Psychological manipulation is considered to be when one person is being used for the benefit of another. The manipulator is deliberately creating a power imbalance for his own personal gain.
Bright side published an article in which a communication expert gives simple advices in order to avoid manipulation
1.Know your human rights
When you feel like you’ve been taken advantage of, it’s important to know your basic rights and when they’re being violated. As long as you’re not violating other people’s rights you’re entitled to protect your own. Being able to express your emotions and thoughts, being respected, setting your priorities, the right to say “no” without any consequences, having a difference of an opinion, being able to defend yourself from psychological and physical abuse, the right to lead a happy and healthy life are just a few of the rights that can be violated. You are responsible for your own life.
2. Keep your distance
One of the ways to identify the manipulator is to observe his behavior in different occasions with different people. It’s normal to act differently in various situations, but if the behavior exceeds the normal limits then probably is best to keep your distance and avoid contact with the person. Exaggerated politeness and excessive rudeness are typical for them.
3. Avoid personalization and feeling guilty
Due to the fact that the manipulator is exploiting your weaknesses, it’s only natural that the person being manipulated is feeling guilty for not pleasing the manipulator. The main thing to keep in mind is that you’re not the problem, but that you’re being manipulated into feeling guilty and giving in. Think about that relationship and ask yourself: Am I treated with dignity? Are this person’s demands reasonable? Is this one-sided?
4. Shift the focus on them by asking deeper questions
Manipulators won’t stop at anything. But that doesn’t mean that they’re invincible, they too can run out of control. Reverse psychology is the way to go. Ask them about their demands, are they reasonable? Are they fair? Can you make demands too? Are they asking or just ordering you to do something? Do they really expect you to do something…? By asking this you’re making them walk in your shoes, making them feel what you’ve been feeling.
5. Take time as your advantage
Typically manipulators ask of you to do something in a rush. They make it a life or death situation and take advantage of your sympathy. Instead of doing what you’re being asked of, you should ask for some time to think about it. By the time you’ve thought about it your manipulator has moved on to his next victim.
6. Say NO – graciously but decidedly
Saying no without raising your voice and using distasteful words. Communication is key. Stay firmly on the ground and don’t change your opinion. Don’t feel guilty and choose a better life.
7. Mind the consequences
Every action has a reaction, when the manipulator is not taking no for an answer just remind them of the consequences of their demands. The ability to identify the consequences is an essential skill. It makes them think twice before trying to use you again.
8. Face your bully, safely
If the manipulator starts threatening you he becomes a bully. They start bullying the person they thought of as an easy target. But in reality, most bullies are cowards. As soon as you start defending yourself they take a step back and stop. Studies have shown that the manipulators are often victims of manipulation.