A podcast co-host and behavioral analyst identified the four red flags of a person with manipulative behavior and provided tips on how to circumvent it.
In an article written for Charisma Magazine three days ago, Life Exchange Podcast host, leadership consultant and executive coach Dr. Melodye Hilton emphasized that mistrust can be crippling and even hinder a person in fulfilling God's call for his or her life.
She stressed the importance of continuously believing that God created each person inherently good while protecting oneself from abuse, such as manipulation. This, she revealed, was something she learned the hard way through her life experience.
Hilton pointed out that the best way to fight manipulators is to know who they are.
She identified two types of manipulators: the subconscious and the conscious. Subconscious controllers, she explained, often feel powerless that they have developed "character traits of taking and getting rather than contributing and giving." These are people who seem to withhold affection, often give you the silent treatment, conduct mental and emotional games, assume they could read your mind that they know what you need, and seek pity to draw attention.
"These subtle acts are often our silent attempts at meeting our own needs. We all can fall prey to this type of behavior; however, if we remain teachable and hungry for growth and maturity, we have a great opportunity to recognize and overcome these fear-based tactics," Hilton said.
On the other hand, conscious manipulators are skillful in being dishonest, immoral, and devious. They are fully aware of abusing their power to use another person for self-gain or profit.
Hilton, a prolific author of self-help books, clarified that both types of manipulators make you feel they are the only solution to a situation or problem. They also exhibit the same red flags of manipulative behavior. These are being quickly irritated, having a degrading demeanor, having hard-line reactions or an escalated emotional response to the situation, and using intimidation and threats.
Hilton expounded that manipulators often display irritation whenever they are questioned or challenged for authenticity. This is in contrast to a genuine person who welcomes inquiry, validates principled motives, and supports their claims.
In terms of a manipulator's degrading demeanor, Hilton revealed that this comes from the person's portrayal of superiority. Manipulators point out how incompetent you are whenever you request proof of what they are presenting, demand an explanation for their actions, or recommend accountability.
A manipulator becomes more prominent when they suddenly have an aggressive disposition, which happens when they lose their sense of power. This is then followed by threats of harm, rejection, and failure when the manipulator tries to regain control over you or the situation. This enables them to take what they find beneficial from you.
In closing, Hilton underscored the need to protect oneself from the toxicity of manipulators. She said it may take time before one can fully identify if a person is a manipulator. It is good to steer away from them as soon as one sees the red flags.
"We will never lead perfectly, and we won't always see the hidden agendas of practiced manipulators immediately. However, when the red flags become visible, we must confront them to protect the vision and the precious lives that have been entrusted to us. This process builds us, gives opportunity for change and justice, and gives us the courage to face our future with optimism," Hilton ended.