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How To Deal With Manipulative People: Essential Tips To Follow

In our daily lives, we all encounter manipulators, but it is vital that we do not give in to their whims. To deal with them, follow these steps.
by Rob Gillham | Jan 4 2023

All of us have encountered manipulative people at some point in our lives. It could be a co-worker, a friend, a family member, or even your partner.

Initially, you might not even notice their behavior, but they gradually start pushing your buttons whenever they feel like it. As a form of emotional blackmail, manipulation involves making you feel scared, guilty, criticized or intimidated, all in order to make you do what they want.

It’s no secret that humans want things done their way. Is this the right approach? That’s not the case.

Rather than trying to gain the upper hand and control others, we need to treat them as equals. Healthful individuals ask for what they need and say it aloud without trying to play mind games, or prompt actions to fulfill their ulterior motives because manipulation in any form is wrong.

The company of a manipulative person is not enjoyable. It is possible that you ignore the signs of manipulation because you love the person.

Their charm, persistence, and ability to get what they want to make them attractive. However, you may always feel that something is not right.

When your gut tells you that they are taking advantage of you or someone else, they probably are. People are often master manipulators when it comes to working, money, relationships, and life in general.

As well as being incredibly narcissistic, they are also incredibly selfish. Their high EQ allows them to understand other people’s needs and manipulate them emotionally.

Check out this article for a definitive guide on how to deal with manipulative people and the signs to look out for.

What Are the Signs That You Are Being Manipulated?

Before jumping to conclusions, it is crucial to know whether you are being manipulated or not. You should be on the lookout for the following signs: 


Those who manipulate are experts at denying and lying. Even if someone hurts your feelings and you point out their bad behavior, they will deny it, even if it is obvious.

You should take care here. Make sure you don’t let their denial make you doubt yourself.

A Charming And Nice Character

In order to achieve sex or power, a manipulator will use charm. They are ruthless creatures, so charm comes easily to them. Hurting others is not a problem for them.

Normal people wouldn’t use dirty tricks to seduce someone, but manipulators will do so easily and without hesitation. Human behavior is studied by manipulators.

To find out what others want and need, they spend time with them. In order to get you to rely on them, they offer you the same thing. It is important to think about what someone might want from you if they are overly charming and alluring towards you.


The most powerful weapon of a manipulator is lying. There is no conscience in them, so lying to others does not bother them.

If lying gives them a chance to achieve what they want, they will certainly do so. There are usually subtle ways in which manipulators lie. The truth is often distorted or withheld from you by them.

Flattery and compliments in excess

You should be wary of excessive or untrue compliments. Keep an eye out for what’s coming. It is important to ask yourself – what does this person really want from me?

Providing gifts and favors generously

The manipulator may appear sympathetic, kind, and generous at the beginning of a relationship. You may interpret expensive gifts as an expression of affection or love.

In reality, they are just bribing you for future favors.

Teaming by force

Con artists and manipulators use this technique to create a sense of oneness with their victims. In their attempts to project a shared experience or purpose with you, they frequently use the word ‘we.’

They may use phrases such as, “We’re a great team”, “How will we handle this?””, and “both of us.” The best manipulators make the victim want to participate and even question their own judgments.

The act of pretending to be a victim

In order to make you feel sympathetic toward someone, manipulators may pretend to be victims of situations, circumstances, or misbehavior. Observe someone closely when they seek your sympathy and try to determine whether they really are a victim.

The manipulator often talks about abuse or a stressful event in a cool, calm, and detached manner.

Impressive first impression

The first impression of a manipulator is often excellent. It is common for them to have dazzling looks, to be quite charismatic, to have impeccable manners, or to have a winning smile that distracts others from their true intentions.

The mask of a manipulator may look good on the surface, but once you spend time with them, the mask will fall off.

The silent treatment

A manipulator may use the “silent treatment” as a warning sign. By maintaining silence and using non-verbal gestures, disapproval, displeasure, anger, and contempt are exhibited in this form of (passive-aggressive) emotional abuse.

They might even torture you silently if they are a sadistic manipulator.

Using intimidation

Covert intimidation is used by manipulators. There is often a veiled threat behind their actions.

When you talk to someone who makes you feel uncomfortable, pay close attention to their expressions, glances, non-verbal gestures, and stares. The objective of a manipulator is to make you doubt your own beliefs and perceptions by twisting the truth.

How To Deal With Manipulative People:

You can deal with manipulative coworkers by following these steps:

Your experience should be defined

Identifying the type of situation you are dealing with is important if you feel like you have a manipulative coworker. The manipulative coworker may use persuasive or dishonest language or actions to change other people’s opinions or behavior.

You need to know if this manipulation is also part of something else so you can take the best steps forward.

Determine if the person’s actions, words, and behaviors also contribute to gossip or a hostile work environment. Immediately contact a superior or someone in human resources if their actions are hostile, threatening, or discriminatory.

Make use of your support system and assess your feelings

You should reflect on how you feel when dealing with a manipulative coworker, or any other interpersonal conflict at work. You can limit the emotional impact of this type of event by assessing your feelings directly.

Discuss your experience with a trusted friend, family member or mental health professional. Your support system can help you gain clarity and insight about what you should do next, and it is important for your well-being.

Confront the conflict together and try to resolve it

Consider resolving this conflict with the other person after assessing the situation and reflecting on your feelings. It may be possible to arrange a meeting with the person one-on-one, or you may choose to use a mediator.

Be sure to let your manager or superior know what’s going on

No matter what, it’s important to inform your supervisor or superior officer of the situation, whether you feel you can resolve the conflict one-on-one or you think it’s best left to your manager. The workplace or office should be a safe place for everyone to work, and the environment should be inclusive, fair, and collaborative.

As well as negatively affecting productivity, operations turnover rate, and job satisfaction, manipulation does not contribute to a positive workplace culture. Therefore, it is important for your boss or manager to be aware of these situations.

Make positive relationships a priority in the workplace

Once the conflict is resolved or the manipulation is reported, it’s important to remain professional and move forward. Make sure you focus on the aspects of your job that give you satisfaction and positive workplace relationships.

Spend time catching up with colleagues or co-workers with whom you have a good relationship. Have a professional lunch or informal coffee with a coworker or practice positive small talk.

You can boost your job satisfaction by directing your energy in this way, and you can recover from a negative experience by doing so.

Don’t panic

Manipulators may try to get a rise out of you or make you respond emotionally rather than rationally. Stay calm and in control when dealing with a manipulator.

You should not get swept up in the moment or taken advantage of because you are kind. Breathe deeply to help you feel calm in your mind and body.

If you feel rushed when responding, remember that you don’t have to answer right away. Don’t make a decision too quickly, even if they want you to.

Decisions can always be delayed if you step away from the situation. Grounding techniques can also help you remain rational when you’re feeling emotional.

Find a color in the room, or concentrate on what you feel in your body, such as tension in your legs.

Want more tips for dealing more difficult people in your life? We’ve covered how to deal with difficult coworkers, how to deal with micromanagers, and tips for resolving workplace conflicts

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