8 Simple Ways To Avoid Being Manipulated!

Psychological manipulation occurs when one person is used for the benefit of another. The manipulator deliberately creates an imbalance of power, and exploits the victim to serve his or her agenda.

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Preston Ni, an expert in communication, offers eight simple ways to help you avoid this.

Know your fundamental human rights

The single most important guideline when you’re dealing with a psychologically manipulative person is to know your rights, and recognize when they’re being violated. As long as you do not harm others, you have the right to stand up for yourself and defend your rights. On the other hand, if you bring harm to others, you may forfeit these rights. Following are some of our fundamental human rights.

You have the right to be treated with respect.
You have the right to express your feelings, opinions and wants.
You have the right to set your own priorities.
You have the right to say “no” without feeling guilty
You have the right to get what you pay for.
You have the right to have opinions different than others.
You have the right to take care of and protect yourself from being threatened physically, mentally or emotionally.
You have the right to create your own happy and healthy life.
These fundamental human rights represent your boundaries.

Of course, our society is full of people who do not respect these rights. Psychological manipulators, in particular, want to deprive you of your rights so they can control and take advantage of you. But you have the power and moral authority to declare that it is you, not the manipulator, who’s in charge of your life.

Keep your distance

One way to detect a manipulator is to see if a person acts with different faces in front of different people and in different situations. While all of us have a degree of this type of social differentiation, some psychological manipulators tend to habitually dwell in extremes, being highly polite to one individual and completely rude to another—or totally helpless one moment and fiercely aggressive the next. When you observe this type of behavior from an individual on a regular basis, keep a healthy distance, and avoid engaging with the person unless you absolutely have to. As mentioned earlier, reasons for chronic psychological manipulation are complex and deep-seated. It is not your job to change or save them.

Avoid Personalization and Self-Blame

Since the manipulator’s agenda is to look for and exploit your weaknesses, it is understandable that you may feel inadequate, or even blame yourself for not satisfying the manipulator. In these situations, it’s important to remember that you are not the problem; you’re simply being manipulated to feel bad about yourself, so that you’re more likely to surrender your power and rights. Consider your relationship with the manipulator, and ask the following questions:

Am I being treated with genuine respect?
Are this person’s expectations and demands of me reasonable?
Is the giving in this relationship primarily one way or two ways?
Ultimately, do I feel good about myself in this relationship?
Your answers to these questions give you important clues about whether the “problem” in the relationship is with you or the other person.

Put the Focus on Them by Asking Probing Questions

Inevitably, psychological manipulators will make requests (or demands) of you. These “offers” often make you go out of your way to meet their needs. When you hear an unreasonable solicitation, it’s sometimes useful to put the focus back on the manipulator by asking a few probing questions, to see if she or he has enough self-awareness to recognize the inequity of their scheme. For example:

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Preston Ni

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