I have been trying to change my life. I thought I would pass along some of the things I mentally keep within me- my bag of tricks if you will- to lessen the impact of those who are less than kind in my life.
How To Out-Manipulate Manipulators **
1. Ignore the Manipulator’s Feelings
This definitely goes against most of our natures. When we see someone upset (and God forbid if we feel we have a hand in upsetting someone), we immediately want to make things better. But with manipulators, you can NOT do this. Manipulators are used to everyone responding to their rage, tears, sense of injustice, and constant victimization.
Stop it. Stop worrying about how they feel. When you care about their feelings, you end up on their hook. If you need to interact with a manipulator, say your peace and then MOVE ON. You don’t need to fix anything for them and you don’t need to care about how they feel.
2. Decrease Your Time and Contact with the Manipulator
This seems ridiculously obvious, but it is even more important than you think. Manipulators are AWESOME at taking up one’s time. Manipulators can not do anything in a simple manner. A trip to the doctor for a minor sinus infection by these types can end up taking up hours of YOUR day.
So, you must limit your time with a manipulator, because they already take up such a disproportionate amount of your time and mental space. By limiting contact (substantially) you will most likely be simply allotting the manipulator a typical amount of space in your life, rather than the all-consuming position they are used to holding.
3. Surprise the Manipulator
Manipulators count on your predictability. They have finely honed instincts in regards to human responses and weaknesses. Thus, surprise your manipulator. If you normally confront, for a day, decide to ignore. If you normally ignore, get in his or her face for a change.
Manipulators are so used to getting their way, they are horrible at adaptation. Put the burden of responding on them and move on with your day.
4. “Participate” in the Lies
All manipulators lie. It’s what they do. And they expect you to believe their lies. So next time you are lied to, go ahead, play the game and “believe” the lie.
If your spouse comes home with lipstick on his shirt, and insists it got there because a new risk management strategy at work is to teach hand-to-hand combat to employees and he happened to be paired with a woman- go with it.
To point out how ridiculous their convoluted lies are is often a waste of time. So, instead, with all the sincerity you can muster, play along. Tell your spouse you can’t wait until the next time you see his work colleagues, because you would just love to learn more about this workplace hand-to-hand combat risk management technique. You can even suggest that you would like to have something similar instituted at your place of employment.
Will such a tactic anger the manipulator? Of course. But, it’s their problem, not yours. If they are going to treat you with such little respect as to lie to you, they deserve your contempt anyway. So do whatever keeps your sanity intact.
**I understand abuse and trauma by manipulators extends across a wide-range of behaviors and threats. I am not in a situation in which I feel physically threatened, thus, this bag of tricks work for me. I completely understand this is not everyone’s situation.