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Joined: 31 Jan 2011
Gender: Male
Posts: 929

15 Mar 2013, 8:43 am

Here is an excellent piece of wisdom on how to avoid being manipulated, posted on Youtube: I read through it and can relate to many of these firsthand, and that I didn't apply the counter-tactic when I should have...I absolutely despise manipulative people, no fake friendship is worth it, it is better to have very few or no friends than a manipulator as a "friend"! !! Trouble is, we Aspies are sometimes willing to settle out of a sense of anxiety and desperation; I've been there. I had a theory on a separate thread that Aspies are not as naive as some people think, but rather they are more lonely and less likely to listen to their inner voice. Think of what con artists do to elderly widow(er)s and you can see what I mean. But let me summarize here:

1. Think critically! Don't take it for granted that a person, even one you know very well, isn't manipulating you!!
(I had a friend for 8 years who didn't start manipulating me until about 6 years in, when I met my wife (gf at the time) he tried to trick me into leaving her to hang out with him as a wingman at the clubs. )

2. Feel your gut! When being manipulated you may get a strange feeling in your gut, if you get this, be extra careful!
Even as an Aspie, I've still gotten this feeling albeit not till later in my 20s (and I'm late 30s now) - people say we lack sensory perception, but that's not entirely true. I had a bully (manipulative) boss a few years ago and I could sense it right away.

3. Don't be afraid of the crowd! Because a group (one that you may consider yourself a part of) has one meaning about something, doesn't mean you have to think the same. Be an individual!
( know...NTs and groupthink mentality...not always easy, as they fear social ostracizing at least as much as we do!)

4. Beware of uncertainty! If a person communicates as if they are a Greek oracle, they are most likely to be a manipulator.
(good advice for NTs, but for those of us with ASD who are "nuance-dyslexic"...if we ask them for clarification, we might get the "well, it's obvious" response followed by silence, intended to shame us - when in many cases our instincts may be right that they are NOT in fact being clear).
Also, they can change opinion on something simply by saying it was a metaphor or that they meant something else. (I've dealt with this, and when calling the master manipulator on it, was told that "You need to work on your listening skills because you're always interpreting things the wrong way." )

5. Don't be a little dog - show the manipulator that you can be in charge and you're not dependent on them. (Yep, did this with a former friend who was the only guy who'd go to the clubs with me and his other friends and I could meet women, but after being ridiculed too many times I cut the ties - and he told me "OK, well good look finding someone to go out and meet girls with"...but I went alone and stuck to my guns, I didn't care what he thought.)

6. Watch out for the lack of negative things being explained.

7. BODY LANGUAGE (OK...this is where we have inherent difficulty...but if the person is a psychopath, all bets are off, even for NTs, as they won't even break a sweat or crack their voice.)

8. Speaking fast - so that people are compelled to agree so they don't appear stupid or difficult or confused. (However, on more than one occasion, I have asked a manipulative person to slow down and repeat what they said slower - the response was typically "well what part of it doesn't make sense?" - trying to shame me. Well, it's not a part of it, it's the whole damn thing! Unless it's a boss, then I put my foot down and say "well, unless you slow down, there's no point in continuing". I did this with a former "friend" (manipulator) who told me "well, it's no wonder that you have so many social difficulties the way you respond to people"...yeah, OK...F*** off, get lost.