After years of feeling manipulated by others, I have to ask myself one question, “Am I manipulative?” In some cases, the problem can actually be you.
Here’s what I really think about manipulation. There are many reasons why you may be this way. Manipulation usually comes from a personality disorder, which could be genetic. It could also come from your surrounding or environment as a survival tool.
I also believe that if you’re in a toxic relationship, you are controlled and abused on a regular basis. I believe that when you escape the relationship and find a healthy one, you adopt some of the previous manipulative ways, and use them on others. Among other reasons, you may be similar to your abusers now.
‘Am I manipulative?’ Let’s examine the signs
I truly believe that I am manipulative sometimes. I try hard not to be this way, but I was controlled and abused for many years, and I guess it was infectious. So, in case you don’t understand, and before we examine the signs, let’s consider the real definition of this dreaded condition.
Manipulation means to control someone or something for your own advantage, usually in an unfair and cruel manner.
Now, are you this way? The only way to know for certain is to look at the indicators. Yes, like so many ways of figuring out conditions and situations, there are always telltale signs of a manipulative person to let you know. Check these out and examine yourself.
1. Behavior rationalization
While you may not believe you could ever be manipulative, you can. You may even know deep down inside that you’re using certain mental tools to get what you want from others. Whenever this does come to your attention, you might rationalize your behavior.
Maybe you tell yourself that you deserve to be treated better than before, and so you try to control every negative aspect of your life. This unfortunately sometimes includes the lives of others. Believe me, this is not healthy.
2. Acting blameless
A manipulative person is never to blame, at least in their own eyes. No matter what happens, and no matter how obvious your part in the situation, you will try to put the responsibility on someone else.
The way you see it, you are a logical thinker, intelligent, and not prone to making mistakes. I guess you sometimes put yourself on a pedestal. If you have a personality disorder, this blamelessness will be even more pronounced.
3. Mind games
Whether you mean to do this or not, you sometimes end up playing mind games with people you love or care about This is a huge red flag telling you that you must have a toxic characteristic.
Playing mind games means trying to downplay the feelings of others or make them feel crazy (gaslighting). Instead of listening to your friends and loved ones when they say you’ve hurt them, you act like it’s no big deal. Have you ever caught yourself doing this?
Now, there’s a fine line between self-worth and selfishness. Your selfishness will show how absorbed you are with your own ideas and goals.
Manipulation, in this case, can be seen when you twist everything to satisfy yourself. The needs of others will always come second when you’re acting like this. Your best interests will always be first and you will do whatever it takes to get what you want.
If you think you might be manipulating people, then examine your control behavior. Are you utilizing self-control, or are you being controlling of everything and everyone else?
If you are trying to control everything and everyone, then that’s a shame. This says so much about the erosion of your personality. Control should be used sparingly, and if you are controlling things every moment of your life, you are molding everything to your will. You know what this means.
Healthy people and relationships have one particularly interesting thing in common – that would be consistency. You might be a little manipulative if you are an inconsistent person.
For instance, saying you will help someone and then backing out is inconsistent. Doing this once isn’t so toxic, but being inconsistent consistently is definitely an unhealthy trait. You will know something is wrong if you cannot keep your word and loyalties.
Do these signs describe you?
Are you asking yourself more often, “Am I manipulative”? If so, then you might want to take a homemade course in self-examination.
I’m not here to beat up on you, no, not at all, because I’ve acted like this before myself. I am guilty of using manipulation to get my way. In my case, much of it was defensively deriving from other toxic relationships, but that’s a different story. You see, no one’s perfect.
What I am saying is that you can take a look at these indicators and decide for yourself. Do you need help with being a better person, and analyzing your attitudes? If so, you can start today. After all, everyone deserves the best that life can give them, and everyone deserves a second chance… maybe even a few more.
Most importantly, look within before looking around you.
Copyright © 2012-2023 Learning Mind. All rights reserved. For permission to reprint, contact us.