You can’t change the people, but you can choose who stays in your life.
As human beings, all of us are capable of manipulating, controlling, blaming or not telling the truth to gain something. The problem arises when your behaviour negatively affects your relationship with others.
Manipulative people are not easily described because they have some good qualities buried in their toxic behaviours. At first, they appear friendly, generous and helpful with the concealed agenda to control your time, energy and life.
So, what are the characteristics of a manipulative personality?
Lacking in personal boundaries
Manipulative people will ignore your boundaries, as their needs are more important to them than yours. They have very little or no respect for your time and the way you might feel. In this case, demanding respect for your boundaries will not be effective. However, you have a choice in how to respond to boundary violators.
Some of our boundaries are more important than others. Which boundaries do you consider negotiable and non-negotiable? Being willing to compromise can be a good thing, especially in a relationship with family and friends. However, this doesn’t imply neglecting your needs to please them.
Don’t tolerate repeated boundary violators. Ignoring your values to accommodate them will help them to continue their disruptive ways. Encourage them to get the help they desperately need.
Playing a blame game
They refuse to take responsibility for their behaviour, constantly pointing fingers at somebody else. They are not willing to change their behaviour because of the power they feel being in control.
The power over you gives them false confidence and temporary relief of not being good enough. They become obsessed with playing a game while you carry the stress of their unhealthy action.
These people might struggle with low self-esteem, lack of control in their life or some other health issues.
When to end contact?
When someone repeatedly violates your boundaries, it’s time to decide if you want to continue the relationship. We often make excuses for their behaviour because we care for them and hope they can change.
If your health is jeopardized by somebody’s toxic behaviour, here are five things you can do to save yourself from unwelcome drama and stress:
1. Don’t participate in useless and toxic conversations
2. Decline invitations that involve spending time with them
3. Don’t react to their disrespectful behaviour
4. Walk away with dignity
5. Take care of yourself and use the situation as a lesson
Using aggression and dominating attitudes to control others is common in many relationships. Domineering others for your benefit is never a good recipe for a healthy relationship.
If someone is hurting you physically or emotionally, putting some distance between you and this person is necessary. You don’t have to continue the relationship with anyone who makes you feel sad, stressed and not good about yourself.
End the relationship and suffering by asking for help. You deserve the life you desire.
Life coach Ranka Burzan owns a professional organizing company based in the qathet region and has written several books on reducing clutter and becoming more organized. For information, go to solutionsorganizing.com.