Some people will work hard to covertly control other people. Here’s how to tell when people are trying to manipulate you.
Some people in this world are kings and queens of the art of getting their own way. It’s amazing how some people are able to achieve their whims through the use of persuasion or deception. The true masters are the ones who steer other people and events when they lack power or responsibility. These greedy folks are also the agents of chaos in groups and organizations, pursuing selfish hidden agendas for their own gain.
It’s quite true that people can achieve great things by working together. Great constructions, organizations, and ideas are created by group effort. Some of these things are done for altruistic or practical reasons. Other achievements are purely the result of ego and greed. Learning to work with other people is a valuable skill. However, the manipulator, a person who attempts to motivate while hiding their true intentions, is best avoided whenever possible.
If you want to get through life without being conned by a manipulative person, then you’ll need to learn how to tell if you are being manipulated. Here are five methods to help you tell if you are being manipulated.
Manipulators Act Differently Toward You When They Want Something
Watch for sudden changes in the way that a requester (a potential manipulator, someone who wants you to help them for selfish purposes) behaves toward you:
- They compliment you more often (assuming they ever did), particularly with regards to your valuable skills, knowledge and experience.
- You suddenly become this person’s “buddy”, “pal” or “friend”. They might use your first or last names more often than normal. The requester smiles at you more often, but the smile never reaches their eyes.
- They seem interested in what you are doing. However, these are often shallow expressions of interest followed by impatience and rapid shift of subject or attention. Manipulators are always looking for opportunities and can be distracted rather easily.
- They seem eager to please you. You’ll get the occasional gift or freebie from a manipulator. Just remember that a manipulator is too smart or cheap to invest a lot of money in you at this point, so they probably didn’t pay for the gifts.
- The requester makes public expressions of support and need for you. Can you say “flattery”?
This positive behavior ceases after you are no longer needed or useful. If they are looking for long term help from you, the good times may roll on for some time.