We are often faced with the fact that other people want to control our behavior. In psychology, this control is called manipulation. Can you protect yourself from this? Studying at college, you can notice that some people want to manipulate you. Do not let this happen.
The first step in the psychological protection is the realization of the fact of manipulation. If you are trying to “decipher” the behavior of others, get guided by your feelings! You can deceive the mind, but the subconscious is almost impossible to deceive. Let us say you do not want to do some action, but you have to comply with those you force you to do it, because, otherwise, it would be “embarrassing”, “selfish”, “rude”, “ugly” of you.
While we are not aware of the manipulation, we do not take a defensive action. Basic protective mechanisms of ours keep silent. The oldest method of protection should be recognized as an escape. Then goes fading, and only then goes a counter-attack on the aggressor, the desire to influence their behavior.
What Methods Might Work?
- Just do not react to manipulating words, as if you had not heard or noticed them.
- Pretend not to understand what your manipulator is talking about.
- Turn the conversation to another topic.
- “Agreeing” with a manipulator’s offer, be sure to tell that the final decision will be taken later because you need to think about it.
- Keep patience and self-control.
How to Keep Self-Control?
You can imagine the role of manipulation with this simple example. You come to the store to buy a mobile phone. You meet the shop assistant who offers you the most expensive model, and in the course of your mental humility, makes you give your entire salary for a new kettle, iron and hair dryer. Yes, it is a manipulator. Be aware of such a person. Here you can read more about how to prevent yourself from being manipulated.
Keep Looking at the Manipulator
It is necessary to focus not on what and how the manipulator is talking to you but on their appearance and the surroundings. Let the one who is playing on your nerves keep talking. You have to remember the details as if it was the need to paint the picture. Sudden silence will make the manipulator weak.
Your imagination is capable of to do miracles. Imagine the manipulator in the state when it would be funny to look at them (for example, with butterfly wings); or you can reduce their height; or imagine them as a midget, dwarf or cockroach. Add something comic to this situation.
Peace in Everything
It is always better to sit down and focus, breathe deeply, drink some water. Just do not make a fuss.
In this way, you are more likely to give the reasonable response. You can train yourself to respond only after you count up to 10.
It is important to keep track of what is going on with your body. Straight back, normal breath, hard look will protect you against manipulators.
These are the examples of passive protection. What about active one?
What Can Be an Active Protection?
If you are not afraid of conflicts, you can apply counter-attack. Tell your manipulator what you do not like about their words. You can ask questions: “What exactly do you want?”, “Tell me directly what do you want from this conversation?” This enhances psychological protection.
Start your game. You must answer to the manipulator and show your mental strength. In such cases, it is you who manipulates, not them.
For example, an unfamiliar interlocutor calls you “dear” “honey”, etc. Thus, they establish a psychological advantage. In this case, you must start to address them in the same way, until they realize that it is impossible to press you down.
Universal Ways to Protect Against Manipulation
Learn to Say “No”
Otherwise, you have been and will remain the best targets for manipulators. Everyone has the right to say “no”. Renounced your desire to please everyone to be capable of saying this word. It is better to think about your needs.
Keep your distance. Manipulators get information about the “victims” so easily not because they are so smart, but because of excessive truthfulness of the people.
Take Care of Your Emotions
Do not go away from your feelings of guilt or debt. Do not respond to aggression with aggression. The main thing is to keep in mind the main task of manipulation techniques: distract from your own interests or confusion. You should clearly and firmly keep your main interests.
If the manipulator cannot predict their victim’s actions, they cannot influence it. You cannot win if the rules are constantly changing. So, set yours!
Do Not Boast
Boasting is the best way to make others envious. For the manipulator, it is a clear demonstration of weaknesses of the potential victim. Those who know about it consciously behave modestly.
In general, the main weapon against manipulation is peace. Do not attack first. Psychological manipulation is a destructive thing. It is even more tragic to live with the manipulator under one roof, share your life with them, or study in one group.
There are many techniques that can protect you from manipulators, but, alas, even knowing it, not everyone can implement them in practice. So, do not let people manipulate you, you are an individual and deserve success in your life.
We also recommend you reading an article about how to defend your point of view. Here you can find some useful tips on how to defend your personal opinion.