“When it comes to controlling human beings, there is no better instrument than lies. Because you see, humans live by beliefs. And beliefs can be manipulated. The power to manipulate beliefs is the only thing that counts.”
Michael Ende (Author, The Neverending Story)
“The world is not fair, and often fools, cowards, liars and the selfish hide in high places.”
Bryant H. McGill, (Author, The Voice Of Reason)
“Liars share with those they deceive the desire not to be deceived.”
Sissela Bok (Swedish Philosopher& Author)
His only son.
In a way, it was his fault.
Actually, in most ways it was his fault.
He should never have been so trusting.
All the indications were there, but he couldn’t see it.
He wouldn’t see it.
And now his son was gone.
He would have his revenge, of course.
But revenge was something he should have exacted years ago.
It would have saved him and saved his empire from misery and turmoil.
The Roman Emperor Tiberius always knew that his top general Sejanus was ambitious.
But what’s wrong with ambition?
No one ever got anywhere in Rome (or in life) without ambition.
Sejanus wormed his way into Tiberius’ house, befriended his bodyguard, and schmoozed his family.
Sejanus manipulated the emperor.
He poked around in Tiberius’ life until he found the emperor’s weakness—his son.
That’s when Sejanus attacked.
But Sejanus didn’t attack out in the open.
He did it secretly.
Like all manipulators do.
He quietly hatched a plot to overthrow Tiberius and become emperor himself.
Sejanus didn’t expect Tiberius to find out about his manipulative actions.
He didn’t expect Tiberius to recognize his deceit.
But Tiberius did find out.
After many warnings from his sister-in-law Antonia, Tiberius had Sejanus arrested and executed.
The Roman Senate and the populace rejoiced as Sejanus’ body was dragged through the streets.
(Intense story, right?)
The history of General Sejanus and Emperor Tiberius is an extreme example of what a manipulative person can do in your life.
Yet, it teaches us many great lessons.
The story shows the effect of maintaining a manipulative, or possibly manipulative relationship for too long.
Not everyone was meant to be in your life forever.
They might serve you well for a while.
They might be a loyal friend for a season.
But seasons change.
If you don’t change with the seasons, you will be hurt.
After all, Sejanus was good for Tiberius for a time.
As general, Sejanus even saved the emperor’s life on more than one occasion.
But Tiberius was too naïve to recognize when Sejanus was no longer satisfied with their current relationship.
He wanted power and Tiberius was too naïve to see it.
I can relate to this (on a much smaller scale of course).
I’ve had falling outs with friends in the past.
The same sequence of events happened every time.
First, I started changing my life in some way that made these friends uncomfortable.
Then, these friends started to subtly undercut my achievements.
They started telling me all the ways in which I was going to fail.
They started mocking me.
But like Tiberius, I decided to turn a blind eye to their actions.
Eventually, these friends started attacking me.
They started actively trying to hold me back from my goals.
That’s when things blew up.
Looking back, I should have said goodbye to these people long before the falling out occurred.
How To Recognize Manipulative People In Your Life
There are manipulative people in your life right now.
You probably know who they are, too.
Even if you don’t want to admit it.
You know who they are because they popped into your head the moment you read the words “manipulative people.”
Act now to remove these people from your life.
If you don’t, you’ll pay for it.
You’ll pay because, over time, it gets harder and harder to recognize and remove manipulative people from your life.
A study in the Hellenic Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows that the older you get, the lower your social cognition becomes.
Likewise, the longer you stay in the manipulative relationship, the harder it becomes for you to recognize it as manipulative.
As the study shows, you’ll have a harder and harder time recognizing indirect language.
Your brain will process manipulative events slower and slower.
This is why so many people get manipulated by their friends.
It’s also why expert con artists befriend their marks for an extended period of time before conning them.
The bigger the con, the longer the friendship.
Don’t wait to identify and remove the manipulative people in your life.
Be on the lookout for these people in your life now, not later.
Don’t be paranoid.
But don’t be lazy either.
5 Strategies For Removing Manipulative People From Your Life
Manipulative people are everywhere.
There are people close to you who want you to fail.
There are people who stay close to you, not to help you, but to hurt you.
There are people in your life who take more than they give.
You know—the ones who beg and cry for your attention, but disappear as soon as you need them.
Why are you keeping these people in your life?
Some of these people lack emotional intelligence, and are easily spotted and eliminated.
Others, however, are harder to sniff out.
These are the ones who pretend to always be there for you.
The ones who use the power of suggestion to get you to do things to their advantage.
The ones who plant seeds of self-doubt in your head without you realizing it.
You must learn how to recognize these people and remove them from your life.
The problem is that some of these people are very close to you.
They may be lifelong friends or family members.
You may love them.
Yet, they don’t have your best interest at heart.
So, how do you know who is really in your corner in life?
How do you decipher the manipulative, negative people from the positive, supportive people?
More importantly, how do you remove them once you identify them?
Here are 5 strategies for recognizing and removing manipulative people from your life…
1. Walk away from people who claim to have your best interest at heart.
Everyone in your life is selfish.
But this isn’t a bad thing.
These people may be in your life for the selfish reason of enjoying your company.
Or for the selfish reason that your goals align with theirs.
They are selfish in a good way.
Likewise, you keep some people in your life because they make you happy.
Or because you learn from them.
On and on.
But what about the people who claim to be in your life only for your benefit?
What about the people who claim to have your best interest at heart, not theirs?
These are the people you should walk away from.
It’s in your best interest to do them a favor.
It’s in your best interest to do their work for them.
It’s in your best interest to put in the extra hours.
It’s in your best interest to keep them happy.
When someone tells you that they have your best interest at heart, what they’re really saying is…
I want you to do this for me, but I want you to pretend like you’re doing it for yourself.
The reason manipulative people want you to pretend that their interests are your interests is because it frees them from both obligation and responsibility.
If you do something for them under the disguise of it being for you, they don’t owe you anything.
If you do something for them under the disguise of it being for you, they’re not responsible if things go wrong.
They’re not responsible if you get hurt.
Instead, you’re responsible.
Instead, you owe them.
Do you see the trick?
Stay away from people who claim to be thinking, talking, or acting in line with your best interest.
If it really was in your best interest, they wouldn’t have to tell you.
They wouldn’t have to make a show of it.
They would just help you and move on.
2. Turn the tables on people who make you feel guilty and see how they react.
Keeping manipulative people around is a risk.
You might think that sometimes, this risk is worth it.
Maybe the manipulator has some endearing qualities.
Maybe he or she is fun to be around.
Don’t fall into this trap.
Manipulative people will always cause some part of your life to unravel.
Have the guts to get rid of them as soon as you spot them.
One of the easiest ways to spot them is by paying attention to who makes you feel guilty.
Who makes you feel bad about yourself?
Who makes you feel like you’re never quite up to par?
These are the people you need to eliminate from your life.
Of course, other people are not responsible for your feelings.
No one can make you feel guilty without your own permission.
So, how can you tell if someone else is trying to make you feel guilty?
How can you ensure that you’re not being too sensitive?
The fastest and most effective way to tell is by turning the tables on the person who is making you feel guilty.
If someone close to you subtly reprimands you for being too confident, too successful, too pretty, too rich, too oblivious to other people’s feelings, or too whatever—throw it back on them.
Ask them why they’re trying to make you feel guilty.
Ask them why they’re trying to make you feel obligated.
Ask them what they think you owe them.
These questions are difficult to ask, but they will quickly clarify whether or not someone is trying to manipulate you.
Direct questions like these throw manipulative people off balance.
The best they can hope to do is label you as overly sensitive.
That’s when you know they’re using you to get something.
That’s when you know they’re trying to guilt you into doing something for their gain.
3. Stop accepting help from people who have a history of using their favors against you.
Giving a recommendation to a colleague.
Helping a friend start a new business.
Introducing two like-minded people.
These are things that positive, successful people do.
These are things you can do to build your social capital.
These are favors that can come back to help you in the future.
But, some favors can come back to bite you.
Manipulators use favors as weapons.
They use small favors, like a piece of advice that happened to play out well or a chance introduction to someone you would have met anyway, as leverage to control your actions.
You know these people.
They’re the ones who will remind you over and over again about how your success wouldn’t have been possible without them.
They’re the ones who will take credit for giving you your best ideas.
They’re the ones who will whine and complain when you don’t acknowledge them, or don’t tell them something first, or don’t ask them for permission.
Stop allowing these people to do you favors.
Stop giving these people leverage against you.
Realize that manipulative people will use even the slightest positive incident against you.
They’ll irrationally enlarge the tiniest of favors into some gargantuan monstrosity that you have to pay penance for FOREVER.
Let it go.
Let them go.
Don’t make the mistake of giving these people a free pass.
Once they take credit for something you accomplished, or try to tie your achievements to some meaningless action they took years ago, get rid of them.
4. Cut questionable people out of your life temporarily and see if your life gets better or worse.
Manipulative people with keep you from fulfilling your purpose in life.
You only get one life—one chance to achieve your biggest goals.
No one is worth sacrificing your dreams to.
Especially not manipulators.
It sounds harsh but it’s true.
When you start suspecting that someone close to you is a manipulator, the time to act is now, not later.
The reason most people fail to act is because they feel bad.
Instead of getting surgical and cutting the negative person out of their life, these people get emotional and keep the negative person in their life.
This is always a mistake.
Look—the only way to keep making progress in life is by leaving manipulators behind.
You were meant for something more.
You just can’t see it because you’re surrounded by the wrong people.
The only way to start seeing clearly again is to step away from these people.
You need to physically remove yourself from your current environment.
You need to gain some emotional distance.
You need to spend some time alone.
Stop going out with the same negative people every weekend.
Stop attending the same sad little events that drag you down one minute at a time.
Instead, get away for a few days to a few weeks.
Distance creates clarity.
Realize that cutting someone out of your life doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a better person.
After gaining distance and clarity, you’ll be in a strong position to decide if the relationship is right.
You’ll have the perspective you need to determine whether it’s time to step away from the other person for good, or if it’s time to repair the bond.
5. Never trust anyone who asks you to trust them blindly.
Everyone wants to have friends.
Everyone wants to be well-liked.
There’s nothing wrong with this.
But some people want to be liked by everyone.
Some people want to be liked unconditionally.
These people think the world owes them friendship, unconditional love, and a free pass to do whatever they want.
Don’t be one of these people.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that other people owe you friendship.
Wake up—not everyone is going to like you.
In fact, if you’re living well, most people won’t like you.
The more successful you become, the more you let your happiness show, the more enemies you will create.
The problem is that some people will try to convince you that everyone should like you.
Even worse, these people will try to convince you that you should like them no matter what they do.
They’ll try to convince you that they deserve your loyalty, friendship, and favor despite their negativity, laziness, and bad behavior.
Don’t trust these people.
Don’t let them convince you that caring about them unconditionally is the moral thing to do.
When someone wants you to support them unconditionally, what they’re really asking you to do is to turn a blind eye to their manipulative actions.
They’re asking you to turn off your brain and play dumb.
Anyone who wants you to trust them unconditionally is toxic.
Sure, you should give people the benefit of the doubt.
You shouldn’t hold people’s mistakes over their heads forever.
But you should be discerning.
You should be a smart judge of character.
Without judgment, your life would be a disaster.
Without judgment, the world would turn into a cesspool.
Judge people appropriately and never give manipulative people a free pass just because they ask you to.
Stop allowing manipulative people to stay in your life. Stop giving people who subtly cut you down the benefit of the doubt. Sooner or later, these people will ruin your life. The time to recognize manipulators and remove them from your life is now, not later. Always be aware of the people in your life who say they have your best interest at heart and who work to use their favors against you. Refuse to blindly trust people who ask you to support them unconditionally. Be discerning and be smart. Until next time, live like a lion.
To learn more strategies for eliminating negative people from your life, and to get instant access to exclusive training videos, case studies, insider documents, and my private online network, get on the Escape Plan wait list.