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It’s essential to recognize that emotional manipulators have a talent for distorting reality through lies, fibs, and misstatements. By doing so, they can easily confuse and control those around them. Be aware of their tactics and protect yourself from manipulation.

The Home-court Advantage

 This can be a significant factor in feeling empowered during social interactions. Whether you’re in your own home or a familiar coffee shop, being in a space that you’re comfortable in can make you feel more confident.

If the people you’re meeting with always insist on meeting in their own space, they may be trying to assert a power imbalance. They may be disadvantaging you by claiming ownership of their space.

For instance:

  • When you have time, please walk over to my office. I’m swamped and can’t make the trip to you.
  • It’s quite a long drive for me. Could we meet at my place tonight?

Listens Well?

When one person seeks control, they may ask probing questions to gain an advantage by learning your thoughts and concerns early.

  • They may use your answers to manipulate your decisions based on their hidden agenda. For example:
  • Be aware that your answers can be used to manipulate your decisions, especially if someone has a hidden agenda in mind.
  • Stay vigilant and trust your instincts to avoid falling prey to such tactics. 

Sympathy Misplaced 

They may exaggerate events to make themselves seem more vulnerable. They may also understate their role in a conflict to gain your sympathy.

For example:

“I cried all night and didn’t sleep a wink.

”“Well, you’re just going to have to explain why you’re mad at me again

They Engage in Intellectual Bullying.

Suppose someone overwhelms you with statistics, jargon, or facts when you ask a question. In that case, you may be experiencing a type of emotional manipulation. The manipulators presume to be the experts, and they impose their “knowledge” on you. Put-down

 This is particularly common in financial or sales situations.

  • For example:
  • “You’re new to this, so I wouldn’t expect you to understand.”
  • “I know there are a lot of numbers for you, so I’ll go through this again slowly.”They use your insecurities against you.
Insecurities 

Be aware that people can and will use your insecurities against you.When they know your weak spots, they can use them to wound you. They may make comments and take actions that are meant to leave you feeling vulnerable and resentful.

For example:

  • “You said you’d never want your kids to grow up in a broken home. Look what you’re doing to them now.”
  • “This is a tough audience. I’d be nervous if I was you.”

What To DO 

If you feel like someone is manipulating you, it’s important to trust your instincts. Apologize for any mistakes, but don’t dwell on their accusations. Don’t try to engage in manipulative behavior yourself, as it will only make the situation worse. Instead, learn to recognize manipulative tactics so you can respond appropriately. Setting boundaries is also important, especially if the manipulative person becomes desperate and more aggressive.”

 

How to Recognize the Signs of Emotional Manipulation and What to Do

 

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