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6 Clever Strategies for Outsmarting a Master Manipulator

If you think about it, manipulators are all around us, but hopefully, there are many ways to deal with a manipulator. Narcissistic parents and partners, envious coworkers or neighbors—they are everywhere, and it is a good idea to be prepared and not let yourself be controlled by them.

The main thing is that you should learn and understand how their “weapons” work. After that, you are more than ready to deal with various manipulative behaviors. Also, it is important to be able to recognize when someone is trying to manipulate you. How can you fight something you have no idea is happening?

So, keep reading and discover some of the most effective ways to deal with a manipulator. Let’s begin!

ways to deal with a manipulator
Image By Constantin Stanciu From Shutterstock

1. When you want to say “no,” just say it

There may be situations when you will have to stand up for yourself, but this is not as easy as it seems. This is why saying “no” is a skill you build over time. But once you are able to say “no,” you will see the world in a different light.

Once you learn to refuse to do something you don’t want to do, you are actually learning to set healthy boundaries. And this is something master manipulators hate. They want you to not set boundaries so they can control you more easily.

This is why saying no is one of the best ways to deal with a manipulator. They will no longer be able to make you feel guilty for not wanting to do things their way, and if they can’t make you feel guilty anymore, they have no power over you.

There is no need for you to explain yourself. Just say you don’t want to do it and enjoy the freedom.

2. Always trust your gut feeling

There is a big fuss around the concept of “gut feeling.” This is basically your instinct, which tells you if it feels that something is wrong. It is your internal radar, and one good tip is to always listen to it, as most of the time it is right.

Next time you feel like something is not how it is supposed to be or that the intentions of a person seem strange, try to avoid that person or situation. You will thank your instincts later.

Even though this sounds like it has no base at all, it is one of the most efficient ways to deal with a manipulator. You can easily feel when a person is not what they seem to be, and you can take action about that.

If you are not in contact with a manipulator, how are they going to control you? It is impossible! They rely on your connection, and if there is no connection, they don’t have anything to work with.

3. Facts over emotions

Manipulators don’t like facts. They prefer emotions since this is a much shakier situation than they can control. This is why one of the best ways to deal with a manipulator is to stay grounded and only rely on facts. This makes it harder for them to manipulate your feelings, and they might just simply give up.

When you talk with a manipulator, make sure to have all the facts, such as when it happened, who said what, and so on. Keep all of it simple and just state the facts.

Another thing to consider is to keep yourself cool and don’t let emotions take over. The manipulator will try to get under your defenses, but just present the facts and try not to become emotional.

When you have evidence, the manipulator will have a hard time arguing with you. Also, avoid emotionally changing language that can make you vulnerable. Don’t use statements like “I don’t believe that” or “You always make me feel like…”

4. Keep a “record”

When you have to deal with a manipulative person, a good idea is to try and make a record of all the times they used or tried to use manipulative tactics against you. For this, you can use any method that you find suitable for you, such as taking notes on your phone, keeping a journal, or anything else that you think might work.

We believe that these notes will help you because, when you are in the middle of a conflict and emotions are taking over, it is hard to see things clearly. But after you’ve calmed down, you can look over your notes and see what happened from a more objective point of view. Your notes will help you be a better judge.

Besides this, keeping a record of relevant details, such as dates and specific incidents, will help you see if there is a pattern involved. And when you know the pattern, you can start doing something to break it.

5. Consequences can be helpful

Among the ways to deal with a manipulator is to make it clear that if they keep disrespecting you, things will have consequences. For example, you will not be able to trust them again or try to keep a damaged relationship alive.

For example, if members of your family keep asking for money from you and they insist that you have to lend them money again, you can tell them that you will stop giving them money and then really do it. In this way, they will see that their actions have real consequences, and they will not be able to manipulate you anymore.

But always remember that you have to respect the boundaries that you set. That means when you say something, you really mean it. If they see that they can do it again without any consequences, there is no point in telling them to stop if you don’t know how to respect your boundaries. Here, consistency is key, and you should not forget this.

ways to deal with a manipulator
Image By Oksana Kyrychenko From Shutterstock

6. When you notice that they are doing something, point it out in the moment

This is a very important step you will have to take and also one of the best ways to deal with a manipulator. The only problem here would be that calling someone for their behavior might be hard for those who don’t like to confront people.

But if you want to end the cycle of manipulation, you should start doing this. As soon as you see that the manipulator is trying to control you again, point it out. Here is where all of those “reports” might help you again.

If you have the facts and are keeping your head cool, they will not be able to do much. Yes, they will try to convince you that you are not right or that you do not understand the situation, but you should be there, presenting them with the truth, and they will see that they can do nothing about it. Usually, this is how it works.

These are the main ways to deal with a manipulator, and if you stick with them, you will become more aware of how manipulation works, and in the end, you will be able to fight against it.

Master manipulators are sneaky, and it is not that easy to notice when they try to play games with you and your mind. But knowing the facts and telling them that you know what they are trying to do is your greatest weapon.

If you want to learn more about how you can deal with manipulation, this book might help you: If Only I’d Known: How to Outsmart Narcissists, Set Guilt-Free Boundaries, and Create Unshakeable Self-Worth

You should also read 5 Dangerous Types of Narcissists and How to Spot Them

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