Many times people find themselves in a relationship with a manipulative person and don't even realize it until after the damage has been done. At some point I think most people innocently use a form of manipulation to get what they want, but there are those who make it their way of life. These are the dangerous ones, who will wreck havoc in your life and not think twice about it.
I write from personal experience. I have had a couple of manipulators in my life, but none like the one who invaded my life several years ago, and tried to destroy my family. I feel strongly about sharing how manipulators operate in hopes that it will save others from going down a hard, painful road.
To begin with I want to list some common traits that will help you identify a manipulator:
The victim. Manipulators always play the role of a victim. They won't take responsibility for any problem and they always place the blame on someone else. It's never "their fault." They have subtle ways of making you believe that you are responsible for whatever problem they are facing. They will do anything in their power to get everyone to believe they were wronged and they are pros at turning others against you. They have no respect for anyone, but demand respect for themselves. If you point out their wrongs, they will accuse you of trying to ruin their life.
The Phony. Nothing about manipulators is true in nature. They are like chameleons. They will change in a moment depending on who they are around. They smile to your face, agree with your ideas, and appear to care about you. Meanwhile they are talking about you behind your back, and betraying you at every turn so they can get attention from someone else. They talk of their high morals, principles, and religion, but they are not what they say. One minute they will tell you they hate you and five minutes later they will tell you they love you. They will say whatever they feel they need to say in the moment to get what they want.
The Sweet Talker. Manipulators know how to talk their way into anything. They seem to be sweet and innocent in nature, but behind the facade they are wicked. Most people see who they are fairly quick, but it may take others years to figure them out. Manipulators are very good at what they do and they know the importance of giving a positive impression initially. These sweet talkers will influence everyone into making a choice that is favorable to them. Be careful not to fall for the endless complements they pour on. It's a ploy to get what they want.
The Deceiver. Manipulators use deception to gain control over their victims. They never tell the whole truth about anything, even when it would be easy to do. They are good at covering their tracks. At first it is hard to catch them in their web of lies, but you begin to notice things don't stack up. They are pros at covering up any suspicion by casting doubt on you. They will deny things and try to confuse you. You may begin to question yourself and even feel bad for questioning them, but don't fall for that. Trust your gut and see them for the deceiver they really are.
The Distorter. These people live in their own fantasy world. They make up things to prove their point. They believe their own lies and it is impossible to reason with them. They make up wild stories to give the impression that they know everything about everything. They may even try to model themselves after the characters the read about or see in movies. The reason the distorter can be dangerous is that if the person they are talking to does not realize they are speaking from a twisted sort of reality, then every word they say can be held as truth. Take everything these people say with a grain of salt and know that they cannot be trusted.
A manipulator can be a combination of any of these above. A really good manipulator has all of these traits rolled into one. Pay close attention to the people you suspect are manipulating you. If you see patterns forming like the ones mentioned above, you need to formulate a plan on how you will deal with this behavior. My upcoming posts will show you how to deal with manipulators.
(Some of this info was found on Fit Fare.)