How Manipulators Work

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Manipulation strategies


Flattery is an insincere compliment designed to manipulate you. People flatter you to get what they want from you.

The connections created with flattery aren’t connections. They’re corruptions.

Flattery destroys connections and creates emptiness in everyone involved. Fake relationships drain us. They don’t sustain us.


Gifts that obligate aren’t gifts, they’re manipulations. In this case generosity is greed. The power of a gift is its expression of a connection not the obligation it creates.

Curiosity and Guilt:

Insincere curiosity is hypocritical manipulation.

Placing guilt and ascribing blame can be manipulation used to control your behavior for the benefit of others. Manipulative people want you to make it up to them.

Why manipulation works?

Needing approval, acceptance, and love makes you vulnerable to manipulation.

Fear based living opens the door to manipulation.

Arrogance creates vulnerability to manipulation.

Many years ago an experienced business man complimented the way I dressed. His compliment puffed up my arrogant spirit. I promptly began telling him how and why I chose my shoes and clothing. To this day, I want to run and hide when I recall my foolish behavior.

His compliment revealed and fed my arrogance. I don’t believe my friend manipulated me. However, his compliment shows my vulnerability to manipulation.

Overcoming and avoiding manipulation.

  1. Manipulators want your goals to become their goals. Identify and tenaciously cling to your own noble goals.
  2. Find harmony within yourself before looking for alignment with others.
  3. Determine if gifts express gratitude, appreciation, love, or greed.
  4. Identify your fears. They create vulnerability.

Don’t live life looking for a manipulator under every rock. However, be aware.

How do you spot manipulators?

What suggestions for overcoming manipulation can you suggest?