General Question

kneesox's avatar

If you're a person that's too easy to manipulate, how do you stop it?

Asked by kneesox (1554points) 1 month ago

Do you just have to stop trusting everybody or what?

And then what can you do?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

28 Answers

kritiper's avatar

Assume to never assume anything. Assume everything anyone tells you is a lie.

kneesox's avatar

And then what? How can you proceed like that? Do you do the opposite of what they tell you, and what if they are telling you opposite things? Do you argue or just ignore, and how do you ever make a decision or take a step if no one is telling you the truth? Do you just have to be a hermit?

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Just say NO !

kneesox's avatar

@Tropical_Willie, the no is not the hard part. It’s knowing what to say yes to.

Zaku's avatar

I suppose one would start by analyzing in what way one has been manipulated in the past, and reflecting on why that was, and what to adjust to interrupt that pattern.

To someone who has been gaslighted, I would suggest stopping having any interactions with the people who did that. If they’ve been gaslighted by multiple people, I’d look at how and why they got involved with those people in the first place, and start looking for what was similar about them that might be clues that others might be gaslighters. And, why did it work on you. Some people who are frequently gaslighted tend to have a weak sense of boundaries, or even no concept of boundaries, little or no skepticism, and may be giving off “easy victim” signs that certain types of sociopaths look for.

One might want to read up on gaslighting and sociopaths, their victims, and healthy boundaries. One might also want to talk to someone who knows a lot about such things. If you have a health care plan than includes psychotherapy, take advantage of it and talk to a psychotherapist about it, as they should be highly qualified in this area.

canidmajor's avatar

I start out by realizing that the person or group who betrayed me is not everyone. Logic and reason dictated that most people don’t have an agenda that involves me. There is a period of overthinking everything, during that time I assess every little interaction, and it’s exhausting. But I soon realize that I can trust the vast majority of humans because they don’t have an agenda.
Step two is assessing the casual relationships I have, deciding who to trust, sometimes based on whether or not I knew them because of, or also with, my betrayers. I found it helpful to keep a distance from those, and start to make new connections. I try to trust the ones I have no reason to distrust. And it’s hard. And it takes a long time. And there have been setbacks, mostly of my own making, as I sometimes get spooked.

I can only speak from my own experience, I hope it’s somewhat helpful. Six years ago I estranged myself from my mother and one of my sisters.
I thought I had been able to keep a relationship with my other sister, but a few months ago I had to let go of that one, too. I am very skittish now but I have a group of friends that don’t know my family, and I concentrate on them.

Sorry to be so long-winded, I wasn’t sure what you wanted, here.

canidmajor's avatar

And, just to add a thought, here, I used to think I was being manipulated because I was somehow weak or at fault in some way. I came to realize that the people I was supposed to trust were the ones at fault, that they were treating people a certain way because they were selfish and nar+issitic and somehow felt entitled to my helpful nature.

I was in no way at fault, or even easily manipulated in general, just by those that I really should have been able to trust.

KNOWITALL's avatar

To stop being manipulated you have to find facts without bias and do your own research.
This would be easier to answer with context.

stanleybmanly's avatar

You must always assume or rather take it for granted that you are being manipulated. This then being the settled state of affairs regarding reality, your decision need only be to what extent you will allow yourself to submit. This line of thought has served me very well, with the great exception being women and matters of romance. That is one minefield no sage will ever map.

Cornelis1977's avatar

1. Develop a healthy selfesteem.

We all need some affirmation and good role models. But in time, we must become our own parents and make our own choices, being responsible for our own mistakes and successes.
In certain ways, you should seperate your unconditional intrinsique value with conditional self-approval or approval by others. As someone said: you are good, but you cant do everything that good.
As long as you doubt your own value to exist and live, people can influence you in harmful ways. To some degree, we need to tolerate some influence in exchange of social and personal development. But in the long run, maturity will learn to be clear about its boundaries and wishes.

2. Learn to discern correct communication about wishes and boundaries.

Its not only about personal vision and awereness, but also practical knowlegde and practicing communicational skills in your interaction. It will be a struggle at some days, with victories and losses. You dont need to be perfect, just persistent enough to enjoy the freedom needed to experience the real life.

3. Avoid a prolonged toxic environnment.

Even very mature and strong persons will give in when exposed to strong enduring pressure and negativity. It will be exhausting in the long run. Often , we try to control or change a toxic atmosphere, playing the wise adult but ending with disappointment and deception. Often, you cannot change a situation or relation – you can only control your own response to it.
As said, a toxic-free life is unrealistic, but you must set some limit in how much you can take for the greater good and other goals when enduring it.

Concluding:
you dont need to prove anything in most negative situations. Sometimes the best way to win a battle is to avoid it. As someone said: choose your battles wisely. Else you will not have enough energy for the battles that matter. If you dont like the game, change to rules or simply exit playing and move along.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

This is a difficult question to answer. There are multiple variables. A person who appears easy to manipulate may have a characteristic called, “Adaptable”. It essentially means that they go with the flow.

It might be due to the fact that they don’t care one way or the other. They might be willing to risk their concerns based upon the judgement of a person they trust. Their willingness to say “No” stretches farther outside their comfort zone than a person without Adaptibility. They are willing to take a risk because they grasp that it may lead to a new adventure.

kneesox's avatar

Thank you all for responses. I’m in a hard place where two people close to me want to pull me different ways and I really can’t tell if one or both are being dishonest with me. Or even if they’re both right. I’m stuck in the middle and these are big decisions and somebody is always saying I’m wrong and trying to discredit the other one. I need to do something very soon and have no way to judge who is right but this one can’t be avoided.

Sure I’d like to develop more confidence but atm I don’t have the luxury of time.

raum's avatar

Can you judge them on the company they keep? If you’re having a hard time gauging whether you can trust them or not, would looking at who they keep in their company help you construct a larger picture from which to decide?

It can obviously be a flawed approach. As wolves can hide in sheeps’ clothing. (Or in this case, hide among sheep.) But I’ve found it’s sometimes helpful to step back.

snowberry's avatar

If you have good boundaries, you’re unlikely to be manipulated. It would still be possible to be deceived or coerced, but not manipulated. There are lots of books on boundaries out there, and probably youtube videos as well.

PM me and I’ll send you some links.

Cornelis1977's avatar

kneesox: its it in their own interest in yours? Yes, people close to you can care and to some degree any emphasis is honest in a relationship.

However, do both persons respect your own choice and responsibility in these? Maybe they are both right, but if they force a decision, they are both wrong.
You have the right to make your own choices ánd mistakes. Even the bad choice can be the right choice, if its sincerly your choice to make and find out how it will turn out.

Love knows when to hold, but also when to let go. They need to give you some space and you need to take it. As said: maturity in choices is also about being free to make your own ones in the end. And fear and risks are a part of life, no control, advice or action can prevent mistakes. We need to accept uncertainty, open ends and things beyond our control.

Truth is not only about good or wrong, but freedom and make up your own mind. Even when one is totally right, he/she can be totally wrong as well, missing this essential point. Finally, my own quote as conclusion:

“Meaningful connections grow between people who can be faithful to each other without becoming unfaithful to themselves.”

A lot of insights. I hope you can find your way. Reality can be a *****

KNOWITALL's avatar

@kneesox Is it possible for you to extricate yourself from the situation altogether?
We have no idea of your choices here, but if choosing makes you uneasy, I wouldn’t just go along with either. Perhaps a third choice or compromise is possible with further thought.
Best of luck on resolution you are comfortable with.

canidmajor's avatar

OK, here’s something that may sound flippant, but bear with me for a moment.
If this is a situation of do This, vs do That, flip a coin. Then, assess your feelings about the outcome. If you are disappointed, that’s an indication that you lean toward the other option.

All the while that this confusion is going on, your subconscious is working on it behind the curtain. It knows more than you do, it has evaluated all the information that you have without all that pesky conscious bias.

Good luck with this dilemma.

dabbler's avatar

Detach yourself from the reflex to be agreeable, long enough to figure out whether or not to trust the other person.
Think the scenario through a few steps down the road and see where do you think it will lead.
Give yourself permission to say no ASAP if that is not a place you want to be.
Think of what you might be willing to offer instead of whatever exploitive thing might have been asked or expected of you.
Know your own personal boundaries.

Inspired_2write's avatar

It starts with not believing that everyone is worthy of your trust.

I was raised to believe that everyone is trustworthy and thus burned a few times in relationship’s where the man was conniving and a player in women’s lives.

I now spot flags ( actions which show otherwise) and don’t encourage a relationship with that type.

I was naïve because I was brought up and not allowed to date at all until I did when I turned 18 years of age and legally can leave the nest.

I was prime for ANY man to manipulate me because of it too.

Even in my senior years I see older men who operate with the same game playing tactics and avoid them.( they just want to get laid and learn from women , in order to be a better lover, and that is all.

TJFKAJ's avatar

Education-Institutional or DIY

The above quote-
You must always assume or rather take it for granted that you are being manipulated.
is pretty unhealthy. I would ignore that one.

sadiesayit's avatar

These two people wanting to pull you in two different directions—where do their opinions differ?

Do they disagree on facts of the situation, and that’s what leads to their different conclusions?

Do they disagree on what they predict to be the outcomes?

Do they disagree on what should be the desired outcome?

Do they disagree in their “philosophy” or “perspective” or “approach” to the situation?

Perhaps if you can make sense of how each person arrived at their opinion, you can more clearly compare the paths and know the direction you want to go (rather than feeling like you’re choosing between the people).

kneesox's avatar

@sadiesayit, good question. Both are family members. They both claim to be protecting me from the other evil or crazy one. They both believe the other one is deceiving me and will harm me and I should not trust them. They both claim the other has done things to them that I have no way to verify independently.

The thing is, they both make sense when they talk to me, and I’m pulled back and forth. There’s pretty much no facts I can check. It’s all persuasion and I see no middle ground or way to compromise. Stuff shown to me as facts I’m just skeptical and don’t buy and that sets them off worse.

I have no hope of fixing their conflict but I want to be rid of it without banning them. There are some big serious matters here so I cant just say go away and dont come back until you can play nice.

snowberry's avatar

Do you have the luxury of asking to see a counselor? Tell them what you just told us. Then have the counselor meet with the 3 of you.

This actually might be your best option, but I understand it might not be possible.

If you’re under age, and this is a divorce situation, you could tell them that since you are hearing from both sides that the other one is evil/abusive/manipulative/etc. perhaps it would be best if you went to a foster home. In the US, you could tell this to the child advocate, and perhaps something might happen in your favor.

snowberry's avatar

An additional thought: If you’re down to the last minute, and if you “choose” A, then B will be upset, and if you choose B then A will be upset, try this in their presence. Put two pieces of paper in a bag with A and B on it. You reach in the bag and pull out one piece of paper, and that’s your “choice”.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@kneesox I feel for you, this is my mother and father’s relationship my entire life. My father basically bowed out of the situation, but we have no relationship other than social media. I still don’t know who’s telling the truth in my 40’s and I have tried.

Best of luck.

snowberry's avatar

Or in a “perfect” world (whatever that means), you could choose 6 months with one then 6 months with the other.

sadiesayit's avatar

@kneesox—that sounds tough.

For what it’s worth, what I’d do in response to being pulled back and forth: In my conversation with person A, I’d let them know I appreciate the information they’ve given me about person B, and that I’d be on the lookout for the kinds of behaviors from person B that they’ve warned me about—but that person B is still going to be in a part of my life, and person A needs to trust that I can handle my relationship with person B myself. I’d say the same thing about person A to person B.

If I felt uncomfortable about the kinds of situations I might find myself in based on the information from either person, I’d probably give myself a bit of distance from both of them until I could get a more objective picture of the situation (but I wouldn’t mention that part to either person).

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