3 Best Ways To Get Payback On A Manipulator | Dr. Isaiah Hankel | Focus, Create and Grow Your Way To Intelligent Achievement 3 Best Ways To Get Payback On A Manipulator | Dr. Isaiah Hankel | Focus, Create and Grow Your Way To Intelligent Achievement

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3 Best Ways To Get Payback On A Manipulator

“It is impossible to suffer without making someone pay for it; every complaint already contains revenge.”

Friedrich Nietzsche (German Philosopher)

“We are no longer puppets being manipulated by outside powerful forces: we become the powerful force ourselves.”

Leo Buscaglia (American Author)

“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”

Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor)

There will be times in life when you have to stick up for what’s right and call manipulative people out on their attempts to take advantage of you.

When these manipulators go too far, it’s up to you to reset their boundaries.

It’s up to you to pay them back in a productive way.

No one else is going to do it for you.

This is not “eye for an eye” payback.

The worst thing you can do is stoop to their level and become like them.

They wouldn’t get it anyway.

An equally toxic betrayal to yourself would be to just let it slide though.

Suck it up, avoid conflict, and hope it doesn’t happen again.

Hate to break it to you… it will happen again.

People wired up to twist others around for their own gain, with no conscience over the collateral damage, live this way as a pattern.

Because most people don’t call them out — they meekly step aside or shrink away instead.

The image alone is beyond pathetic.

The silent damage to your self-worth is piercing.

And they go skipping away looking for their next pawn, sometimes even circling back to see if they can use you for a second round.

It’s infuriating and hurtful, and makes revenge seem like a viable option.

Thinking of revenge on a manipulative person

Why Revenge Is Bittersweet

If you’ve ever been caught up in a loop like this with a toxic manipulator, you know how thoughts of payback run through your head.

Don’t feel bad — it’s normal.

Beyond normal, it’s healthy.

Thoughts of revenge on people who have manipulated you or used you are your brain’s way of trying to create exit strategies and justice, all at the same time.

Research published in LiveScience confirms that thoughts of revenge make us feel good.

Hearing about bad guys being punished elicited positive emotions in research subjects.

But revenge does prove bittersweet — bringing in negative moods following the reminder of the initial experience or offence.

The thought of enacting vengeful acts on people that have hurt you provides a temporary sense of justice.

Research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that revenge-motivated aggression actually served as a mood booster.

Participants were given negative feedback and then offered voodoo dolls to stick pins in as a way to retaliate.

After sticking pins into these virtual dolls while imagining they were the person who had given them the negative feedback, they reported an improvement in their mood.

Before you run around sticking pins in dolls, or people, note that these researchers also recommended against it.

As fun (or creepy) as it might sound, imagining revenge can be an effective and humorous coping strategy, but actually acting out revenge isn’t as satisfying.

Research in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that vengefulness in relationships was more associated with ruminating over the offense, decreased life satisfaction, increased negativity, and neuroticism.

So it’s not worth it… as appealing as it seems.

Ultimately, revenge is a waste of time.

How To Get The Best Revenge Over Manipulators

The reality of revenge is that enacting it is not worth your time and deflects from both personal responsibility and productivity.

And it gives the victory to the manipulator by giving them power over your time and attention.

The more thought you give to the situation, the more of your focus you’re giving to non-productive things.

You’re feeding the wrong beast.

Real payback is being able to regain control over yourself and cutting manipulative people out of your life without wasting any more time.

Here are the 3 best ways to get payback.

Spreading gossip about a manipulator

1. Shut it down when face-to-face with a manipulator.

When you come face-to-face with a manipulator, the very first thing you need to do is to stop talking, stop gossiping, and stop running your mouth in general.

When someone manipulates you, your initial reaction will be to complain about it or badmouth them.

This is a very foolish way of getting revenge.

When you turn into a gossip, you’re only hurting yourself.

When you turn into a complainer, you give manipulators the information they need to manipulate you even more.

You give them a bigger target to hit.

And you look weak and whiney.

It’s the best way to give manipulative people all your power for them to use against you.

And it’s your choice to do it — so now it’s your fault.

Quit feeding manipulators the fuel they need to control you.

Quit gossiping and giving them more and more things to use against you.

Quit reacting.

Manipulative people feed off of gossip.

They will twist your words against you over and over again.

They’ll do this to annoy you and to quickly ruin your reputation.

They’ll do it to feel powerful and leverage control over you.

Instead of gossiping against manipulators, get back at them by shutting off all communication with them.

No explanation required.

No backing down and rationalizing their crappy behavior either.

Stop getting sucked into their twisted little mind games.

Remove yourself and your words from the situation completely and watch the manipulators in your life fight themselves and eventually fizzle out.

2. Become stoic.

The second thing you need to do to pay back the manipulators in your life is to stay unemotional.

Even if you feel hurt, angry, or upset, letting these emotions govern your behavior will only make you weaker.

It gives the manipulator even more to use against you.

Getting even with a manipulative person should never be ruled by feelings.

Instead, it should be ruled by rationality.

Someone has manipulated you, and identified himself or herself as untrustworthy, and now you need to act strategically to improve your position so it doesn’t happen again.

The best way to do this is to channel other people’s manipulative actions into something productive that benefits you.

Don’t cry and whine about how unfair life is.

Self-pity is not allowed.

Instead, use this pain to your advantage.

Channel your energy into making something happen for yourself.

Growth is the best revenge.

Start new projects.

Meet new people.

Moving on and leaving them behind, while you seek out success, is the best payback.

Improving your life will pay back manipulators more than any amount of anger or sadness ever could.

Getting rid of them permanently makes room for people who aren’t corrupt and won’t suck your life dry with their voodoo styles of psychological manipulation.

Getting angry at others when dealing with a manipulator

3. Own your part.

The third thing you need to do is to take responsibility for the situation.

When manipulators take advantage of you in life, it’s just as much your fault as it is their fault.

You put yourself in a compromising position.

You allowed yourself to be pushed around and manipulated.

You didn’t set appropriate boundaries.

Now take responsibility for it.

Use the fact that you were mistreated as motivation to improve your position.

Where are you vulnerable in life?

What knowledge do you lack?

What skills do you need to develop?

Lashing out at others or turning sly and manipulative in return is a waste of time.

Don’t turn the microscope on other people, turn it on yourself.

After all, who are you really trying to help?

What’s the point in showing other people that they’re wrong?

Let them be wrong.

Let them keep living their sad little manipulative lives.

Stop wasting time.

You have bigger and better things to do.

Real justice is not making manipulators see your point of view or confess to their wrongdoing. Real justice is rising so far above them that they can never negatively affect your life again. Manipulators win by your actions. The more you engage with them, try to enlighten them, or defend yourself, the more of a fool you become. You win when you stop reacting, take responsibility, and set new boundaries. This keeps them away and allows you to focus on keeping your time and energies protected and centered on you and your success.

To learn more about the 3 best ways to get payback on a manipulator, 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.


You Comment, Isaiah Responds

  • Andrea Robinson

    I agree 100% on not becoming like the manipulator. It’s been a lifelong strategy for me. Also, I’ve learned to be much more direct and let people know when I’ve extended myself too far for them and need to pull back. Wasn’t it Richard Branson who said that being able to have uncomfortable conversations was a great indicator of success?

    • http://isaiahhankel.com/ Dr. Isaiah Hankel

      Being upfront may be uncomfortable at first but think of the discomfort and potentially permanent damage it will avoid down the road. Being direct is a smart move, Andrea, thanks for commenting.

  • Julian Holst

    Oh, yeah. If I get caught up in the wrong people, I always give myself credit for doing it. I like to get away from bad situations and energy vampires as quickly as possible. Every time it happens, which is rare, I consider myself as becoming a master in spotting them sooner.

    • http://isaiahhankel.com/ Dr. Isaiah Hankel

      Spotting manipulative people is a learned skill, Julian. Good for you for honing it and getting out as soon as possible. It all starts with taking responsibility for getting caught up and then doing what is necessary in order to move forward. Thank you for sharing your experience here.

  • Charisse Cappello

    I think it’s rough being completely unemotional, especially when a wrong first occurs, but I think it’s great advice to get over it as quickly as possible. If I see myself objectively and realize that I didn’t cause the problem but got sucked in, it’s a lot easier to be unemotional.

    • http://isaiahhankel.com/ Dr. Isaiah Hankel

      It’s natural to have emotions, Charisse, but you mustn’t let emotions rule your actions. You can feel like crud and still take strategic, positive actions and come out ahead, regardless of how you feel.

  • Carlie Stevenson, PhD

    Isaiah, I am so glad you’re recommending getting revenge by helping yourself and letting go of the other person’s emotional control instead of the old-fashioned ways of revenge! We can use many fewer broken knee caps and jaws! 🙂

  • Willow Sampson

    I’m appreciating your articles more all the time. Months ago, I joined a kickboxing class largely because of your articles about standing up for yourself and being strong. Now, all these months later, I’m really getting something that you’ve been trying to tell us all along, which is that you don’t have to start a fight or stay in a relationship with someone who wants conflict all the time. Staying and putting up with it is not being strong. I can appreciate how strong I feel now, with all these muscles tightened up and feeling more confident about what I can do. It hasn’t changed me as a person, but just made a better version. I don’t go around picking fights but I don’t need to justify my existence or explain everything I do or believe to everybody, either. Manipulators really can’t get much mileage out of you when you’re confident and really don’t care much about what they think.

  • Winona Petit

    I wish I’d had this type of information available to me about 20 years ago. It probably would have saved me a lot of time and heartache. Over the years, working and rising to a management position taught me via the school of hard knocks that what you’re saying is absolutely true. If you can “vibe out” the person and figure out what he/she is trying to do, you won’t get sucked in quite as far and quite as hard. As they say, the best revenge is not only served cold, but consists of finding personal success despite whatever the manipulator tried to pull off.

  • Sonja Luther

    The biggest part of this to me is owning your own part and realizing that you left yourself open. How many of us have had that inner gut-level feeling that we shouldn’t really get involved any further with a particular person, only to shove our feelings aside and try to carry on with a worthless manipulator, whether it’s in business or personal? There are times that you have to stop putting yourself down, take your part of the responsibility, but also recognize that the manipulator owns his/own share, also. Otherwise, you can stay in limbo for a very long period of time trying to please the unpleasable.

  • Harvey Delano

    I’ve gotta tell you a funny story about a roommate who just couldn’t get enough gossip or dish out enough crap about everybody he knew. At first, I thought he was super friendly and would become a very good friend, because he was confiding things in me right away, and to be honest, I was impressed with his openness and honesty. But, after a few months of this, I realized that he was a bottomless pit of hostility, and also started to get the weird feeling that he was dishing out about me behind my back, also. This was never going to do! So, I slowly but surely started making less and less conversation with him. At first, he didn’t notice and would just talk non-stop. Over time, though, I could literally sit in the room and study while he was talking, and wouldn’t pay any attention. He would just keep talking to the wall, I guess, but he never got any more dish on me.

  • Theo

    I think it’s fascinating that the research bears out a theory of mine that it feels good to think about revenge after something happens to you. But I agree that after a point, trying to get revenge just brings you back into the same old bad mood. Having something to shoot for in your life is much better.

  • Maggie Sue Smith

    I think your point about stoicism is well taken. If someone truly has abused you in some way, the best thing to do is to accept that and use it as an excuse to develop more personal power.

  • Susan Stack Nye

    Love your work Isaiah! I have introduced it to so many people..Keep up the inspiration and clear guidelines…

  • Nicole Attias

    Great article. Direct and to-the-point. Thank you.

  • 762fg7 jjbs4

    great victim blaming! “its your own fault”. you ever consider that maybe some of the people reading this are in abusive sitations, and that hearing those words might not actually be conducive to helping them?

    • Luce S

      It is not victim blaming. But and that is a but, it does take two to tango. The victim is not responsible for the manipulator but IS RESPONSIBLE for their behaviour. I have been on the receiving end of a manipulator and was angry about it, but ultimately had gut feelings about it but chose to ignore it.That was my responsibility to listen to myself and I didn’t. It is only when I recognize my part in the screwed dynamic that something will change.

  • roni horton

    Hello I need a help please. I am dealing with a high level manipulator and narcissist. she is my husband ‘s cousin , she is high level skilled sneaky. and plays two face game all the time. there is no way to get rid of her. she talks crap about people’s back but plays religious and social in front, also she makes family groups and adds people on it and acts nice. her entire life she has been manipulator, as soon as i understand her character i decided to stay away but she is after me. she posts about our birthday and anniversary. Her goal is to have good relation with my husband becoz my husband is successful person. she post s about my husband ‘s dad who passed away few yrs ago. she posts all kind of things like i miss you and uses all kind of tactics to get my husband s attention.she plays all kind of games to look good to my husband. she is also talking to my parents regularly . and she made them in her team, she send buttery emails to my bother to keep him on her side my brother did not reply to she went after my parents ,she bribe my parents with canada trip.she lives in Canada and she promise my parents that she will bring them over to have vacation in Canada. she knows how to control people. our entire family knows who she really is but everyone pretends to play along, I dont know how to deal with her . I would appreciate any help . Mr Isaiah Hankel I would appreciate if you could help please.

  • unknown

    “it’s just as much your fault as it is their fault.”
    Victim blaming at it’s finest, terrible article. This doesn’t help people, you’re just excusing shitty behavior, letting manipulators keep doing what they’re doing. Not good and very generic advice. I think the real way to beat your manipulator is to report the abusive things they’ve done and let the authorities handle them, etc.

    • Luce S

      It is not victim blaming at all. Read my above comment and you will begin to understand the screwed dynamics of dysfunctional relationships. Dysfunctional relationships don’t happen solo. It takes two people. Its about taking responsibility for your own behaviors.