We’ve all heard of their existence. Those who are adept at getting what they need or desire out of almost any situation. Those that are able to persuade others to do their bidding through emotional warfare where guilt, frustration and confusion are used as weapons to gain even an inch over their perceived opponent.

The master manipulator.

Though their tactics are not terribly creative, or even subtle, they are often easily defended as well-intentioned, harmless comments; not meant to hurt but to help. Recognizing the master manipulator, and his/her effect on your emotions and behavior, is instrumental to not allowing yourself to be controlled or taken advantage of. Unfortunately, master manipulators are found in all walks of life: parents, spouses, coworkers, friends and even teenage girls have all shown skills in “intense persuasion”. Fortunately, after so long, the master manipulator often can’t help but show his intentions. Here are the telltale signs you are dealing with a manipulation expert:

  • They are ready to blame you for their shortcomings. Ever ready to move blame away from themselves, manipulators are quick to tell you why you made them act, or not act, in any way. “You didn’t say anything last time I…… ” is a favorite fallback for the master manipulator. They are highly skilled at diverting attention away from their bad behavior.
  • They claim that they are helping you by hurting you. By acting as if their inappropriate or hurtful comments were actually said to “help you get better”, the schemer justifies their negativity.
  • Constantly causing you to question your choices. Getting you to rethink your decisions again and again is how a manipulator is able to push their own agenda and get you to go along with it.
  • Telling you that you’ve misunderstood. Upon being called out for their negative comments or actions, the scheming offender will often take the stance that it is your perception that is wrong, not their actions.

With counseling sessions, it is possible to overcome the confusing and frustrating mental obstacles the master manipulator sets in your path. Call us at our Westlake Village office for a free consultation and learn the skills needed to overcome emotional manipulation.