A manipulative person is usually so proficient at the art of manipulation that you don’t realize you have been manipulated until you have either done something you don’t want to or you have been misused in another manner. I myself have had the experience of having a manipulative person in my life and realized they were manipulating me after I found myself in quite a bit of trouble.
No one can see how someone is able to pull your strings or push your buttons unless they have been at it for a very long while. It takes time for a person to know you well enough to be able to manipulate you, unless they know you through a relationship with another person. They then have a peek into your psyche and are able to expedite matters faster.
Manipulators work primarily by using deceptive tactics to get their way. First they us flattery to put you at ease as they are asking for something and trying to implore your assistance in reaching a goal or taking care of some project or business. As you are accepting the compliments and getting at ease they are thinking how best to make the next move. They are subtle in the way they handle you, just as a parent learns how to navigate their child and the child’s behavior.
Manipulators are skilled at working an individual’s personality to their advantage. When you are confident and calm they are complimentary. When you are insecure and feeling weak they know how to point out your weakness so as to get you of balance so that they may bent you in order for you to do what it is that they desire. It is the oldest play in the game; always keep the person off guard. And, as you are watching them defensively they are planning offensively and vice versa.
Manipulation is all about gaining control over another’s behavior, thoughts and emotions. The question is when you know that you are being manipulated are you willing to allow someone to control you. When manipulation is recognized in a characteristic of someone that you have a relationship with it is important to call them out on their behavior immediately. If that person denies their behavior or tries to deflect and point to you, remember that this is what they do. That is when you have to choose whether to continue the relationship or whether to end it. It gets hard sometimes when you aren’t sure if you are getting the right signals but one thing is for sure about someone that is a manipulator they will exhibit the behavior again if it is something they haven’t worked to change. You can always use the five steps to “Break up With a Person That Does Not Honor Your Wishes” if they don’t listen. Whether you chose to have them in your life is up to you.