taunting you.
They constantly keep you off balance while maintaining their superiority. The aggressor deliberately infuses the impression that there’s something wrong with you, and regardless of what you do, you’re inadequate.
That you’ll never be as good as them. What they focus on is the negative without providing solutions, or offering meaningful ways to solve the issues.
The Silent Treatment
This by deliberately ignoring your justified reasonable phone calls, emails, text messages, or other attempts of communication. This tactic is used by managers or a passive aggressive spouse.
They’ll presume power by making you wait, with the intention of placing doubt or uncertainty in your mind. The silent treatment is a tactic where silence becomes leverage.
This is the well known playing “dumb” tactic, pretending they don’t understand what you want from them, usually forcing you to perform the task or responsibility for them, this by placing you in panic mode.
Children become masters of this, so they can delay, stall, and thus manipulate others into forcing them to do something they don’t want to, or to delay the inevitable.
Almost everyone has used this method to stall, make excuses, if they have something to hide, or have some type of obligation that they want to avoid.
Making One Feel Guilty
Another passive aggressive manipulation tactic, where they turn the tables, is they target the intended victim so they’ll feel guilty. They hold them responsible for their happiness or success, or for their unhappiness or failure.
By targeting their emotional weaknesses and vulnerabilities, the manipulator is able to coerce the recipient into doing unreasonable requests and demands.
Playing The Victim
This by over exaggerating personal issues, such as a perceived health problem. They’ll deliberately show weakness to elicit sympathy or favor. They’ll pretend that they’re weak and defenseless.
The purpose is to exploit the recipient’s good will, sense of duty, guilty conscience, obligation, or nurturing instinct, this to extract unreasonable concessions. At the end, they never had a chance.