The 8 Types Of Manipulators: How Does Each Act?

Individuals who use sophisticated techniques to deceive you. How do they do it?

One of the characteristics of  manipulative people is, precisely, to act in such a way that they cannot be recognized as such. 

One of the factors that serve to understand how they can go unnoticed in this way is that, instead of a typical behavior pattern of manipulation, there are different types of manipulative people, or manipulation strategies to follow. This makes it not always easy to recognize when someone is being misled for their own benefit.

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The main types of manipulative people

Despite all the difficulties, it is not impossible to detect these cases of continued deception. 

Below I describe the main manipulation strategies that manipulative people adopt according to their personality or the context in which they are trying to deceive someone.

1. False victims

Some manipulative people hide behind a disadvantaged situation that in many cases is fictitious and that, if it is real, they always try to exaggerate. The objective is clear: to give pity.  

This is a strategy that appeals to the parts of the brain most related to the limbic system and emotional memory, and has a powerful effect on the behavior of others. In fact, some people cannot avoid giving in to everything that these types of manipulators ask directly or indirectly despite feeling that they are being deceived.

2. Attention seekers

In certain people with  narcissistic traits, attention is such a precious resource that they are willing to develop strategies whose ultimate goal is to achieve this element. And, in many cases, these strategies include a part of deception and manipulation. For example, it is what happens in people who pretend to have a power that they do not have only to have a way of standing out without doing too much, or who simulate interest in other people only to make this interest born towards oneself on the part of the other.

In addition, these types of manipulative people know that for others it would be so strange to assume that they do everything for the attention that they do not even consider it, and therefore it is unlikely that they will be discovered.

3. Authorities in the matter

This class of manipulators endorses the fallacy ad verecundiam to exert control over others. The idea, simply, is that they know a lot about a specific topic, and therefore should be the leaders and have the last word on a given topic. 

Of course, the moral position on which they decide what others should do is simply a facade that fulfills its function: to deceive others.

4. Echo chamber manipulators

These are people who want to thrive socially or economically by agreeing with an authority figure, that is, refraining from offering their point of view in exchange for reinforcing the decisions of someone powerful. 

This harms both others, who see how there is a very clear imbalance of power (a person who is already important has the unconditional help of another person) and the person who acts as a leader, since he cannot reach to be informed when their decisions and opinions are flawed.

5. Debunkers

If the previous two types of manipulative people are based on authority, with this class the opposite happens : they try to damage someone’s position so as not to have competition.  

To do this, these people can systematically position themselves against what this selected person does, and will frequently speak ill of her behind her back. Those who want to harm directly are not manipulated, but their environment.

6. False Prize Handlers

These types of manipulative people are characterized by offering a long-term reward in exchange for following a plan. Of course, when the time comes to give the reward, they will disappear. It is a manipulation style that is tied to a specific object and a specific task.

7. Flatterers

These manipulators go out of their way to speak well of someone so that someone believes they are indebted to them and agrees to do what they ask. As with false victims, it is possible to fall into their trap despite being partially aware that they are being manipulated.

8. Argumentative trileros

These are people who, to manipulate, opt for a strategy based on a verbal game: they make statements that after a while they manipulate to make it seem that they were saying something else, and they do the same with the speeches of others as long as it seems who have said something else.

This happens a lot in discussions, to win public opinion. For example, if someone claims that a mayoral candidate is uneducated and someone else points out that they do have a bachelor’s degree, the manipulator will respond to this that suggesting that a college degree is critical to being a good mayor is ridiculous. In this case, distractions and the memory of the audience are played with to manipulate them by speaking afterwards about things that have not happened. 

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