3 ways to stop being a manipulator

3 ways to stop being a manipulator
3 ways to stop being a manipulator

It is never pleasant to be called a manipulator and it is a behavior that you can stop. You may have a tendency to manipulate your loved ones because you yourself grew up surrounded by manipulators. In some cases, manipulation may have been your only way to get what you needed as a child. However, manipulating others will damage your relationships, so it is important that you become aware of your behavior and do what is necessary to end it. Then replace these behaviors with healthy communication strategies and develop more balanced and stronger relationships.


Method 1 of 3: Recognize your own tendency to manipulate

Stop Being Manipulative Step 1

Step 1. Notice if you are playing on guilt or shame

You might have a habit of crying, complaining, or nodding. You may get what you want by creating negative emotions in others, which is not healthy behavior. If you continue to behave like this, eventually people will walk away from you.

  • Whenever you try to control someone's feelings, you are a manipulator.
  • For example, you could say "If you really love me stay home with me tonight", "My friends are shocked that you are treating me like this" or "I hate working with you because I always have to do more than my part. The purpose of these remarks is to get the other person to do something for you.
Stop Being Manipulative Step 2

Step 2. Notice if you are lying or figuring out the truth

See if you tend to change the meaning of something you said or misunderstand what the person said on purpose. You might also have a habit of hiding information, to achieve your ends.

  • For example, you might have said, “I'm going to stay home tonight. "Later, you could say to the person you're handling," I meant I wanted to spend some time at home together tonight. "
  • Likewise, your coworker might have told you that their part of a project will be late because a client moved an appointment. You could manipulate your boss into hoping to show you off, saying "I finished my part 3 days ago, but I still have to push her to finish her report." I may have to do it myself. "
Stop Being Manipulative Step 3

Step 3. Notice if you are using deprivation to achieve your ends

It is very easy to manipulate someone into denying them something they want or need, be it sex, money, help or love. This may cause you to tend to move away from the person or refuse to speak to them.

  • This approach might allow you to maintain control temporarily, but eventually the person will pull away from you.
  • For example, you could say something like “Don't contact me until you're ready to apologize” or “I won't help with household chores until you admit you're wrong. "
Stop Being Manipulative Step 4

Step 4. See if you are blaming others

You may find it difficult to accept responsibility for your feelings and actions. You might then have a tendency to turn things around so that others seem to be responsible. You might even gossip about others to get people to take your side.

For example, let's say you missed a doctor's appointment because you didn't wake up. Instead of accepting that it was your fault because you didn't hear the alarm clock, you could accuse your partner of keeping you awake too late at night or not waking you up. If the person takes responsibility for the fault, you won't have to feel bad about making a mistake

Stop Being Manipulative Step 5

Step 5. Notice if you are vaguely expressing your desires

This means that you will be giving hints or suggestions of what you want, instead of saying it directly. This is an unhealthy way of trying to get what you want, which can lead to conflict.

  • For example, you could say “I don't think I have anything planned this Saturday night”, instead of telling your friend that you would like to go to the movies with him.
  • Or, let's say you're upset that your coworkers went to lunch without you. A healthy way to deal with this situation would be to talk to them directly and let them know that you would like to join them next time. However, you could try to manipulate the situation, by gossiping about the person who organized the lunch or trying to get them into trouble on an unrelated point.
Stop Being Manipulative Step 6

Step 6. See if you are creating stories between people

You might manipulate your friends, family, and coworkers to make them like you more than others. This approach usually involves gossiping and pitting people against each other, so that everyone looks to you in search of your support and friendship. However, this behavior is unhealthy and unfair.

  • If this strategy can work temporarily, it is very likely that people will notice your game very quickly. When this happens, you may lose friends. It will be much better to be honest with people.
  • For example, you could become your parents' darling by saying nice things to them and always behaving perfectly, reporting every silliness of your siblings to them, and making up stories to put them in the wrong role.
  • Likewise, you could get your whole team to shut out a coworker you don't like by telling everyone that that person is spreading rumors, when you are the gossip.

Method 2 of 3: Change your behavior

Stop Being Manipulative Step 7

Step 1. Stop as soon as you notice manipulative behavior

Take a step back from the situation so you can think about what you are doing. Then talk to the other person about the situation and let them know how you feel. Be as direct and honest as possible.

  • You might need to spend some time on your own to put your feelings into words. Changing behavior is not easy: work slowly.
  • If it's in the middle of a conversation that you become aware of your behavior, you don't need to explain yourself. Just say “I'm sorry to interrupt our conversation, I need a few minutes to think. Alternatively, you could say you're going to the bathroom, so you can isolate yourself for a while.
Stop Being Manipulative Step 8

Step 2. Listen to the other person's point of view

You probably only see the situation from your point of view and that's why you resort to manipulation to get what you want. Taking into account the feelings of others will help you overcome these behaviors. Give the other party a chance to let you know how they feel about this topic and listen to them carefully, without thinking about how you will respond. Then look for a compromise that allows you both to win.

For example, you might want to go out on Friday night, when your partner feels like spending the evening with friends. Instead of playing on his guilt to get him to do what you want him to do, listen to how he feels about it. Then look for a solution that works for both of you, like going out on a Saturday night, so everyone can see their friends on Friday

Stop Being Manipulative Step 9

Step 3. Accept that you can't always have what you want

You probably like to get what you want, but no one always gets what they want. If you still win, it's very likely that the people around you will give up on whatever they want. Be prepared to compromise, so that the situation is as fair as possible.

  • If something is very important to you, you can share it with those close to you.
  • For example, you might really want to work on a project that has been assigned to someone else. However, it will not be healthy to invent lies about this person, to sully their reputation in the office. If it can help you get the project you are interested in, it will eventually fall back on you and your career and reputation will suffer. Also, it will be very hurtful for the other person.
  • Likewise, let's say you don't work Wednesday nights and plan to go out, when your partner wants to stay home. Instead of blaming him for not doing what you feel like doing, you could order food and watch a movie together.
Stop Being Manipulative Step 10

Step 4. Own your needs and feelings

You are the only person who can control your actions and reactions. Ask yourself why you feel certain emotions, and give yourself what you need to feel better.

  • Although you might feel bad about it at first, taking responsibility for your own thoughts and actions can be very rewarding.
  • For example, let's say you are feeling lonely and would like your friend to come see you while they are busy. Instead of saying something like "Looks like I don't matter to you" to manipulate it and get it to come to your place, you could do something fun on your own. Watch your favorite movie or go shopping.
Stop Being Manipulative Step 11

Step 5. If necessary, see a psychologist

Changing your behavior is very difficult and you might not do it on your own. A psychologist or therapist could help you identify behaviors that need to be changed and deal with the emotions behind them. The professional will also teach you to adopt new, healthier behaviors.

You can find a psychologist or therapist online

Method 3 of 3: Develop healthy relationships

Stop Being Manipulative Step 12

Step 1. Be clear about what you want

No one can read your mind and only you know what you want. Tell your partner, friends, and family what you need and want from them. Even if they refuse, you can at least talk about how you feel and come to a compromise.

  • This will be the most important step in putting an end to your manipulative behaviors.
  • Say, "I would like you to call me more often", "I would like to change the distribution of our workload" or "It hurts me when I am not invited to girls' nights". So the person will know exactly what you want. It won't necessarily grant you that, but it will be a good starting point for a healthy compromise.
Stop Being Manipulative Step 13

Step 2. Accept the refusals without trying to make the other party feel guilty

You might want to organize a date with someone or want someone to do you a favor. In some cases, the person you are talking to will tell you no. Accept his refusal and don't try to make him feel guilty about giving you what you want.

  • Let's say you would like your sister to babysit your children so you could go out. If she refuses, thank her and find another solution. Don't say, “Oh OK, it looks like you don't like spending time with your nieces. "
  • Likewise, you might want your supervisor to give you a day off on a very busy day. Don't start to cry and say something like, "I should have known you would say no, I'm the only one here who can never have a day off." "
Stop Being Manipulative Step 14

Step 3. Respect the boundaries of others

Manipulators often struggle with boundaries. Give others the personal space they need and respect their lifestyle choices. Don't try to change others.

  • For example, don't keep trying to reach someone on the phone if they've told you they need a break from your relationship.
  • If you're unhappy with your partner's behavior, talk to them and try to find a compromise. Don't try to manipulate him until he becomes the perfect match for you. For example, you might want your partner to change their dress style, but saying, "You look like a homeless person today, aren't you afraid a college will find you unprofessional?" You would handle it. Let him live as he sees fit.
Stop Being Manipulative Step 15

Step 4. Return the elevator to the people who help you

Manipulators tend to take advantage of others. To avoid this, make the effort to reciprocate the people who are trying for you. Show your gratitude for the kindness people show to you and give back when the opportunity arises.

  • For example, warmly thank someone who gives you a gift. You could also give her something later when you can.
  • Here is another example. Let's say someone replaced you at work so you could take a day off. The next time that person needs time off, fill in for them.
Stop Being Manipulative Step 16

Step 5. Be kind without expecting anything in return

It's nice for people to be kind in response to your acts of kindness. However, to expect certain behavior from someone would be a manipulative tendency. When you give something away or do something nice for someone, do it without expecting anything in return.

  • Let's say you bought a coffee for a coworker. Don't expect him to necessarily offer you a drink the next time you go out.
  • Here is yet another example. You could offer to look after the children of a loved one who is in a difficult situation. Don't expect him to pay you or give you a gift in return, unless that's the arrangement.

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