Wednesday, June 9, 2010

“How To Identify And Manage Manipulative People?” – Prof.M.S.Rao

“You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.” – Abraham Lincoln

It is often difficult to find out the fake and genuine people in daily life. However there are certain observations that can make easier to identify the genuine person from manipulative person. First of all, we shall know the characteristics of manipulators.

Characteristics of Manipulators:

It is rightly said that below average individuals talk about individuals, average individuals talk about issues and above average individuals talk about ideas. The manipulators often talk about individuals and issues but not ideas. They exploit the weaknesses of others and leverage their strengths. They are diplomatic and are Machiavellians. They emphasize on means not ends.

They are negative people with negative energies. They blackmail you emotionally and sentimentally. They can go to any extent to get their tasks executed and leave others in the lurch once the task is over. They boss over others and make others as scapegoats. They cannot excel as leaders. If you allow them they will bend you. If bend them they get bent.
There is no consistency between the oral and body language of manipulators as orally they speak something and their body cues demonstrate some other message.

These people start conversation in a sympathetic manner and take foothold and start manipulating others. They often beat around the bush. They never hit straight. They are often jealous with negative attitude. They are the people with double standards and double speak. For them, manipulation is a game. If they win they are excited. If they fail they try again to succeed. That means, they don’t give up manipulating others.

How to Spot Manipulators?

It is tough to spot manipulators. But based on their experiences when people encounter and burn their fingers in real life they get to know about them. There is no fixed yardstick to measure manipulators and no fixed formula to spot them. However, through experience you can track these people and stay away from being trapped with their tricks.

You must know the tricks and traps of these people to safeguard yourself and your interests. They approach you only when they have necessity with you. At times, they talk so politely to get their task done. They are highly selfish people with task orientation and rarely care for relations.

They often seek help and when the need is over they will not be available. They are thankless people. They often use jargon such as ‘honesty speaking’, ‘frankly speaking’ , ‘trust me’ and ‘believe me’. They are emotional blackmailers. They bend others for their vested interests. They think that they are smart by nature. But one fine day they would realize that they are in abyss. They are energy vampires. Finally they will not have any friends but foes. Below are few more cues to spot manipulators.

Check for their conversation. Do they beat around the bush when questioned? Do they avoid direct response? If you find that they are moving their head here and there without maintaining eye contact, there is a possibility of telling a lie or manipulating the information. Or it could be due to lack of confidence as well. Here one needs to draw the line between confidence and manipulation. It comes by experience alone.

When question is posed they don’t respond directly. In contrast, they beat around the bush with lot of cock and bull stories. They never hit the matter straight.

Check whether they are maintaining positive body language and especially eye contact. However, don’t confuse with cultural issues.

Managing Manipulators:

• As prevention is better than cure, it is vital to stay away from manipulators as far as possible.
• Try to maintain distance from them. Create excuses to be away from them. If required, project yourself as a bully. Don’t be hasty to talk with them. Be cool with them.
• Don’t get into arguments. They deliberately interfere into your personal activities.
• Be strong, intelligent and confident. Above all, be assertive to checkmate them.

People, in general, manipulate others for the sake of survival. But what level and magnitude their behaviour has on others is important to note.

Handling Manipulators at Workplace:

At the workplace, when you are convinced that the other person is a manipulator, it is safer to stay away as far as possible. Always be transparent. Don’t provide any room for manipulation. Keep them under constant scanner. Keep the workplace instructions in black and white as far as possible to avoid distortion. Whenever you handle these people keep third person as a witness to safeguard yourself from these people.


What has been mentioned are only the guidelines that may not be taken to be accurate as individuals are different in nature and styles based on their social, cultural and economic factors. However, one thing is clear; for the sake of survival people should not get their hands dirty.

What counts at the end of the day is your ethics and etiquette. Truth alone triumphs at the end. Manipulative people may have temporary survival but have permanent failure at the end. Therefore, stick to basic ethics and etiquette. Build good relations everywhere through trust and confidence. And excel as a role model in all walks of your life.


laxmi swetha said...

great guidelines with nice topic.

we can identify them by these words

often use jargon such as ‘honesty speaking’, ‘frankly speaking’ , ‘trust me’ and ‘believe me’. They are emotional blackmailers.

laxmi swetha said...

great guidelines with nice topic.

we can identify them by these words

often use jargon such as ‘honesty speaking’, ‘frankly speaking’ , ‘trust me’ and ‘believe me’. They are emotional blackmailers.

Anonymous said...

I had to deal with a manipulative person for 3 years. It´s terrible how everything they do is false, their smile is completely false, with the eyes disagreeing with the mouth. They are obsessed by the appearance of perfection, they pretend to be religious, pretend to be honest, pretend to be good. At the end, I finished with a very aggressive response. Now I´m feeling free.

Anonymous said...

Im dealing with one now. Ive moved in with him. Evertime I try to leave he has someway got me back. Talked me into selling everything of mine to get better so he says. Now im not allowed to have anything if I leave. Jealous of my children. Very mean spirit about him. I need all the prayers I can get to get out of this situation. I call the law he turns it around on me. . So fed up sick and scared. God please help me

Anonymous said...

My child's father is a serious manipulator...he goes the extra mile for people that only ask for an inch, then makes a guilt out of the whole situation,saying he's looking out for their best interest because the world is unintelligent and it's his responsibility to think for them. However I watch him make not so smart decisions on a daily basis.