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How to Deal with a Manipulator

Whether in romantic relationships, at work, or even in your family, you’ve most likely encountered people who are manipulative in their own ways. The dangerous thing about manipulation is that it can be obvious but also subtle in many ways. If you find yourself in a manipulative relationship, here’s what you can do.

1. When they use your words against you…

There are manipulators who do not accept their mistakes or responsibilities. When you call them out, they’ll simply use your words against you. Let’s consider a scenario where you tell your partner to help you move some things around the house but they don’t. Once you tell confront them about not helping, they might say something like “if you knew how tired I am today because of work, you would not have asked me.” What makes this manipulative is that they make you feel bad for asking for their help.

How to Respond to this: Don’t let the manipulator get away with false apologies and especially guilt-trips. It is important to do this in the first signs of this kind of manipulation. This is so that they don’t feel permitted to do it again.

2. When they gaslight…

If you don’t already know, “gaslighting” is a form of manipulation where you are made to question your own reality. Basically, the manipulator says something different from before and when you call them out, they’ll blame your memory for getting it wrong. For example, you both plan a date somewhere in Sentosa on a Friday. But then, Friday comes and the manipulator says that you planned to do it on a Saturday. The manipulator can twist words for their own benefit and make you doubt your own memory so you’ll feel at fault.

How to Respond to this: One of the simpler things to do is to take note of it. In the example, for instance, write down when you’ll have the date while they are present. That way they can’t deny it later on. Sometimes they may respond with anger but this is a necessary action if you want to avoid being manipulated.

3. When they use “the silent treatment”…

The silent treatment is just one of many passive-aggressive behaviors that a manipulator can use. They will use these methods to control you rather than being direct and honest. When they are mad, they don’t give you the reason why and simply resort to stomping, keeping quiet, and etc. Even if they are at fault, they do this so that you think you’re the one who made a mistake.

How to respond to this: This form of manipulation affects your mental health, more than anything. That is why you’ll have to confront them about the behavior. Tell them not to do it and just speak directly. In most cases, you’ll get anger as an initial reaction. But it is necessary if you want to let them know about their toxic behaviors.

How to Mend a Relationship with Someone You Blocked in Your Life

Cutting off ties with someone is mostly a sad thing to do but sometimes, it is like breaking free from a terrible time in your life like in cases of physical or emotional betrayal.

But life in general is surprising in some ways, you wake up one morning and just realize that it’s probably the best time to let go of the grudges and make peace with your past including the ones in it.

Decide how to communicate
Talking after a long period of silence is never easy therefore, carefully think of how to strike a conversation that the other person will not ignore nor shut you down right off the bat. For example, a very casual message saying “Hey” or “What’s up?” presents a very high chance of not being returned. Same is true with unannounced visit to their place or showing up in an occasion. Make sure that your first move is in a serious and heartfelt way in order for things to be patched up.

This initiation need not to be grand, you can just pick up your phone and call. If you feel that it is best to drop them a message first, then do so. At the end of the day, you are in the position who knows exactly what will work for your friend, relative or former lover—and that gives you an edge to effectively get through to them.

Tackle the issue
Before reconciliation, the reasons that drove you guys apart must be communicated. You can share your side of the story, how you felt about it or whatever it was that made you distance yourself from them. Make them fully understand why things happened that way and try to get their take on the issue, too, so that it will be made clear on both sides. “You’ll have more productive conversations and more meaningful relationships, if you enter each interaction without expectations and without pre-conceived judgement” -Tatiana Apostolova,

Going over the same problem may not be a pleasant thing to do but failing to do so may only result in an emotional pile up later on that will create another episode of conflict.

No one has ever died swallowing their pride. If you made a mistake, apologize and admit your shortcomings. That’s what grownups do.

As the conversation goes on, you might hear hurtful words from the other person and that is normal. You are humans who get emotionally wounded, accept it and understand that it will be the case on the first blow. Allow time and your willingness to patch things up calm all the intense emotions.

Work on a possible resolution
Let’s admit it, not all comebacks are successful but if there is even the slightest chance of having one, then better go for it. You made a decision to reach out again and have hopes to start a fresh eventually, so a little more push won’t hurt.

Open a conversational atmosphere that would encourage an agreement or resolution, even baby steps to heal the torn relationship.

Patience is what you need
After one or two conversations, you cannot expect things to go back the way they used to be. Sometimes, it will feel awkward between you two, just trust the process and be patient about it. Try initiating meetups or activities that you can try for a change. Build your way through the walls that have been built for a long time.

Truth be told, life is definitely short to spend it with hatred over somebody. Letting go and forgiveness is the key to set a prisoner free, and that prisoner might be you.