Relationships are wrought with joys and challenges. It can be difficult to remain objective in dealings with other people when we spend a great deal of time with them. In our work, family, social, and other relationships, it is not uncommon to run across people who use emotional tactics to try to manipulate those around them.
There may not be anything you can do to stop them from behaving in this way, but you can decide how to respond and how to encourage those around you to cope with these issues.
When someone tries to use manipulation to get their way, they may use either aggressive or passive tactics. For example, a passive-aggressive person may not come right out and tell you what they have in mind, but they will try to relay what they want and work you until they get their point across and get their way.
One example of this is when a person uses “emotional blackmail” to change someone else’s mind about something. If a couple has to decide whether to visit one set of parents or the other, the passive aggressive person may not directly say, “It is important to me that we see my parents this weekend.
We saw your parents last weekend and it was a good visit. I feel like we need to take that amount of time to show my parents that we’re concerned about them, too.”
However, they may not feel comfortable with that and would rather have their spouse figure this out for themselves. As the plans are made, the passive aggressive partner may say indirect things such as, “You know, my parents paid for the down payment on the car we drove to your parents’ house last weekend.”
This may seem like a “hint” to the passive aggressive partner, but it can seem like nagging to the other. An aggressive person, on the other hand, may try to deal with the same situation by launching an attack. For example, they may say, “We always go to your parents’ house because you’re selfish and rude.” This aggressive tactic usually backfires, too.
What can a person do to counter these emotional issues? The best thing is to take a deep breath, try to understand why the person is trying to control you through emotions, and respond with calm, practical words that are based on reason and respect. Dealing with the manipulative behavior of others requires a level head, but will pay off with less drama in your life.
Often times people who tend to manipulate others act out of their own issues, and insecurities. They are unable to deal with it in a way that will resolve the behavior, but they must first realize and accept that they have this behavioral problem otherwise they will continue their ways.
This is when being in your own personal power comes in, be the bigger person, understand yourself and you will be able to deal in a more productive way with issues like these.