8 Manipulative Traits

Ever come across those people who you feel are using you or they have an ulterior motive to their actions?

I’m talking about manipulators.  

What they do is they bring this unwanted negativity into your life, they’re constantly causing drama and get you to do these things that you really don’t want to do. And quite often you don’t realize you’re being manipulated until after the fact. I wanted to share eight common traits of manipulative behaviour, so next time you’re going to be able to stop the manipulator in their tracks. Let’s dive in.

Number one, they compliment you and do nice things. So manipulators will often compliment you to make you feel good, but they do it with the intention to influence you onto their agenda. What they’ll do is, they’ll often pay you a compliment so they can reel you in and get you in the palm of their hand, and once they have you there then they can usually for your skills and for your network, your connections, or even for your affection. You might quite often find that they will shower you with gifts or they’ll shout you coffee, or lunch, or buy you drinks. And they’ll get in there, they’ll use that to lower your guard down and they’ll get in there and start leveraging their position to their advantage.

Number two, they like to bitch about or they’ll scheme against other people. Manipulators like to scheme against people or they’re a bitch and carry on to get you on their side. They do this because they like to influence your opinion so you side with them. So, for example, they might pit people against each other to create disharmony in the workplace. Or, another example would be, they’ll start spreading rumours about you so they can defame you and then put themselves in a more favourable position.

Number three is to twist your words. So, the traits of manipulative people, look out for them when they’re twisting your words. This could mean that they’re a manipulator. Have you ever had your words paraphrased and then spun to fuel someone else’s argument or to make their point sound better? We’ve all had that. So, manipulators twist information to support their argument. Now they can do this directly with you, so they can do it while they’re actually exchanging dialogue with you. But they can also do this when you’re not around, so you’re not really there to correct them or to debate what they’re saying to other people, but it can happen either way. So, look out for people that are twisting your words.

The fourth trait of a manipulator is they play on your emotions, so a manipulator might play on your emotions for some sort of benefit or gain. Now, what they’ll actually do is they’ll show you love and they’ll show you affection without really the authenticity there because they’re purely just doing this to gain an advantage. They might be doing this to get money out of you or usually for your connections or they will maybe want some of your belongings, whatever it is, they’re using it to create some sort of edge. They can also use jealousy, so they might actually play on someone else’s emotions to pretend that they say like them to make you jealous.

Yes, number five trait of manipulative behaviour is they like to play the victim and that we’ll do this on purpose just so they get your attention or get whatever they need. So they’ll pretend to be hurt or they’ll pretend to be suffering in some way, or they exaggerate a situation just so you feel sorry for them. And what they’re actually doing then is they’re getting the attention from you, you’re much more inclined to do what they’re actually wanting you to do, they’re ulterior motive, once they’re hurt or they’ve established that position where you’re checking, “Are you okay?” because you feel bad. Boom, they’ve got you in the palm of their hand, then they can actually go after what they want. Your guard is down, you’re much more inclined.

Number six trait of manipulative behaviour is they will give you ultimatums. They’ll give you ultimatums to choose between the lesser of two evils. So forcing you into the ulterior motive, where they want you to go. They’ll give you two options, the lesser of two evils, to make you choose. An example of this might be, let’s just say you’re in a relationship, there’s a couple, and one of the couples, they do not like your friends. There’ll be someone that you don’t like and they’ll give you an ultimatum between your friends and yourself. Or maybe there’s a breadwinner, so someone in the relationship is the one that’s bringing in the money and they’ll use that position to enforce rules on the relationship. They might threaten to take away… Sorry, that’s a fly. They might threaten to take away money or control the money so they get what they want.

Number seven is guilt trips, so a trait of a manipulative person is they like to use guilt trips. Now they do this to obviously get something that they want, as all manipulators always have an agenda, but they’ll look for things that you don’t do well or maybe things that you don’t do at all and they will target those things. For example, you might be in an influential position at work and they will say, “Hey, you know what? Anna gets me coffee every morning and she compliments me on what I wear.” Now, what they’re really hoping is to get more attention from you. They’re hoping that you might buy them coffee or do favours for them.

Number eight trait of a manipulative person, they will target your confidence. What they’ll actually do is they will purposely target certain areas to lower your self-esteem and they do this to make you more weak and vulnerable, so then once they got you in that position, they can then impose their ideas, they can impose their desires or whatever their plan is, they can put that on you when you’re in a weaker position.

So, an example of this is: I used to go to a certain gym back in the day and there was a personal trainer who would always… I watched him. He joined the gym and I watched his tactics. Usually, it was people that had just started the gym, but he’d go up to them and say, “Oh, you’re never going to get any biceps if you’re going to work on it like that.” Or, “Oh my God, look at your chicken wings.” Or some of the stuff, he would just really just sledge them, put them in a position where they’re self-doubting, they’re not feeling good at all. And then, immediately after he gets him in that position, he then presents himself as the hero, himself as the solution. And it’s a really low tactic, but one that he uses and to be honest it was effective for him but is very low indeed. So you want to be on the lookout for this type of manipulative trait as well.

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