I think this one trait that I can live without. This also is one of those behaviors that I think people are born with. One would really have to train too much to take advantage of others, especially if one has a conscience.
I have met manipulative people in my life - and oh my God! I so wish I had not! They drained me emotionally, mentally and physically. I felt sick for years after meeting such people. I still have such people in my life. They are very hard to work with and talk to. And they make me physically sick. I get stressed out just protecting myself from their manipulative claws.
Nothing that comes out of the mouths of these people is reliable or trustworthy. It is so tiring to try and figure out what is real and what is fake that after a while I just give up - nothing is real. Which means, what is the point of talking to such people? I don't know when they are speaking the truth and when they are trying to manipulate me into doing something that will benefit them.
What are the traits I have found of manipulative people:
- They are very charming and have a wonderful personality - I always think - Wow! this person is amazing!! What a personality!
- They can lie so smoothly that I cannot tell the difference between their truth and fib.
- They make me feel guilty if I don't agree with them or do as they want me to.
- They will bring moral and the "right thing to do" issue if I disagree with them (of course their own motives are not being questioned here!!)
- They will never do anything for me - they are too busy with their own agenda.
- people cannot be like this,
- they would not do this to me,
- I am different - this person cares about me (not realizing that such care is self-serving)
- I am smart enough to handle this kind of person - when the time comes I will back off, protect myself. But reality is - I got in too deep before I could get out.
I have seen my own family and friends get manipulated by another. It was so sad to see how one of them was speaking the tone and behaving exactly how the manipulator would. It was so obvious. And there was nothing I could do, just watch how one was the puppet and the other the puppet master - pulling the strings. Of course the puppet master holds the strings as long as they can. They have strength in numbers, they get a second voice to support their own distorted one. The poor puppet does not realize what is happening.
It is hard to break free of such manipulative people - but I have! There is a lot of grief involved. I had to be ready to give up that relationship for good. This takes a lot of strength, self confidence and independence. There was definitely a sense of loss of a relationship for me; something that could have been pure and beautiful was now no more. Who knows if the manipulator misses the relationship? They are very focused on their targets that its possible they don't.
Despite my breaking free of the manipulators, they still try to hurt me with guilt or make me lose my cool by saying emotional things. And each and every time it takes a great strength for me to stand up for myself, and say to myself, "NO MORE! I will not not get manipulated by this person again."