Expat Psychologist Amsterdam / HANDLING MANIPULATIVE PEOPLE


It can be tricky to deal with manipulative people. For one thing, if they’re any good at it, you won’t know you’re being manipulated until you are well into a pattern of behavior with the person that is difficult to break. It is important to remember you truly do teach people how to treat you. If you tolerate the behavior, you are saying it is okay. The first step then, in dealing with manipulating people, is identifying them. How? Ask yourself how you respond to their behavior in general. Do you find yourself responding in ways that you later feel were unlike you? Do you feel you were “guided” down a certain path by their behavior? Is their behavior designed to get a response from you that benefited you with its outcome, or them? So you’ve spotted them. Good for you. Now what?. . .

Coping with Brainwashing: Manipulative people are excellent at brainwashing. However, once you have identified who this person is in your life with the help of the above signs of manipulative people, it’s time to deal with it. You must practice a lot of self control as it is easy to be delusioned even though you may know who is manipulating you. You have to be strong enough so you are no more affected by their manipulating tactics. Do not doubt their intentions later as they have already become clear to you now.

Listen to your Gut Feeling: You know how so many people tell you to trust your gut, well, they are absolutely right about it. Always trust the faint inner voice in your head every time you have to make a decision. There will be times when you have a doubt whether you misjudged someone. In such a situation, nobody can help you except your heart. Never do what your heart does not agree to.

Act Dumb: You will meet so many people in your journey of life who try to manipulate other people. These manipulators may be the ones that stay in your life for a couple of hours or for years to come. How do you deal with all of them? I feel that the more you try to pull away from the manipulation by outwitting a manipulative person, the more he/she will draw you deeper into it by playing genius mind games. The best thing to do is to act dumb like you are not aware of what’s going on. It works every single time and your actions will be perceived to be an act of ignorance or idiocy on your part.

Detach Yourself Completely: All manipulators harbor an obsession for their victims. When you want to detach, they never make it so easy for you. But, you have to do it to break free from the constant manipulation. Start with avoiding the person’s calls and text messages and then feign being too busy. Make it seem as unintentional as possible. The person trying to manipulate you will be left helpless as they spend lesser time with you to interact.

Don’t React: What can be more frustrating than not receiving any reaction to your manoeuvres? Well, play that game on the person trying to manipulating you. By not reacting to their antics, you will leave a huge room of doubt whether you have been affected by it or not. It gives you an upper hand over the whole situation. No matter how upset you may be, act like you did not know it was meant to affect you. Adopt a policy of keeping your lips sealed with a neutral face.

Don’t Blame Yourself: Whatever happens, never try to blame yourself if the person trying to manipulate you starts acting like a victim herself. Don’t be fooled if you are being emotionally blackmailed. Have no mercy else you will never be able to get out of the clutches of someone who has been trying to manipulate you all along.