Sometimes, you can be manipulative without even knowing it. This could stem from growing up around people who were manipulative and you might have thought that is the only way to get what you wanted then. However, being manipulative – whether you meant to do it or not – could ruin your friendships and relationships with others. Most people do not like to be manipulated and want to stay away from those who are. Therefore, you might end up alone and without anyone close to you if you are manipulative.
But not all hope is lost! There are many ways to help curb this bad quality. If you are reading this article, chances are you have already recognized that you could be a manipulative person – you have already taken the first step
to stop being manipulative! Here are more ways to stop yourself from being manipulative and start building new, solid relationships with other people based on honesty and sincerity.
How to Stop Being Manipulative
You don’t always have to be right
The reason you are manipulative could be that you always have the need to be right. You might think the only way other people will give you respect is that you know everything and you are always right. On the contrary, people usually don’t like to be friends with a smartass. Sometimes, it is okay to admit that you don’t know something and let other people be the one leading you. A relationship is a two-way street, so, if you are always the one in the lead every single time, you could end up losing that relationship.
Become more confident in yourself
One of the biggest reasons why a person is manipulative towards other people around them, especially to friends and family members, is because they have low self-confidence
. It could be that you believe you are not worthy of their love, therefore, you need to always act a certain way to have them treat you the way you want them to. You might also think that these people will leave you if you don’t manipulate them because why would they want to stay with someone like you?
This is a clear sign of low self-confidence. To stop manipulating others, you need to first love yourself. You are trying to stop being manipulative and this is already proof that you are not a bad person. Now, you just need to believe in that yourself!
Be open-minded and listen to the opinions of your friends
We are all human and everyone has their own pros and cons. Just like you may be good in a certain area, like math or analytical skills while your friend is better in art. When one of your friends is telling you their opinions on something that they are an expert in, do not interrupt them and try to accept their viewpoints. Remember, you do not always have to show that you know something to gain the respect of your peers. Many times, listening to them and accepting their opinions could lead to a more genuine and stronger relationship.
Avoid being Mr or Ms Perfect
Do you always need to make sure that you look perfect, down to the smallest details, before you meet your partner, friends or family? Or if you are throwing a party, every minute little thing needs to be perfect or you’d refuse to throw the party? If this sounds like you, then you are a perfectionist.
Perfectionism is usually something people use to hide their insecurities and they believe that it could bring control into their life. This couldn’t be further away from the truth. Being in the company of a perfectionist could be very exhausting, and this might be the reason why your close friends and family shy away from you. Try to be more care-free
and know that it is all right to make mistakes once in a while. You are human, after all!
Realize that you do not have to plan everything
This is a great way to let go and be yourself – be spontaneous!
Know that not everything will always go according to plan and it is alright to change plans. For example, if your partner has to work late and they can’t make it to a planned dinner with you, do you get angry at them and try to guilt them into making it up to you? Or, could you could see that it is something out of their control and they didn’t cancel your dinner plans last minute on purpose? Sometimes, these things just happen and it is nobody’s fault. So, just do something else on your own or invite a friend to go to dinner with you – you can still have a great time!
Stop your over-thinking
If you always overthink or over-analyze a situation, this could lead to anxiety. Someone like that is always on his or her toes and on the lookout, making it very tiring to hang out with them. Not only that, it could also turn you into a Negative Nelly and stop you from being happy. And because you are always having negative thoughts about other people, you might feel that you need to manipulate them so that they don’t hurt you.
Stop your over-analyzing and start to let go! You can see a therapist or simply learn how to meditate to become a more positive and trusting person. Let go of your anxiety and you might gain new and wonderful relationships with those around you.
Don’t be the green-eyed monster
There are people who are manipulative, especially towards their significant other, because they believe that this is the only way to stop their partner from cheating on them. They could not bear the thought of their partner leaving them for another person so they are constantly manipulative and checking in on their girlfriend or boyfriend. If this is you, you have to stop this right now!
Nobody wants to be with a jealous partner and you have to overcome this. Not only should you learn to trust your partner, but you need to trust yourself too – trust that you are good enough, without being manipulative, to keep your partner happy.
Learn to compromise
A person who is manipulative is usually someone who always makes sure that they take from others but never really give anything back in return. This is very unhealthy in any relationship and could have a devastating effect on it. To stop this from happening again, you need to understand that for a relationship to work, you will have to give and take. If you and your partner or friend couldn’t agree on something, try and meet them in the middle. Compromise a bit and you might find yourself reaping far more benefits in the long-run.
Understand that people need their personal space sometimes
People who are manipulative are constantly around their partner or friends, trying to spend time with them around the clock. This is because they might feel that if they are not always around, they might lose their partner, friends, or family.
If this is you, you’ll have to understand that people need their own personal space sometimes. If they say no to your asking them to hang out, it is not because they don’t like you anymore. They just need to be alone for a while and do their own thing – this is something completely natural and you will have to learn to accept that.
Think before you speak
Do not always act based on your emotions and try to think before you speak. If you are unhappy with one of your friends or your partner, the immediate urge might be to lash out and make them feel guilty. But before you do that, take a few seconds to calm down. You can take a few deep breaths and sit down for a while before you act. Could there be a reasonable explanation for why your friend or partner did what they did? Put yourself in their shoes for a while.
If you still feel hurt but can’t think of a logical reason for the actions of your friend or partner, talk to them calmly about it. Refrain from losing your temper at them and let them explain their actions first. If you always act impulsively, you will come across as an immature person who can’t control their emotions.
In a Nutshell…
The first step of stopping yourself from being manipulative is to recognize the problem. Next, follow the steps above and make yourself a better person. Build up your self-confidence, love yourself, and trust your friends, family, or partner. It won’t be an easy journey, but it is possible to make yourself a better person and when you do, you will have many strong, healthy relationships as well as friendships.