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Signs and Characteristics Of Manipulative Behavior

Manipulative behavior, or the attempt to influence the behavior or emotions of others for one’s own personal purposes, is quite common, especially among addicts and alcoholics. As humans (or those suffering with the disease of addiction) our emotions usually fog our judgments, making it difficult to see the truth behind hidden motives in multiple forms of behaviors. There are many signs and characteristics to manipulative behavior, and when learning them, you can easily pick up on it.

Signs Of Manipulative Behavior

Manipulation has been defined as the use of deception or trickery to attain a desired goal, without caring about the interests in others. There are many signs of manipulative behavior:

Rationalizing- Manipulators often rationalizes or justifies their behavior to make sense of their actions so that the other person will be put off guard.

Playing Innocent- Playing the victim and placing the blame on another person is a huge manipulation sign.

Distraction- The manipulator can easily regain control by changing the subject to distract the other person.

Half Truths- It’s easy for a manipulator to hide some of the information or deny certain things so that the truth that is said convinces the other person.

Playing Dumb- The manipulator will play dumb, ignore requests and not listen to suggestions brought on by others.

Jokes and Insults- The manipulator will attempt to intimidate or shame the other by saying insulting comments, then label the remarks as jokes.

Inducing Guilt- It’s common for a manipulator to put the guilt on someone else and make the other person think it’s their fault.

Bullying- When trying to be made accountable by someone, the manipulator will turn the tables by bullying them to regain control.

Minimizing- This happens when the manipulator accuses the other person that they are making too big of a deal or overreacting about the manipulator’s behavior.

Blaming- A manipulator will always avoid responsibilities for their own actions.

There are also characteristics of manipulative behaviors: Narcissism, needy and dependent personalities, and martyring personalities.

How to deal with a manipulator:

No means No

Know that manipulators rarely change

Don’t let them do you any favors

Be assertive

Try not to engage them

Enforce your limits and boundaries

Don’t try to bluff them

Manipulative behavior is a master skill that one uses to control others to their own advantage and can cause major harm. Manipulation is frustrating and can be very easy to believe if you are not aware of the signs above. Knowing these characteristics of manipulative behavior may help you detect when you are getting schmoozed over and stop any further harm.

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