This tactic is one of the oldest tricks in the books, and it’s so common that people don’t realize how harmful it is anymore. Just because it’s common, it doesn’t mean you should accept it. After all, it is a form of psychological manipulation.
Name-calling aims to make you feel inferior and exploit your vulnerabilities. For example, old men have been calling women “sweetheart” for as long as anyone can remember. They do it because they want to assert dominance. The connotations are that women are less capable. Or they’re just something pretty to look at. But it doesn’t stop here. Even presidents have started to use this tactic.
If someone name-calls you, stop the conversation right there and there. Let them know you won’t accept to be treated disrespectfully. Otherwise, you might find yourself being exploited using nicknames.
Fear is one of the primary mechanisms through which someone will try to manipulate you. Indeed, intimidation is a covert way through which some individuals instill fear in others.
This is very common in workplaces. Most people have had a boss that told them something along the lines of “no one is irreplaceable.” The aim is to make you back off and let the other take advantage of their position. If you fall for these tricks, you will be exploited. Even friends or family can do this.
For example, your parents might tell their underage kids that they’ll be kicked out unless they act in specific ways. Sometimes, you aren’t in a position to fight back. But if you can stand your ground, do it. Don’t allow people to exploit you, and let them know you won’t fall for their tricks.
10. Playing The Victim is a Type of Psychological Manipulation
Even though manipulation is about gaining power over others, that doesn’t mean manipulators always seem in control. Often, they choose to present as a victim to gain sympathy and exploit others’ kindness.
Manipulators want you to feel like you’re tied to them. When they play the victim, they make sure that you think they need you. They know you don’t want to see people hurt, so they use that to their advantage. They will exaggerate their issues until you feel obligated to be by their side and help them. Then, they will slowly start pushing the limit bit by bit until they can do whatever without you leaving.
Though you should always help people out, be wary of people who don’t talk about anything but their issues. And never sacrifice your well-being to help others.
Final Thoughts On Some Signs of Psychological Manipulation Most People Don’t Realize
Psychological manipulation is something that everyone will have to deal with at some point. Some people will encounter light forms, while others might get sucked up into an abusive situation. There’s no shame in falling for these tactics, as most of them seem innocent at first.
Lying, shaming, intellectual bullying, and more are psychological manipulation tactics. What they all have in common is a need to control the narrative and gain power over others. If you encounter any of these tactics, be aware that you’re being manipulated. Try to avoid people who use them at all costs, and stand your ground. If you trust your gut, you won’t be controlled.