Some people like being manipulators. They might try to instigate trouble, by doing things like spreading lies about coworkers to destroy their reputations, or they might simply play the victim to get sympathy or pawn off their own work. When acts of treachery and betrayal such as these are tolerated because the target of manipulation won’t confront the manipulator, bad behavior is likely to escalate.
If manipulators are never confronted, they will continue to target people. Manipulative people thrive on controlling the emotions and actions of others. That’s what gives them power. But if you can show them you won’t be controlled, they’ll lose some of that power. If you challenge their power, they may even stop the behavior on their own. But if you don’t assert yourself and say no to manipulators, you’re just another victim.
In general, when dealing with manipulative people, along with “don’ts,” there are important “dos” to keep in mind:
- Do set healthy boundaries. You need to distance yourself emotionally in order to avoid getting caught up in the manipulative comments and behaviors. Cultivate detachment.
- Do document your interactions. These records can be useful later on in a confrontation or if you need to make a formal complaint about the manipulator’s behavior.
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