Run away

Most of us like to believe that the world is full of well-meaning people who would never dream of exploiting others.

Unfortunately, we will all come across fake, manipulative individuals from time to time.

The good news is that you can avoid becoming a victim if you understand the signs that someone is trying to take advantage of you or just make your life miserable.

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Watch out for the following:

1. They subtly put you down to undermine your confidence

When someone has little self-confidence, they are easier to manipulate.

Be wary if someone tries to insult you, undermine you, or question your capabilities for no good reason.

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2. They put you under pressure to make decisions

If you only have a few hours or even minutes in which to make a decision, you probably aren’t in a position to weigh up all your options.

Manipulative people know this, which is why they ask you to make important decisions at short notice.

When you feel stressed out, they have the upper hand, and can influence your choice in a way that wouldn’t be possible under normal circumstances.

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3. They ask for small favors, then build up to unreasonable demands

Manipulative people are normally smart enough to realize that if they make an outrageous request out of the blue, you will give them a straightforward “No.”

On the other hand, if they begin by asking for seemingly innocuous favors, you will become accustomed to helping them.

Gradually, you will start to automatically say “Yes” or “Of course” any time they claim to need help.

4. They suddenly seem unusually caring and concerned about your wellbeing

It’s great to have support in times of need, but you should be on your guard if someone who is usually indifferent or hostile towards you starts making a point of looking out for your best interests.

The harsh reality is that they are probably trying to manipulate you in some way by giving you help or support you never asked for.

They may then try to guilt trip you later on by saying things like, “After all I’ve done for you, how could you reject me and treat me so badly?”

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How to deal with manipulative people

Once you know the signs, spotting insincere people becomes quite easy.

In fact, you’ll start seeing them everywhere. Boundaries are key to protecting yourself.

Make it clear, via your actions and words, that you will not tolerate bad behavior.

They will soon learn that they cannot manipulate you.

Remember, you deserve to be treated with respect at all times.

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