Take on People

What is a Manipulator? 4 Important Traits

what is a manipulator

Have you ever changed your mind about a decision you were adamant about after speaking with someone? If so, you must have done so while under the influence of someone, implying that you are being manipulated by someone else.

You must be wondering now, “What is a manipulator?” So keep reading the article because all the important things related to it are mentioned here. Also, don’t worry about it because you’re capable of handling such situations.

1. What Does Manipulation Mean?

Manipulation is an action or behavior in which a person uses their power over another to their advantage. It’s impressive and skillful because, in this case, the manipulator must play with the other person’s mental and emotional sides to get them to do whatever they want.

It is a process in which you use someone for your sanity by influencing them with your words. The term ‘manipulation’ is very important in psychology because it refers to a behavior that can control, exploit, or influence another person’s behavior for one’s benefit.

2. Is Manipulation a Psychological Process?

Yes, manipulation is a psychological term that refers to the desire to mentally control others. According to a study, it is a social influence whose only aim is to change the perspective of others through abusive, deceptive, or underhanded ways.

Manipulation is classified as forensic psychology, and most of the time, emotional manipulation is used because we are human and have a tendency to emphasize.

The victim of the manipulator always blames themselves for what has gone wrong with them, and they believe they are the problem. As a result, a manipulator is similar to a master who has complete control over his puppets.

Manipulation is a form of mental abuse to anyone, so whoever is going through it right now should not take it lightly, and you should not think that you are stuck forever because if you have figured out that you have been manipulated, you can get out of someone else’s control and once again live your life by working on the mentioned ways to escape from it.

3. What is a Manipulator?

Are you perplexed by the term ‘manipulator’? Don’t be concerned; let me explain. A manipulator is someone who employs psychological and emotional manipulation techniques on others. Manipulator is another term used in robotics, but here we are not discussing it as both terms are completely different from one another.

Manipulators do not use the same technique because they employ a variety of manipulative behaviors, but trait emotional intelligence is more likely to be employed by people because it is easy to attack through emotions.

3.1. What are the Types of Manipulative Behaviors that People Use?

3.1.1. Gaslighting

This is one of the psychological techniques used on others to manipulate them by calling their sanity into question. They attempt to instill fear in the victim. They will put the victim in a situation where they will question their own opinions and judgments.

Abusers, narcissists, dictators, and cult leaders are the most likely to engage in gaslighting. Their only want of them is to make the victim feel bad about their choices and their own self. Gaslighting is a type of narcissism that also involves emotional abuse, so to overcome it, you must first recognize emotional manipulation and try not to give them what they want.

3.1.2. Deceit

It is the act of deceiving another person by concealing or falsely representing the truth. People who engage in such behavior are dishonest because they convince others of something that is not true.

According to National Center for Biotechnology Information, there are 4 kinds of deception listed below:

i) A set of rehearsed and memorized lies about a life experience

ii) A set of lies that spontaneously developed about a life experience

iii) A collection of isolated lies involving self-awareness.

iv) A set of isolated lies that involve the knowledge of another person.

3.1.3.  Love Bombing

Love bombing is one of the manipulative behaviors used to influence people by displaying fake love and affection. It is a part of the abuse cycle and the most dangerous one because a person must be subjected to emotional manipulation.

When emotions are involved, the chances of being hurt in any way, whether mentally or physically, increase. However, there is no need to be concerned because there are more mental health resources available to help you overcome manipulation.

3.1.4. Victim Playing

A man justifying his abuse
Photo by Keira Burton from Pexels. Copyright 2020.

It is dangerous manipulative behavior that allows you to play mind games with innocent people by justifying their abuse. People who use this trick want to gain control over others and are always ready to put their fingers on them.

Victim playing is an exaggeration of victimhood for several reasons, including the manipulator’s refusal to accept responsibility, a desire for attention, a desire to always win arguments, and, last but not least, a desire to gain the sympathy of others.

3.1.5. Psychological Projection

Psychological projection is a behavior that involves unintentionally projecting the manipulative person’s negative traits or unwanted emotions onto others. It’s a process in which whatever a manipulator feels inside never comes out. Manipulative people make a lot of assumptions about other people’s behavior during the projection.

It is also regarded as a defense mechanism, as the manipulator projects their emotions or feelings onto someone else rather than confronting or accepting them. You’re probably wondering how this could be considered manipulative behavior.

It’s a common tactic employed by emotional manipulators. These people are so intelligent that you won’t recognize when you’ve been emotionally manipulated by them. 

3.1.6. Silent Treatment

Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels. Copyright 2021.

Passive-aggressive behavior is referred to as ‘silent treatment,’ and in this, the abuser attempts to harm you indirectly. In this case, the abusers do not speak directly to you; instead, they attempt to harm you with the assistance of a third party.

It is considered an immature act that people engage in to win any argument, and it also includes emotional blackmail, nagging, domestic violence, guilt-tripping, and a variety of other behaviors.

3.1.7. Antisocial Personality Disorder

It is one of the personality disorders with a manipulative relationship, as well as one of the most dangerous manipulative behaviors because it falls under criminal behavior. The manipulator in this case is unconcerned about the other person’s emotions.

Primitive borderline and Narcissistic personality disorder are the two forms of antisocial personality disorder. A primitive borderline has unstable moods or manipulative behavior, whereas an inflated sense of self-importance is present in the other.

3.1.8. Crowd Manipulation

Crowd manipulation is a kind of technique that is done intentionally to attract the crowd’s attention toward the manipulative person. They try to convince the crowd to believe them and to disbelieve their independent thoughts. Mostly, this kind of behavior is used by politicians to gain votes.

3.1.9. Flattery

Fake Concern
Photo by Ron Lach from Pexels. Copyright 2022.

It’s a form of manipulation used by insecure people to make them feel more powerful and gain approval. This is one of the more common traits, as it is widely used by people who want to be liked by others. Initially, the manipulators will establish healthy boundaries with you by assisting you in achieving your objectives.

We all love to be appreciated or get compliments, and manipulators take advantage of this. They’ll manipulate you in very subtle ways so that you won’t understand that you are being influenced by them. They’ll act like your well-wishers, but in reality, they want to get control over you.

3.1.10.  Guilt Baiting

Guilt-baiting is a type of manipulation in which the manipulator uses your feelings or emotions against you. Are you still confused? Let me explain: Assume you have a fight with a friend and later feel guilty about it. The manipulator will take advantage of your situation and try to make you feel even more guilty than before.

3.2. Does Manipulation Only Have Negative Effects?

Not always, as being a manipulative person can be valuable at times. In the office, for example, you can use manipulative behavior to persuade clients to agree, and you may also need to use emotional manipulation. As a result, it can be both good and bad at times.

It can be especially difficult for those who are being manipulated, especially when it comes to personal relationships because, in this situation, one must endure a great deal of pain, which may result in toxic relationships. One partner in these relationships may feel guilty, worthless, bullied, and imprisoned.

The overall conclusion is that it can be either good or bad, but the situation is also the main factor in determining whether it’s healthy or depressive. One thing that all manipulative people have in common is that they always use this skill to their advantage.

3.2.1. How Does Manipulation Affect Relationships?

Couple Fighting
Photo from pexels  by Timur Weber . Copyright 2021.

In relationships, if one partner has manipulative behavior, the relationship between them becomes unhealthy and causes mental traumas such as anxiety, depression, and stress. According to PsychCentral the victim always used to feel confused or insecure about their feelings or emotions.

In relationships, most people try emotional manipulation on their partners because it always works. To live your life happily and in your way, you must recognize your partner’s emotional manipulation tactics and try to deal with them strongly for your sanity.

4. Some of the Best Ways to Cope with Manipulators and their Tactics

4.1. Control Yourself

When dealing with manipulators, you must remain calm and composed, as well as maintain control over yourself. Don’t let them take advantage of your goodwill. If they continue to bother you, take a deep breath to relax.

Make no hasty decisions because they will try to force you to do what they want, but you must control your mind and think things through before saying them.

4.2. Say No

Everyone has the right to do what they want, so try to say no firmly. If you are not comfortable or able to do what other people expect of you, you can say no and should not feel guilty about it because we all have the right to emphasize our priorities.

4.3. Yoga or Exercises

Photo by Prasanth Inturi from Pexels. Copyright 2018.

Regularly practicing yoga or other exercises will keep your health fit and fine, allowing you to live a peaceful life. Dealing with a manipulator can make you emotionally sick, so avoid them for the sake of your mental health. Spiritual meditation, yoga asanas, exercises, or deep breathing are all recommended. Stay in nature because it will give you good vibes.

4.4. Mental Health Professionals

You should receive help from a mental health expert if the issue is growing worse or is out of your control. Abuse of emotions, such as manipulation, isn’t good for anyone’s mental well-being. So, to handle this, you should get professional assistance. You will feel better just by speaking with them honestly and openly.

They’ll give you some advice and, if necessary, therapy sessions. Seeking assistance from mental health professionals is thus the best option.

4.5. Express Yourself

Most of the time, these manipulators will not allow you to express yourself because they will most likely interrupt you while you are speaking, must be sure that anyone in your immediate vicinity can hear you in this circumstance. Make your statements clear, and don’t be afraid to express your opinion about something in front of other people or the entire world.

4.6. Set and Enforce Boundaries

Set boundaries or limits with a manipulative person as they try to push their limits to get what they want. All you have to do is be confident and stick to your decision. Just set clear boundaries with them, as you are not required to justify your actions.

4.7. Distancing or Ignoring Them

Photo by Alex Green from Pexels. Copyright 2020.

Avoid manipulators, even if they are your friends because they are deceptive and toxic. They only want to take advantage of you by manipulating you emotionally, but you must trust your inner circle by ignoring their activities.

4.8. Don’t Share Anything

Never share any information with them, especially sensitive information. They’ll exploit your flaws once they’ve discovered them. Don’t reveal any information about personal relationships. They will manipulate your emotions to make you feel guilty. They will also pretend to be concerned about you, so be cautious.


Most of the time, people are unable to tell if they are being manipulated or not, but in this article, we learn how manipulators use their tactics on others.

A person who is an expert in manipulation is extremely dangerous, and you should avoid such people at all costs. Their sole goal is to exert control over others, but there are ways to deal with these individuals as well.

So, don’t be too concerned; simply follow the mentioned methods above to avoid being influenced by anyone. You will not be used for anyone’s purposes if you are confident in your decision and trust yourself.

What is a manipulator? I’m hoping you now know the answer to this query and can handle such harmful individuals. I also hope you get rid of them right away so you can get back to your joyful and tranquil life.

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