12 ways a master manipulator will try to exploit your weaknesses

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Manipulators are all around us. You can encounter them at work, in your community, and even at home. 

They hold all the most important spots in our society, and most of the richest people in the world used some sort of manipulation to ammas the great wealth they have.

Master manipulators are one step above. They exploit others without mercy to get what they want. 

So, to defend yourself from their malicious influence, let’s discover the ways master manipulators try to exploit your weaknesses.

1) They act extra nice to manipulate you into liking them

If there’s one thing these terrible people do best, it’s that they can act extra nice to cloud your judgment and manipulate you into liking them.

Master manipulators use excessive charm to create a positive image of themselves. They compliment you excessively, shower you with praise, or act extremely friendly. 

This charm is a tool to make you feel comfortable and more likely to comply with their wishes.

And the saddest thing about it is that it works exceptionally well on most people. Just look at the richest person in the world, Elon Musk. 

He didn’t hesitate to lie his way to the very top of the food chain. So much so that millions, if not billions, of people fell for it (and many still do). 

But now, the emperor is finally naked, and it seems that his lies and false narratives are finally catching up to him. 

2) They pretend to be the one suffering to make you feel sorry for them

Manipulators often portray themselves as victims in different situations. By acting as the one who is suffering or being mistreated, they prompt sympathy and a desire to help from others. 

And, of course, this sympathy is a powerful weapon that can be leveraged to get almost whatever they want.

But why is that? Simply put, most people can put themselves in other people’s shoes, and they don’t like to see others suffering or being wronged.

Most of the time, we want to help others even when that inconveniences us. And master manipulators know this. They know they can manipulate us just by crying wolf. 

3) Messing with your head to make you doubt your own thoughts and feelings

Gaslighting is when someone tries to make you doubt your own thoughts, memories, or sanity.

They will deny things they said or did, making you question your reality and leaving you even more susceptible to their influence.

Even if you’ve never heard of this popular term before, I’m 100% sure you’ve been gaslighted before. How?

Well, you see, politicians do it after every election. They look straight into the lens of a camera and lie to you by saying that they never promised things they did in the campaign. 

Now that they’re in a position of power, they can do whatever they want to. And once they’re up for reelection, they’ll just promise a bunch of stuff they know they won’t fulfill. 

4) They share only certain info to control how you see them

Manipulators are also strategic about what information they reveal to you. 

They only share positive details or information that supports their agenda while hiding anything that challenges their story or image. 

This planned control over information shapes the way you perceive them. That’s one of the reasons they can get away with bad things in the first place. 

5) Complimenting you excessively to win your favor

Imagine someone constantly showering you with praise, making you feel like you’re on top of the world. 

This is flattery, and master manipulators are often experts at it. They use compliments as a powerful tool to get you on their side.

When you’re on the receiving end of constant flattery, it’s easy to start feeling a connection and loyalty to the person dishing out the compliments. 

You might find yourself more willing to go along with what they want because, hey, they’ve been so nice to you.

Excessive compliments and flattery are only tools to stroke your ego. Manipulators aim to make you feel good so you’ll feel indebted or loyal, making you more likely to comply.

6) Ignoring you to make you feel anxious and insecure

When someone ignores you on purpose, it’s not just about them not responding. It’s a tactic to mess with your head. They know silence can be deafening, and by cutting off communication, they leave you in the dark.

The silence triggers anxiety. You’re left wondering what you did wrong and why they’re not talking to you. 

It preys on your insecurities, making you feel like you need to fix something, even if you’re not sure what that something is.

This kind of manipulation is all about control. They have the power because they dictate when the silence ends. 

It’s a subtle way of making you more compliant, just to avoid the discomfort of being ignored.

7) Making you feel guilty, even when you didn’t do anything wrong

Ever had someone make you feel guilty even when you know you didn’t do anything wrong? That’s classic manipulation.

Manipulators skillfully use guilt to manipulate your emotions. Why? Because guilt is a powerful tool in their manipulative arsenal. 

When you feel guilty, you’re more likely to do what they want, just to shake off that uncomfortable feeling. They’re pulling the strings of your emotions to get their way.

Recognizing this tactic is key. If you’re feeling guilty without a legit reason, it’s time to question what’s going on and not let their manipulation get under your skin.

8) Sending mixed signals to keep you off balance

Manipulators thrive on keeping you off balance. They intentionally create confusion. They say one thing today and the opposite tomorrow or switch moods unexpectedly.

By keeping you unsure about what’s going on, they make you more dependent on them. 

When things are confusing, you’re more likely to look for their guidance just to make sense of it all. 

They’re intentionally making things unclear so that you feel the need to turn to them for answers. Crafty, huh?

9) Abusing your vulnerabilities to gain an advantage

Master manipulators are excellent at pinpointing your vulnerabilities – those areas where you’re a bit more sensitive or insecure. 

It could be something personal, a fear, or even a past mistake. Once they’ve identified these weak spots, they use them like a playbook. 

They pretend to be a confidant, gaining your trust by sharing their vulnerabilities first. Then, when the time is right, they twist things around, using your vulnerabilities against you to gain an advantage.

But they’re also masters at this:

10) Blaming you for their mistakes

Instead of taking responsibility for their mistakes, they skillfully shift the blame onto you. They twist the facts, distort events, or outright lie to make you the scapegoat. 

The aim is to make you feel guilty or culpable, diverting attention from their errors. All because they want to keep their image intact while you end up shouldering the blame for things that aren’t your fault. 

Watch out for those who always point fingers but never take a look in the mirror.

11) Trying to cut you off from friends and family to control you

A master manipulator might also try to control you by isolating you from the people who care about you, like friends and family. 

They subtly undermine your relationships by making negative comments about your loved ones or convincing you that they’re not good for you. 

By doing this, they aim to make you more dependent on them. They want to be the most important influence in your life so they can control you without interference. 

Keep an eye out for anyone trying to limit your connections – genuine relationships are a source of support, and it’s important to maintain them.

12) Threatening negative consequences to get what they want

This is emotional blackmail. It involves using threats, often emotional or psychological, to coerce you into doing what they want. 

The manipulator threatens to end the relationship, reveal damaging information, or cause harm to themselves to manipulate your behavior.

The aim is to create fear or guilt, pushing you into doing what they desire by making you believe there will be serious consequences if you don’t. 

It’s a way of leveraging your emotions to control your actions. 

How to protect yourself from manipulators

To protect yourself from manipulators, stay alert and notice patterns of excessive charm, guilt trips, or threats. 

Trust your instincts, set clear boundaries, and question the motives behind others’ requests. 

Most importantly, seek support from friends or family, educate yourself on manipulation tactics, and take the time you need to make decisions.

Lost Your Sense of Purpose?

In this age of information overload and pressure to meet others’ expectations, many struggle to connect with their core purpose and values. It’s easy to lose your inner compass.

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With your values clearly anchored, you’ll gain direction, motivation and the compass to navigate decisions from your best self – rather than fleeting emotion or outside influences.

Stop drifting without purpose. Rediscover what makes you come alive with Jeanette Brown’s values clarity guide.

 

Adrian Volenik

Adrian has years of experience in the field of personal development and building wealth. Both physical and spiritual. He has a deep understanding of the human mind and a passion for helping people enhance their lives. Adrian loves to share practical tips and insights that can help readers achieve their personal and professional goals. He has lived in several European countries and has now settled in Portugal with his family. When he’s not writing, he enjoys going to the beach, hiking, drinking sangria, and spending time with his wife and son.

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