Manipulation in Relationships-And How to Deal With It

A manipulative relationship is one-sided and unbalanced,advancing the goals of the manipulator at the expense of the person being manipulated. Over time the cracks will show and these types of relationships become very toxic over a period of time. People can only manipulate you if you allow them to. First you must recognise the features of manipulation and then look within to understand your contribution to the manipulation. This statement may seem difficult to accept but you must realise that manipulation cannot occur in a vacuum. It takes two people.You can come to understand your contribution to the manipulative situation and then take steps to correct it.

People who are vulnerable to being manipulated:-

  • Feeling useful and loved only when you are taking care of others' needs. In this situation you are looking to the outside for your sense of worth. You please other people at the expense of your own well-being.Manipulators take advantage of this personality trait.
  • Needing approval and acceptance of other people. A problem occurs when you feel you must be accepted by everyone at all times.The root problem here is the fear of rejection or abandonment.To avoid these painful feelings you fall for the manipulations
  • You avoid confrontation. Some people want things to be nice all the time and will go to any lengths to avoid conflict. All manipulators have to do here is show anger and then they get their own way.
  • Unable to set boundaries and say no. If people sometimes push your limits you must be able to set boundaries and say no.Knowing where you start and finish and where the manipulator starts and finishes.If you are afraid of the conflict that may arise when you say no,you play into the hands of the manipulator.Learning assertiveness techniques is the answer here.

Ground Rules for dealing with this type of Behaviour

  • Focus on changing yourself. You disable manipulation by making a change within yourself. This changes the dynamics of the relationship. If you stop cooperating with the manipulative tactics, you will alter the nature of the relationship. Eventually they will give up,walk away and find someone else to control.
  • Is it worth continuing the relationship? You need to assess how much this relationship has damaged your confidence and sense of worth. Is the relationship uplifing or does it bring you down? Does it help you to reach your personal goals? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself to assess the worth of the relationship, or is it time to walk away? These are important questions to ask yourself.
  • Learn assertiveness