4 signs you're being manipulated - and how to stop it
- Manipulation is a deceptive tactic that people employ to accomplish their own ends.
- Signs of psychological manipulation include lying or other forms of deception, appealing to fear, and establishing a power imbalance.
- It's important to recognize the signs of manipulation and use appropriate measures to combat it. Here's how.
Psychological manipulation is any action that's designed to help someone accomplish their own agenda through deceptive or otherwise shady tactics. It usually involves creating a power imbalance within the relationship or interaction - and isn't all that uncommon."Most of us have to deal with it on a regular basis, from untrustworthy relationships to commercial advertising and political rhetoric," said Preston Ni, communication coach, professor of communication studies at Foothill College, and author of "How to Successfully Handle Manipulative People."
The pervasiveness of manipulation can make it difficult to distinguish from persuasion. But there is a key difference, Ni said. "Healthy social influence occurs between most people, and is part of the give-and-take of constructive relationships. In psychological manipulation, one person is used for the benefit of another."
To help you figure out if you're being manipulated, here are four signs it's happening to you (and ways to stop it):