I’ve had my fair share of dealing with master manipulators, from ex-coworkers, partners, parents, and bosses. Nothing new; they all share the same traits. Here’s how to spot them, in order to avoid tragedy.
- Favors – Are payments with interest. They help you, but shortly after expect something in return, probably more costly than the help they offered. Have you ever had a coworker “help” you with, let’s say, a disgruntled customer, then shortly you’re left to deal with three other angry customers to your own devices later on while they stretch their break time?
- Emotionally manipulative – They cry on command to make you feel like a jerk, as needed. For anything, they will target the emotions, such as guilt and pity, to make you do things you, deep down, don’t want to do. My ex-boss who owned a restaurant would do that to say to our team that they were in financial ruin but would see them on vacations on IG. #cryinginbali
- “A friend to all is a friend to none” – Aristotle. Pretty much, if this person is always agreeable and friends with everyone, despite that with you, they talk poorly about the very same persons they were just smooching 5 minutes earlier, watch out. Remember, if they talk bad about them, chances are they’ll talk about you.
No matter how nice they may seem, remember that some people will use these tactics to lower your guard and get what they want out of you. They will emotionally drain you and eat away your precious time. Something that is extremely expensive and that you can never get back.
Set clear boundaries and let them throw their fits, you do not need lousy company, nor do you want to invest in a friendship that is one-sided in the long run.