5 Steps to Avoid Being Manipulated

Jennice Vilhauer Ph.D.

Like it or not, manipulative people are everywhere. Manipulation is about trying to influence your behavior or perceptions through indirect and perhaps deceptive tactics that advance the interest of the manipulator.

Bad as it sounds, it’s a very common human tactic. It’s not just politicians and big corporations that try to manipulate you; it’s very likely your boss, your partner, your angelic children, and even dear, sweet Mom.

The fact is, other people are invested in you doing what they want you to do. While we are all susceptible to manipulation, if you are insecure, overly nice, or worry a lot about what other people think, you may be an easy target. 

The reason manipulation feels bad is because it feels like you’re being pushed or tricked into something you didn’t really choose or want to do. Choice makes all the difference in how you feel about something. The exact same behavior can feel totally different based on whether or not you chose to do it or were manipulated into doing it.