Manipulative people do not have a strong sense of self and this is why they manipulate. They also don’t know how to use the healthy form of being assertive in order to get their needs met. They inherently feel weak and believe that they aren’t powerful. They believe that asking for what they want in an assertive manner will lead to rejection and the only way they feel they can get others to do what they want is by manipulation.
Manipulation is often learned as a childhood coping strategy
Manipulation often emerges when a child feels that they can’t ask their parents for their needs to be met. Perhaps their parents are dictatorial and don’t allow their children to have rights and opinions. There are many reasons why a child may feel powerless and subversive behaviour can be learned through positive outcomes or through watching a parent who is manipulative.
They will resort to subversive tactics in order to get their way and these strategies can sometimes work for a while.
Often, manipulators will have hidden agendas and will try to control the situation through passive-aggressive means. This means they will offer subtle resistance in order to get their way.
Manipulation is a form of coercive control
Manipulation is about control and we are bombarded by manipulation daily – through the media, through politicians, advertisers etc
Always ask yourself – “is this really something I want to do?” If it isn’t, try to understand why you are doing it. Is it emotional blackmail? Do you feel a sense of guilt and responsibility? What is really going on?
Now there are times in life when we do have responsibilities to attend to but manipulation is different. It is more about getting you to meet someone’s elses’ objectives.
In order to avoid being manipulated, nurture a strong self-identity. Focus regularly on your values and goals. Ask yourself who will benefit…
If you are feeling resentful in life, it is highly likely that it will be due to manipulation. Be alert and be aware of what is important to you.