Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dealing With Manipulative People - PSYCHOPATHS

Dealing With Manipulative People PSYCHOPATHS

UTF - book: In Sheep's Clothing, By George K. Simon

Manipulators are very difficult to spot because of their subtle, underhanded or deceptive ways.

They hide their true intentions and exploit the fear, anxiety, resentments, desires, secrets of their victims. You can recognize a manipulator if you know well their techniques:

"You ask direct question, but you won't get a direct answer. They will try to take you anywhere else. They make you feel the bad guy, for confronting them on something, put you on defensive."

They will come with rationalization of their behavior.  They want to get something out of you, but they don't wont you to see that.  For this they will use many ways to buy you on their side or punish if you don't comply.



"Because of the indirect nature of manipulation, it’s not easy to defend yourself against it."

"Firing question after question without giving a chance to disclosure is intimidation - dirty manipulative technique."

"Crazy making - saying one thing and later assuring you they did not say it."

Psychological Manipulation

"Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at the other's expense, such methods could be considered exploitative, abusive, devious, and deceptive."

When someone is out to "win," dominate or control, but are subtle, underhanded or deceptive enough to hide his true intentions, his behavior is most appropriately labeled covertly aggressive. Manipulators avoid any overt display of aggression while simultaneously intimidate others into giving them what they want. This is a powerfully manipulative maneuver.

Periodically trying to manipulate a person or a situation doesn't make someone a covert-aggressive personality. Personality can be defined by the way a person habitually perceives, relates to and interacts with others and the world at large. The tactics of deceit, manipulation and control are a steady diet for covert-aggressive personality. It's the way they prefer to deal with others and to get the things they want in life.

The Process of Victimization

For a long time, I wondered why manipulation victims have a hard time seeing what really goes on in manipulative interactions. At first, I was tempted to fault them. But I've learned that they get hoodwinked for some very good reasons:
  1. A manipulator's aggression is not obvious. Our gut may tell us that they're fighting for something, struggling to overcome us, gain power, or have their way, and we find ourselves unconsciously on the defensive. But because we can't point to clear, objective evidence they're aggressing against us, we can't readily validate our feelings.
  2. The tactics manipulators use can make it seem like they're hurting, caring, defending, ..., almost anything but fighting. These tactics are hard to recognize as merely clever ploys. They always make just enough sense to make a person doubt their gut hunch that they're being taken advantage of or abused. Besides, the tactics not only make it hard for you to consciously and objectively tell that a manipulator is fighting, but they also simultaneously keep you or consciously on the defensive. These features make them highly effective psychological weapons to which anyone can be vulnerable. It's hard to think clearly when someone has you emotionally on the run.
  3. All of us have weaknesses and insecurities that a clever manipulator might exploit. Sometimes, we're aware of these weaknesses and how someone might use them to take advantage of us. For example, I hear parents say things like: "Yeah, I know I have a big guilt button." – But at the time their manipulative child is busily pushing that button, they can easily forget what's really going on. Besides, sometimes we're unaware of our biggest vulnerabilities. Manipulators often know us better than we know ourselves. They know what buttons to push, when and how hard. Our lack of self-knowledge sets us up to be exploited.
  4. What our gut tells us a manipulator is like, challenges everything we've been taught to believe about human nature. We've been inundated with a psychology that has us seeing everybody, at least to some degree, as afraid, insecure or "hung-up." So, while our gut tells us we're dealing with a ruthless conniver, our head tells us they must be really frightened or wounded "underneath." What's more, most of us generally hate to think of ourselves as callous and insensitive people. We hesitate to make harsh or seemingly negative judgments about others. We want to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they don't really harbor the malevolent intentions we suspect. We're more apt to doubt and blame ourselves for daring to believe what our gut tells us about our manipulator's character.
 Recognizing the inherent aggression in manipulative behavior and becoming more aware of the slick, surreptitious ways that manipulative people prefer to aggress against us is extremely important. Not recognizing their subtly aggressive moves causes most people to misinterpret the behavior of manipulators and, therefore, fail to respond to them in an appropriate fashion. Recognizing when and how manipulators are fighting with covertly aggressive tactics is essential. Read more

Primarily characteristic of the manipulator:
  1. concealing aggressive intentions and behaviors.
  2. knowing the vulnerabilities of the victim to determine what tactics are likely to be the most effective.
  3. having a sufficient level of ruthlessness to have no qualms about causing harm to the victim without remorse.
Basic ways that manipulators control their victims:
  • Includes praise, superficial sympathy (crocodile tears), facial expressions such as a forced laugh or smile;
  • Use money, approval, gifts; attention, public recognition as a reward, public recognition as a reward,
  • Create an effective climate of fear and doubt.
  • Using the guilt trap and playing the victim.
  • Using verbal abuse, explosive anger, or other intimidating behavior to establish dominance or superiority; even one incident of such behavior can condition or train victims to avoid upsetting, confronting or contradicting the manipulator.


1 There is no use in trying to be honest with an emotional manipulator.
2. An emotional manipulator is the picture of a willing helper.
3. Crazy making - saying one thing and later assuring you they did not say it.
4. Guilt. Emotional manipulators are excellent guilt mongers.
5. Emotional manipulators fight dirty.
6. If you have a headache an emotional manipulator will have a brain tumor!
7. Emotional manipulators have no sense of accountability.
8. Emotional manipulators somehow have the ability to impact the emotional climate of those around them.

Psychological manipulation 

I found all these characteristics obvious Manipulator's behavior:

Lying: It is hard to tell if somebody is lying at the time they do it although often the truth may be apparent later when it is too late. One way to minimize the chances of being lied to is to understand that some personality types (particularly psychopaths) are experts at the art of lying and cheating, doing it frequently, and often in subtle ways.

Denial: Manipulator refuses to admit that he or she has done something wrong.

Rationalization: An excuse made by the manipulator for inappropriate behavior. Rationalization is closely related to spin.

Minimization: This is a type of denial coupled with rationalization. The manipulator asserts that his or her behavior is not as harmful or irresponsible as someone else was suggesting, for example saying that a taunt or insult was only a joke.

Selective inattention or selective attention: Manipulator refuses to pay attention to anything that may distract from his or her agenda, saying things like "I don't want to hear it".

Diversion: Manipulator not giving a straight answer to a straight question and instead being diversionary, steering the conversation onto another topic. Or giving irrelevant, rambling, vague responses, weasel words.

Covert intimidation: Manipulator throwing the victim onto the defensive by using veiled (subtle, indirect or implied) threats.

Guilt tripping: A special kind of intimidation tactic. A manipulator suggests to the conscientious victim that he or she does not care enough, is too selfish or has it easy. This usually results in the victim feeling bad, keeping them in a self-doubting, anxious and submissive position.

Shaming: Manipulator uses sarcasm and put-downs to increase fear and self-doubt in the victim. Manipulators use this tactic to make others feel unworthy and therefore defer to them. Shaming tactics can be very subtle such as a fierce look or glance, unpleasant tone of voice, rhetorical comments, subtle sarcasm. Manipulators can make one feel ashamed for even daring to challenge them. It is an effective way to foster a sense of inadequacy in the victim.

Playing the victim role ("poor me"): Manipulator portrays him- or herself as a victim of circumstance or of someone else's behavior in order to gain pity, sympathy or evoke compassion and thereby get something from another. Caring and conscientious people cannot stand to see anyone suffering and the manipulator often finds it easy to play on sympathy to get cooperation.

Vilifying the victim: More than any other, this tactic is a powerful means of putting the victim on the defensive while simultaneously masking the aggressive intent of the manipulator.

Playing the servant role: Cloaking a self-serving agenda in guise of a service to a more noble cause, for example saying he is acting in a certain way for "obedience" and "service" to God or a similar authority figure.

Seduction: Manipulator uses charm, praise, flattery or overtly supporting others in order to get them to lower their defenses and give their trust and loyalty to him or her.

Projecting the blame (blaming others): Manipulator scapegoats in often subtle, hard to detect ways.

Feigning innocence: Manipulator tries to suggest that any harm done was unintentional or did not do something that they were accused of. Manipulator may put on a look of surprise or indignation. This tactic makes the victim question his or her own judgment and possibly his own sanity.

Feigning confusion: Manipulator tries to play dumb by pretending he or she does not know what you are talking about or is confused about an important issue brought to his attention.

Brandishing anger: Manipulator uses anger to brandish sufficient emotional intensity and rage to shock the victim into submission. The manipulator is not actually angry, he or she just puts on an act. He just wants what he wants and gets "angry" when denied.

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