How To Deal With Manipulative Men
Much of the following applies not only manipulative men, but manipulative women as well. Manipulative men though, often act the way they do in an effort to establish dominance, be it in the home or in the workplace. They are like actors in a rather bad comedy. Day by day they create havoc in other people's minds and are not even aware of it.
No One Else Matters - If manipulative men are aware of the havoc they create, they don't care. Manipulative people are thinking only of themselves, and their own personal gain and don't care about anything or anyone else. They do what is of benefit to them, and to them only. A manipulative person is not necessarily a controlling person, though that is usually their goal. A controlling person is controlling, a manipulative person is trying to get there. While not all manipulative men are clever, most think of themselves as being clever. They tend to be sly and deceitful, and definitely have a sense of entitlement. Most men with this behavioral characteristic were earlier in life either spoiled, or simply not ever told "No".
One of the problems in dealing with manipulative men is that, if they are good at it, you being controlled. The other problem, and a much bigger one, is dealing with the person once you realize what's happening. If you have a mean streak, dealing with a manipulative person could almost be fun, except that a relationship that you would like to save may be at stake. So you need to proceed with caution. Here are some characteristics of manipulative men, together with some thoughts on how to deal with a given situation.
Arguments – Rational and (Mostly) Irrational - If you believe you are being manipulated, you have to tell the person you know what's going on, and you aren't going to cooperate. Then stand your ground. One response may be that everything is your fault. Just say "No, I don't think so", and let it go at that. Don't get involved in a finger pointing argument. Another tactic manipulative men will try is to ask you why you are so upset - "What's the big deal?" Here, the man is trying to belittle your feelings. Tell them it is a big deal, and you're not at all pleased. Again, don't get into an argument. Just state your case briefly and firmly.
"You don't understand me", or "you don't love me" are two patented lines the manipulator will try. He wants you to assume the burden of guilt for his actions. People can be very vulnerable to this argument. You can tell him, yes you do love him but not the way he's acting, or "You're right, I don't understand you", and let him figure that one out. Remember, he feels entitled, and what you feel is really of little concern to him. You may have to float the suggestion that you're entitled to some things as well.
Forget About Expecting Rational Responses - In general, you're not going to get into a rational discussion with a manipulative person, you can't pin manipulative men down if you attempt to get them to explain their actions. They will change the subject, rationalize their actions, blame everyone else, and even blame you. Sometimes you just have to turn your back and walk away, and let him rationalize his way out of that one. One person, with a mean streak no doubt, suggests introducing your manipulative man to another manipulative person. Soon they will be going after one another hammer and tong, and you can watch the show.
Having to deal with manipulative men though isn't always something you can make light of, especially if the man is your husband or your boss. You do need to stand your ground however. The alternative is to cave in, at which point you're dealing with a controlling person.