Manipulative people are the scourge of the Earth, and they’re pretty much everywhere. In their numbers they attack people with insults quite regularly and try and bend the will of others to their liking. If your emotions are harmoniously synchronised, then you should be able to sense a manipulator from afar.
Paying attention to their words and actions in any encounter can prevent the emotional harm these types of people try and cause.
Characteristics that might give away a manipulator:
-They put their needs above the needs of others.
-They have a tendency to thrive on animosity or drama.
-They regularly remind you what they think you need or need to do.
-They will quash your emotional state – reject it as invalid.
If you find yourself dealing with someone who matches any of these criteria, the worst thing to do is fall into their traps. The following list of comebacks could prove useful in getting oneself out of a manipulative confrontation.
This simple two-letter word is efficient, but only when used alone, with no reasons surrounding it. Don’t bother answering the inevitable response of “why not?”, there is no need for you to justify your refusal to someone who is manipulative (or anybody you say no to for that matter).
2. “I need you to please…”
Addressing your own needs to a manipulator above their own is a good way to combat their strategy. If they come at you with ridiculous requests, tell them what you need instead of just comply. This way you are saying both “No” to what they want, and making it clear that your needs are just as valid, simultaneously.
3. “I’m going to disregard your assumption of my feelings.”
Never allow anyone to call the shots when it comes to dealing with your emotions. A manipulator will try to get you to respond a certain way, be it out of fear or anger or sorrow. Don’t let them control your emotions, its just part of their ploy. How you react to what they say to you is entirely in your hands.
4. ” I think it would be best if we calm down before trying to have an adult discussion.”
The aim here is to dull down the level of apprehension they are waving around before engaging in rational conversation with them. Manipulators will instigate conflict in an excessively emotional state, in the hopes of getting an equally excessively emotional response.
Do your best not to lash out with an attack, the manipulator wants a bigger fire, don’t fight back with more fire.
Doing nothing when they expect you to strike back will leave them confused and might discharge the negativity.
5. “I do not comply with your behaviour.”
If you feel like you are being manipulated by someone, it means that they have crossed boundaries that you have set, such behaviour should not be tolerated. Since the manipulator has very little self-esteem, they will seek out those that have little of it, and prey on them.
6. ” The best option for me right now is…”
Use this comeback to again address your needs and reject that of the manipulator.
Focus on your own needs, especially when your ‘gut-feel’ tells you that you’re dealing with this kind of person. So if they launch an attack or make a request that you don’t particularly stand by, simply reject what they need an replace
it with your own.
Since animosity and drama fuels the manipulator’s desire, simply remaining silent and resisting the urge to burst out in anger is a great way to get them to change their target. For some this might not be so easy, keep in mind that any reaction to what they say or how they act is exactly what they hope for, so don’t give it to them.
Overall, it is important to keep in mind that you are responsible for how people make you feel. If someone is manipulating you or your emotions, then it is up to you to put a stop to it. Creating healthy boundaries is essential for any relationship, or friendship, to work.