Do you think that evil manipulators, psychopathic personalities and narcissistic colleagues come across only in TV shows and movies? Alas, reality is many times more interesting than Hollywood. It is possible that the abuser Uncle Vasya lives with you on the landing, from whom there is no passage not only to his wife and children, but also to the neighbor below.

One way or another, every second person faced parental manipulations. And there are plenty of people who will call black white and white black in your favorite job. Nevertheless, these processes can and should be resisted, especially in adulthood.

Pavel Rakov

Pavel Rakov

psychologist, coach, creator of the cult training “Actually, I’m smart, but I live like a fool”

The main thing is to know the “classics of the genre” in person and be mentally prepared. Remember, it’s not a shame to get hooked by a manipulator. There are real virtuosos of this business in the world, and even the most intelligent and enlightened person can suddenly find himself in the net of this strange and painful game. Most importantly, you can get out of this hole on your own or with the help of close friends who are resistant to outside manipulation.

Type One: Pressure on Guilt

One way or another, but you have probably come across this manipulation since childhood. “Here you will bring your mother to a heart attack!” Grandma called after you. Or the father was indignant at the unmade bed: “Aren’t you ashamed?” And, of course, remarks were used about the grades brought from school.


You’ve grown up a long time ago, but the guilt pressure continues. For some reason, you abruptly begin to “earn little”, not like others. It turns out that you still do not care about your parents and are generally a bad parent, since the child is naughty in the yard. In fact, the manipulator puts on the mask of an innocent sheep and a victim, without even trying to understand the situation.

What to do? Bend your line. In a difficult situation, turn to a psychotherapist who will help you remove the burden of this guilt from you.

Type two: gaslighting

A very subtle, almost imperceptible manipulation based on the phrase: “Yes, it seemed to you!” It just seems that the partner is not punctual. In fact, it is you who do not know how to set the right time for a date. It only seems that the spouse was flirting with someone from the accounting department at a corporate party. It’s all your jealousy and short-sightedness.

For other situations when you need to resist manipulation, read our previous article.

8 things you should never apologize for
8 things you should never apologize for

So gradually you begin to doubt yourself and reality, slowly going crazy.

What to do? In the case of gaslighting, keeping a diary with a full description of the actions helps, as well as connecting a person to the problem who will soberly assess the situation. It is advisable to record all conversations with the gaslighter on a voice recorder or screen the correspondence so that you have reinforced concrete evidence.

Type three: projecting yourself onto others

Yes, attributing your qualities to others is a favorite pastime of manipulators. In this way they deprive themselves, but slander others. It is you who do not understand anything about the project, which is why they ruined it, although the colleague had the last word.

What to do? It is you who are jealous of someone else’s success, gossip and generally behave like a standard Hollywood villain. Get ready! It will take a long time to bring such a cunning to clean water. But if you collect all the evidence of his uncleanliness, then the ball will go to your side. The same methods as in the second paragraph will help in this – recordings of conversations, screenshots of correspondence.

Type four: pulling out of context

Imagine that, while discussing a new project with colleagues, you said that, most likely, disasters with the project could not be avoided if the presentation was not redone. But literally five minutes later you are called on the carpet to the authorities for interrogation. The boss was told that you called the whole project a disaster … That’s how pulling out of context works. A bright, negatively colored word is enough – and a manipulator on a horse.

What to do? Yes, you have to prove that you are not an elephant. And for this you need to remember what, when and to whom you said. And be sure to enlist an objective witness who will confirm the veracity of your words.

Type five: take it weakly

One of the most common types of manipulation, typical not only for offices. It is found in companies of friends, in pairs, among close relatives. “Is it weak for you to go not to Turkey, but to Sochi?” – the manipulator asks a question and … As a result, you agree to go where you were not going to. Or do something that would never have been promised. How to be in such situations?


What to do? We’ll have to moderate the ardor a little, restraining ourselves from such disputes. Stand firmly on your own: once you decide, then do not retreat one iota. But this applies to cases that are not affected by force majeure circumstances. In our world, unfortunately, even a pandemic can break all to-do lists and planned events. And she doesn’t even need to take anyone weakly.

Type six: strange jokes

Manipulators have a very strange sense of humor, and sometimes it is completely absent as a class. But more often than not, under the guise of jokes, such people have devaluation and gaslighting in store. It is in this connection. First, they give you a joke about appearance, age, or your cognitive abilities. And when you get upset, offended, or trying to interrupt the flow of this childish, inarticulate sarcasm, your toxic buddy says: “Oh, this is a joke! Don’t you have a sense of humor?”

About how to get out of an awkward situation with dignity, they wrote here.

How to answer uncomfortable questions about appearance?  4 techniques to get left behind
How to answer uncomfortable questions about appearance? 4 techniques to get left behind

What to do? In such a situation, be able to answer directly and with dignity: “I have a sense of humor, everything is in order. That’s why I’m saying it was a disgusting joke.” You will have to do this regularly until the “humorist” gets tired of teasing you.

Type seven: deviating from the topic

When the manipulator is pinned against the wall with solid evidence or asked to explain what is going on, he usually digresses. Switches your attention to another problem, to the weather outside the window, or throws: “I can’t explain now. Let’s do it later?” But that “later” never comes. There is another phrase that shows the weakness of the manipulator: “I can’t explain now, you won’t understand”

What to do? In dealing with such a person, continue to insist on a clear justification for his words and actions. Argument that any pro can explain anything to a beginner in simple words. And if he can’t, then he’s not such a pro after all. And as soon as your interlocutor jumps off the topic, become a bore, returning him to the main questions over and over again.

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