How to spot a manipulative personality
Do you know the signs of a manipulative personality? Chances are, you have a vague idea but for many of us, manipulation carries on right under our noses. That’s because manipulative personalities are so adept at manipulation that they do it often, without being detected.
A manipulative personality is focused on getting their needs met. They don’t really have the time or inclination to be bothered with your needs, no matter what they are. They are skilled in the art of deflection. Any accusation aimed at them will shift direction, be aimed away from them – most likely back onto you. Example: “It upset me when you left me standing in the rain last night”. Deflection: “Well you should’ve taken an umbrella”. Here, the manipulative personality does not wish to deal with their behaviour and take responsibility so they will deflect that by adding in a new issue to take the ‘heat’ off them = manipulation!
A healthy, rational person would be able to deal with WHY they left someone standing in the rain.
A manipulative personality often lacks assertiveness and has learned to use manipulation as a covert way to get what they want. They will cast doubt on how you see things, even going so far as to poke fun at you or criticise your way of thinking. The more someone lacks self belief and confidence, the easier they will be to manipulate.
A manipulative personality often suffers from low self esteem and often don’t believe that they deserve many of the things they wish for. Instead, if they use manipulation, they can get what they want in an underhanded and subtle manner that avoids them having to ask directly for it.
They will adopt passive-aggressive behaviour and play mind games. They won’t ever want to be backed into a corner and may offer vague explanations for things. They like to be able to chop and change to suit their current mood so you may find it almost impossible to obtain a definitive answer from a manipulative personality.
Manipulative personalities never accept responsibility for their own behaviour, often see themselves as the victim and never accept the blame for anything. They often have low empathy for others and many tend to possess narcissistic tendencies. This is an over-generalisation but there is often an overlap between narcissism, sociopathy and manipulation.
Spotting manipulation can make it easier to withstand. Look out for the signs. When you are with a manipulator, you will often feel you are not being heard and that your needs are going unmet. Take heed and listen to your inner voice. At times, we are so desperate to be loved that we overlook the signs but they will become worse so it’s better to spot them early on!