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There are many different forms of manipulation, ranging from a pushy salesperson to an emotionally abusive partner—and some behaviors are easier to spot than others. Here, experts explain the telltale s that you could be the subject of manipulation. Manipulative behavior involves three factors, according to Stines: fear, obligation and guilt. You might feel scared to do it, obligated to do it, or guilty about not doing it.
The victim engenders a feeling of guilt in their target. But while manipulators often play the victim, the reality is that they are the ones who have caused the problem, she adds. A person who is targeted by manipulators who play the victim often try to help the manipulator in order to stop feeling guilty, Stines says. Targets of this kind of manipulation often feel responsible for helping the victim by doing whatever they can to stop their suffering.
Nice Guy. In fact, exploiting the norms and expectations of reciprocity is one of the most common forms of manipulation, says Jay Olson, a doctoral researcher studying manipulation at McGill University. A salesperson, for example, might make it seem like because he or she gave you a deal, you should buy the product. In a relationship, a partner might buy you flowers then request something in return. Often, manipulators try one of two tactics, says Olson. The first is the foot-in-the-door technique, in which someone starts with a small and reasonable request—like, do you have the time?
The door-in-the-face technique is the opposite—it involves someone making a big request, having it rejected, then making a smaller one, Olson explains. Someone doing contract work, for example, may ask you for a large sum of money up front, and then after you decline, will ask for a smaller amount, he says. This works because, following the larger request, the smaller appeal seems reasonable comparatively, Olson says. A good support How to know you are being manipulated in a relationship can help, too, says Stines. They are conditioned to think the interactions are normal. Someone needs to help them break out of that assumption.
For other forms of manipulation, Stines suggests trying to not allow the manipulative behavior to affect you personally. Often, establishing boundaries can play an important role in keeping manipulation at bay. Manipulators often have either boundaries that are too rigid or enmeshed boundaries.
In a manipulative situation, it can also help to delay your response, according to Olson. at letters time. By Cassie Shortsleeve. Get our Health Newsletter. up to receive the latest health and science news, plus answers to wellness questions and expert tips.
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Am I Being Manipulated In My Relationship? 17 s To Recognize And What To Do About It