Do you have someone or some people who undermine and invalidate your feelings while you value their feelings, care about their wellbeing and you always try to make them happy instead of worrying about your own happiness.

If DEEP INSIDE you are beginning to feel something is off in a close relationship or casual encounter and you are like questioning yourself more than usual, it could be manipulation at play. In this article, I will share 7 signs to help you know if you are being manipulated. 

So, manipulation may be good or evil. It's just like when you flip a coin, what do you get? two possible outcomes, right? you have the head or tail just like manipulation. Now you might be wondering: In what way is manipulation good?

See the type of manipulation that makes you want to hit the gym at five is good manipulation. Now, the type of manipulation that makes you gift, your life’s savings to a fraudster is definitely a bad one.

You get what I’m saying, Now, females, generally are often seen as preys, victims, or targets for manipulation. If you are a female entrepreneur with so much success, financial stability or something valuable.

You need to bear in mind that one time, or the other, you will face the stiff test of manipulation, that’s if you're not being manipulated already.

I’m going to tell you the hardest part about this topic at the end and trust me you want to follow through to that one key point. 

It’s 2021, people are awake, you shouldn’t be asleep, it’s time you shine your eye and reevaluate your circle of friends and ‘influence’ (to know if it's a good influence or a bad one).

You’ve got to get to the point now where you stop people from taking advantage of you. You’ve got a choice to make. You need to let those manipulators know that you have a choice to make and they don't have the right to make them for you. 

So if you feel it’s hard to know if someone is manipulating me...see, Manipulative people have patterns we can study to understand them. Psychologists tell us there are principles in the art of manipulation.

The saddest thing about manipulation is when you are always the victim. When others take advantage of you for their own gain for whatever reason it may be. Let’s dive into some manipulative tactics and how you can detect or resist them. Ready? Let’s do this.

1. Subtly trying to shut down your mind from making decisions

We are all manipulated or are being manipulated every day, so let’s get that out of the way. 

The salesman manipulates us to pay double for an item; a guy who isn’t ready for a serious relationship but assumes the roles of a boyfriend, questions you when you make a decision but refuses to be accountable for his own actions.

You can't get too close to another guy, he gets jealous, but when he gets cosy with other ladies, he makes you feel like he doesn’t owe you any explanation. It’s all manipulation.

“Manipulation is an emotionally unhealthy psychological strategy used by people who are incapable of asking for what they want and need in a direct way,” - Sharie Stines 

We all know what it means to force people to do things against their will. It is highly unfair, people should have the right to make their own decisions.

I remember when I had to go into an emergency delivery cos my baby’s heartbeat was going down, even at that critical point, I was asked for my permission, they made sure I was 100% fine with going for a cesarean birth.

They made me sign that I’m giving them the consent to go ahead.  I’m talking about a matter of life and death here, c’mon  Anyone who is trying to rob you of the chance to make a decision in any critical matter is obviously trying to influence you, so make sure your mind is alert and you are making decisions you want or the ones you give consent to. 

2. When your values, goals are being questioned deceitfully.

Manipulators are excellent at gaslighting. It is their area of expertise. They cleverly want to talk you out of what you believe. They may play their cards well, however, not perfectly.

You will always get a hint somehow. Carefully crafted statements just to dissuade you about what you firmly believe in. This happens well when there is a risk involved especially. Watch out for phrases like; “you have to, it will all be alright, nothing is at stake.”

These are the common slangs of manipulators. They try to question your thinking, your memory, your sanity just to make you take a risk such as signing a gig contract, sending a huge sum of money, quitting your job, relationship or something significant.

Whenever you detect things like this, it’s very likely you are about to be manipulated. Always stay true to your convictions and goals no matter the consequence. If you are convicted about something, it doesn’t matter whether it is right or wrong. What matters is staying true to it.

3. Manipulators never want you to read them

It’s important to know that manipulating or being manipulative is a natural phenomenon. For instance, being an entrepreneur also means that you will have to manipulate things in your favour.

The manipulations we are strongly against are those with evil intentions. Agreed? One character every manipulator displays is secrecy. They do not want to be read and they avoid every opportunity for dialogue or questioning.

This is an important tool for detecting a manipulator. When you have an agreement or a negotiation with people and you sense a form of “avoidance,” it’s clear they are in to take advantage of you.

It’s either they are avoiding a subject, or dialogue but yet they are interested in what you offer. They want your deal but they are subtly avoiding something. Then you may just be about to be manipulated.

In any matter, discussion, event, we need to be able to read others. We need to read their intentions and motives like a book.

We need to be very smart, intelligent and be a step ahead of anyone whose intention is to manipulate. Such people come to ruin our business, our career and us.

We must protect our minds and guide our choices in every instance to ensure we are not manipulated. 

sign you are being manipulated

4. Manipulators AKA “LIARS”

If manipulators cannot destroy your career or your business, then they would attack you emotionally.

They do this by forming a very tight bond with you. If the person involved is a male, he could come looking like he wants a relationship with you. If the persona is a female, she will act as the “best friend” character.

Their intention is always to buy you with lies. They will always be very careful about being caught telling lies.

They know once they do, they’d be busted. So they tell very intelligently, well-crafted lies. In order to have you believe their lies, they try building a strong relationship with you to earn your trust. 

To uncover their real intentions, here’s what to do. First, you need to be careful because you don’t know what these manipulators are after.

The best thing to do is to play along with them while doing a critical underground study about these characters.

Seek advice from those who know them and are familiar with their families etc, however, this must be done confidentially. If your findings do not match what they claim to be, they are manipulators and possibly they might have been planted.

5. They try to make you invest in their cause

As a female entrepreneur, always have your goals, needs and want clear. In cases where you abandon your business and entrepreneurial goals just to attend to someone else’s goals, call yourself to order.

Manipulators have a tricky and deceitful way of making you abandon your goals and visions and start to chase theirs.

When you notice you are investing a lot of capital, time into someone else’s cause at the expense of yours, it is a clear sign that you have been manipulated.

Sweet talks intended at making you invest in another cause that isn’t yours but looks very profitable is nothing but an attempt to manipulate you.

Be careful. It takes a good deal of manipulation to make you channel your resources to building another person’s business at the detriment of yours.

6. Pretence

Every manipulator has to be a good pretender. They do this by faking their intentions. However, if you are very observant, you will find disparities on their actions, demeanour, and communication.

Some manipulators are so perfect that you hardly notice or suspect them for any reason. As a female entrepreneur, take note of fake names, fake documents, out of the moon stories.

The first step to uncovering a manipulator is that they’d come most times with fake names. Try verifying the names of your negotiators, business partners, and people who suddenly show up around you for a business deal.

In cases, where you discover a faked identity, you may have just encountered a manipulator. When you suspect a person is pretending. Try verifying their identity. You may request the person’s data.

Try verifying this data to see if it is correct. It may be difficult but it’s totally worth trying.

7. When you are subtly approached for a business partnership

If you have ever worked together with someone to secure a common goal such as winning a contract, watch out for manipulation.

It’s a common thing when two people tirelessly seek a goal and yet, one party wants everything to themself. In such cases, watch out for manipulation.  

Now, if things fall out along the way and your partner blames you for every misfortune that happens, even when it is clearly not your fault, watch out for manipulation.

When your partner shows up moments when things are good and is absent when there is a pressing responsibility at hand it’s possible there is manipulation somewhere.  

If your partner claims the glory of something they clearly didn’t achieve, they obviously have been manipulating you throughout the journey.

The hardest Part...

Now this is the hardest part of this topic here, so far you probably have identified one or more manipulators in your circle and that’s okay, but how about you do a self-check, no, let us do a self-check cos it’s easier to point fingers at people and list things they are doing to us without admitting the impact of what our own actions are doing to others. 

You want to make sure you aren’t negatively manipulating someone around you. If you recognised yourself in some of the points I mentioned, it will be nice, to be honest with yourself and ask deep questions as to why it feels okay to be manipulative.

Then put yourself in the receiver’s shoes. The only thing in life that’s constant is change, you can change and you should but if it’s a struggle to change, see a therapist. Seriously, Do.

Final Thought

It’s a good thing to be manipulated towards a good cause. Your fellow entrepreneurs may manipulate you in taking a decision that will benefit your business greatly. In this case, the intent of manipulation is good, however; do not forget that you still have the right to make your own choices in the face of manipulation, whether good or bad.

About the Author Funmi

Funmi is a Certified Functional Health Coach. She is passionate about helping female entrepreneurs transform from Stress and burnout so they can begin to thrive in their body and, by extension, their businesses. 

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