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MANIPULATION - How to outsmart someone who plays mind games?

“I will no longer allow anyone to manipulate my mind and control my life in the name of love.” - Miguel Ruiz


We all are manipulated in this world.


Always...


By someone either our loved ones or strangers in many forms.


To avoid manipulation, you have to learn these dirty tricks to play on people's minds.


How?


Generally, no one talks about them because they are hidden behind emotions.


But


You can find them through an acute lens if only if you know them by knowing their

  • Name

  • Signature

when they are being used on you.


“He who wishes to be obeyed must know how to command.” - Niccolo Machiavelli


So, what is Manipulation?


It is the practice of exerting undue influence over others to accomplish an objective by targeting their mental and emotional characteristics.


Manipulation - black and white silhouette of a person holding a human puppet
Manipulation

TOP 8 MOST COMMON TRICKS OF MANIPULATION

Let’s, discuss the top 8 most common tricks of mind games manipulation and how to outsmart them:


1. GASLIGHTING

It's a psychological abuse in which the Manipulator uses the following:


  • denial lying,

  • misinformation, and

  • contradiction


to make you doubt your sanity, memory, and perception.


If you experience gaslighting, you may feel confused, anxious, or as though you cannot trust yourselves.


Example

  • Corporate Sitting with bosses, especially in Yearly Appraisals.


How to OUTSMART:

  • Disengage and walk away.

  • Affirm the response but don't take it seriously.


2. NEGATIVE HUMOR

If someone is making critical remarks disguised as sarcasm or humour to make you feel inferior or less secure.


It's a sign they want to degrade or belittle you.


Example

  • If you investigate or challenge the authority, activity, and performance of someone.


How to OUTSMART:

  • Remain calm.

  • Smile and put that person in the spotlight by asking questions.


3. VICTIMHOOD

This is the most common one I have observed everywhere both in personal and professional life.


Here, the person takes advantage of your kindness, makes you feel guilty, and uses your caring nature to help themselves by blaming others and situations.


Example

  • When a coworker shifts their task to you by saying they are overwhelmed due to unforeseen demand or poor planning.


How to OUTSMART:

  • Don't get emotionally involved, or

  • let go of that relationship.


4. PRETEND IGNORANCE

This I have seen many times in my life when people play dumb to get away with behavior or circumstances.


Example

  • Some people always behave in a meeting like they know this for the first time or do not know at all to avoid getting extra work.


How to OUTSMART:

  • Judge action not intention.

  • Recognize it and set open communication.

  • Document everything and set clear expectations.


5. PROJECTION

This is my personal favorite.


I see people criticizing others for things they do themselves as well.


Example

  • A coworker who generally comes late talks about other people who occasionally come late.


How to OUTSMART:

  • Don't take the bait and remove yourself from the arena.


6. GUILT TRIPPING

It's a passive-aggressive way to remind the person of something bad they did. This is the clever way by which a manipulator has an advantage over you.

Example

  • When parents tell us to study like my friends instead of understanding my circumstances or personal issues.


How to OUTSMART:

  • Show empathy while following your gut instincts.


“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not surrounded by assholes.” - Sigmund Freud


7. SILENT TREATMENT

This is the method of emotional manipulation and control where people deliberately ignore your messages, calls, or questions to make you feel uncertain and to make you start doubting yourself.


Example

  • When partners ignore each other over some issues by ignoring text messages or stop communicating.


How to OUTSMART:

  • Ignore it until it blows over.


8. CONSTANT CRITICISM

I hate this.


I have seen my bosses constantly making fun of, belittling, and marginalizing my efforts to make me feel less than, and them feel more superior.


Example

  • During a presentation majority of coworkers give low marks or just criticise instead of giving helping hands, support, or positive feedback.


How to OUTSMART:

  • Say thank you and get on with your life.


“You can't manipulate people who know how to think for themselves.” - Trish Mercer


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