“If someone tries to make you feel inappropriate, do not listen to him, because he does nothing but project onto you what he sees of himself” A. Randisi
Since over time, but I would have gladly done without it, it happened several times to fall into the network of manipulators, I tried (a bit for survival and a bit of prevention) to draw up a sort of check list to understand if the person I am in front of is a manipulator or not, a check list that I am now going to share with you, hoping that my experience, although obviously limited and personal, may be useful to someone else. So I’m going to list those signs, or rather, those expressive tools, typical of the person who tries to manipulate you. There is a “but” that it is fair to tell you, which is that very often the difficulty in reading these distinctive signs arises from the fact that the manipulator or manipulator is a person close to us: a family member, a partner, a colleague. This makes everything more complicated because unconsciously we are used to giving these people a positive aura, we trust them, and this delays the time it takes us to understand that yes, he or she is beautiful and good manipulators.
But let’s get started
One of the techniques used by manipulators, perhaps the first ever followed by all the others, is to pretend empathy with us, the typical “I understand you”. They are great at dressing up as the best partner in the world, or the brother you’ve never had; the person who will help you for the rest of your life without asking you for anything in return. Bullshit! The manipulator will stand by you as long as your actions match his interests. And as soon as the two lines start to diverge, he will use a whole series of coercive tools of your knowledge that I will list in the next paragraphs of this post, to convince you to do what he wants, convincing you that in reality that is also better for you.
Another hallmark of those who want to manipulate you is the placing of him as a victim. He is a victim of his childhood, he is a victim of his exes, he is a victim of his work, he is a victim of yours: his goal, beyond the path used, is therefore to make you believe that between you and him or her, it is the manipulator who finds himself in a situation of weakness. And when we are faced with a person who we believe to be a victim of something or someone, we unconsciously start empathizing processes such as acquiescence, processes that are nothing more than the ideal terrain in which the manipulator will be free to move within our emotions. doing what they like without ever having to answer because, as mentioned, by definition, he or she is actually victims of a bad universe. When we are in front of a victim we soften, we bury some self-defense tools and we are therefore more easily attacked.
When they are not making victims, manipulators, on the contrary, use sarcasm to appease their victims. A sarcasm that is made up of answers and affirmations towards us aimed at diminishing what we say, trivialize it, thus triggering another emotional process that of self-esteem. It is clear in fact that for the manipulator it is better to have in front of a victim (in this real case) with low self-esteem, and therefore less equipped in knowing how to cope with him, and not a person (as they say) with balls!
You know those Indian snakes that dance to the sound of a fakir’s flute and with their elegant movement are able to hypnotize you? Here, the manipulators are exactly like those snakes, as poisonous as they are ruthless charms. I have never known, say, a manipulator or a manipulator who was devoid of charm: they don’t have to be beautiful, but they are fascinating. They conquer a lot and easily. They know how to express themselves very well, they have an excellent speech, rich and refined, they know (as said before) to bend with sarcasm or tickle you with subtle puns; they are real conquerors (and usually, in fact, manipulators are also inveterate serial partners). They enchant you, always as said before, so that you can soften yourself, lower the immune defenses of your dignity, and thus become easily corruptible on their part.
Another typical tool, perhaps the most complex to detect, of manipulators is that of threats. Warning: we are talking about very subtle, non-corporeal or violent threats. They are as small as a piranha’s teeth but just as sharp and capable of injuring their prey by convincing them to do whatever they want. Often they are threats that start from the intention to graft a sense of guilt into their prey. Or they use “end of the world” threats, like “don’t do this because who knows what happens”. And then nothing ever happens; but in the meantime the threat was enough to block the prey, like the venom of a snake that immobilizes its victim so that he can then eat it with extreme calm.