Some people are masters at bending others to their desires for money, time or attention. They prey on insecurity and use it to trap others in a cycle of abusive behaviors that serve their own interests.
Unfortunately, we all know a master manipulator or two. But if one of them has you stuck in his or her web, you can break free. You just need to learn how to confidently stand up for yourself.
Not sure how to do that? Don’t worry; here are 8 ready made phrases to help you put your manipulator in his or her place.
People tend to act as though they’re entitled when it comes to requests for help, especially if they’ve gotten used to you always saying “yes.”
But in reality, you don’t have to do everything someone asks of you and you don’t have to give a reason for objecting. Your resources are your resources.
Yeah, saying ‘no’ isn’t always going to be easy. But much of the battle is in your mind.
2. “Back up.”
Manipulators often use emotional or physical intimidation to get what they want.
If they’ve resorted to that, they’re likely banking on you cowering and heeding their commands. Call their bluff instead to throw them off guard.
Whether they’ve gotten a little too close or are asking far too much, asking them to take a step back (literally or metaphorically) sets boundaries.
3. “Come back when you’ve calmed down.”
This one works if your manipulator is using drama or trying to create a high emotional state to make you stop thinking rationally.
Make it clear that you’re not going to fall into that trap. Ask them to take a moment (or a day… or two) to calm down before making their request again.
If the manipulator in question is your child or teenager, this will teach them good communication skills.
4. “My feelings matter here, too.”
Some manipulators put their feelings on a pedestal. The aim is to make you forget about your feelings until you’re doing everything in your power to make sure theirs are priority.
Put an end to that nonsense by making it clear that you have feelings and needs as well. Life does not revolve around one person and neither should a relationship or friendship.
5. “That’s unacceptable.”
Manipulators look for easy targets. They want someone with loose boundaries who’s not going to put up a fight when lines get crossed.
By letting your manipulator know they’ve crossed a line, you make it clear they’re not going to have an easy battle with you. They’ll likely move onto someone else pretty quickly.
6. “Go away.”
Save this one for the worst of the worst.
I’m talking about the people who do all sorts of nasty things to you and then call you the next day to ask if you can help them move.
I’m talking about the people who you haven’t heard from since high school that pop up randomly and ask you for money.
I’m talking about the people who… You get the picture.
Some people just have no place in your life. If someone has a proven track record of lies, deceit and manipulation, serve them with an eviction notice and don’t look back.