Manipulation: Is it necessary and how do you deal with it?

Manipulation: gaslighting, gatekeeping, girl bossing. Sorry I couldn’t help myself with that definition. Let’s try this again. 

Manipulation: the act of manipulating someone in a clever or unscrupulous way (Oxford Languages). Hold on let me bring this definition down to simpler terms: “It’s a botched up method for people to get what they want.” 

“If they are a little too charismatic [with their words or actions] and almost overly confident (lacking any security),” stated an anonymous Key West High School (KWHS) student. “[then] I believe that it’s reasonable to be suspicious [of manipulative traits].

This act can be seen in many relationships; romantic, platonic, toxic, and even the ones that appear to be ‘going good.’ “In a past relationship of mine [my significant other] controlled who I talked to and who I hung out with,” explained another anonymous KWHS student. “…but she could be with whoever she wanted.” Other examples of manipulation can be keeping a significant other from breaking up with them, or peer-pressuring someone to do something they don’t want to do, like drinking or smoking. 

So how do you deal with this? How do you deal with this overwhelming mind-twisting situation? It’s simple: outsmart them before they outsmart you. “[In the past, I usually] sweet talked and created creative excuses,” disclosed a KWHS student. Likewise, another anonymous student said that they’ve tried their best to separate themself from the manipulator, but it can be really hard to do most of the time. 

However, sometimes using manipulation can take you out of hazardous situations by using it to your advantage. “If you are in a genuine crisis, or an unsafe situation, and it doesn’t involve hurting anyone else- then sometimes it’s the best way to get out of something quickly and effectively,” explained a KWHS student. 

In certain scenarios, an individual can’t recognize that they are being manipulative to another. “It’s because of a trait I’ve developed from being around it so much and having it done to me,” disclosed anonymously. “I use it as a way of showing I have power and that I’m not gonna be looked down upon.” For more information on manipulation and how to deal with a manipulator, please click here.

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