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5 ways to protect yourself from getting manipulated

It happens to the best of people.  You go to simply shop for that new car.  Before you left you vowed that today would not be the day that you would purchase the car.  Today was the day that you were going to see what was out there and get a feel for the car market.

When you left you were not even sure if now was the right time to buy a new car with the new baby on the way and rumors of layoffs at work.  At the first dealership you held strong and walked away with a great feeling of accomplishment.  You did waver a bit when the salesman showed you that sporty little car that you dreamed of when you were eighteen.  But you walked away because you knew that it was simply not the right kind of car at this season of your life.

But that second salesman talked you into getting something way out of your price range and was simply not the right car for your family.  What happened?  As you drive your new car home you suddenly are overcome by the concern of how you will explain to your spouse what the new car is all about.  Today I want to help you never experience this sort of scenario again whether it is a salesmen or a family member trying to guilt you into watching their kids you can protect yourself from being manipulated.

 How to not get manipulated

Option 1: Lock the doors.

This is a great option for those who don’t have much of a life.  The ostrich with its head in the sand concept works for a season for most people.  Lock your doors, pull the shades down and never check out what is on TV, radio or the internet.  If you never talk to anyone on the phone, or text or message anyone than you are sure to never be manipulated.

5 ways to protect yourself from getting manipulated

Unfortunately this rarely makes anyone happy, including yourself. 

You may think that you are escaping the world but it is still out there changing and impacting the environment all around us. Eventually you will need to pull your head out of the sand.  The air down there is stagnant and you won’t be able to grow.  This option honestly only works if you are on your death bed with only hours to live.  If that is not the case for you consider one of the four remaining options.  For the long term this option will not work.


Option 2: Stay Educated

I finally figured out how to best to buy a new car.  Know everything you can before you walk into the dealership.  I studied the pluses and minuses and had chosen exactly what car I wanted.  I was only uncertain of what color that I should choose.  I did intend to drive away with the car so that part was negotiable for me.  Carefully I called and researched until I found the bottom line of what it would cost me to drive that car off of the lot.

When our negotiations got to what I knew was the dealers real best offer I knew it.  While he was back talking with his supervisor I knew the car was mine.  I was confident and strong because I had done my homework.  The salesman had made multiple offers and suggestions but I knew the complete truth from the front.  I knew all of the benefits of this car and he could not seduce me into something else.  When you go into any situation where you might be manipulated do your homework.  We are in the information age so there is no excuse to not being informed.


Option 3: Take Time

General Patton lived by a credo that you should never make a decision until you had to make it.   The best manipulators will try to rush you and encourage you to make a choice right away.  Ask yourself, “Do I need this right now?”  “Do I really have to make a decision right now?”  “Why are they really rushing me?”  Remember that sales will always come back around.  Family can move on and forget.  A great strategy is to ask for 24 hours or for a night to sleep on it.  Things are often much clearer after a good night’s rest.  Buy yourself some time.


Option 4: Seek wise counsel

I once read of a big league ball player that when he was a young man that he played for three different baseball teams at about the same time.  He was very selective, not in the teams, but in the coaches.  First he chose one coach that was great at hitting, second he picked someone who was good at fielding and then the third coach was a master at strategy.  That young man made the big leagues because he chose wise mentors.

You can do the same with any area where you are needing some expertise.  When I bought my first house I should have taken my father in law with me who has bought many houses.  He could have pointed out a few things that ultimately proved to be very expensive to fix.  My wife and I did not notice these things but someone with experience could have found these things easily.  There are subject matter experts out there for anything just ask around, post your need on Facebook or Twitter.

People will come out of the woodwork.  I once was getting ready to dig into a plumbing project and I was directed to a local plumbing shop where I not only got advice but I saved about $120 on a part that I needed to make the repairs.  Wise counsel can save you money and time.


Option 5: Know yourself

Most people that I know don’t sit down and really think about what is important for themselves and who they really are or want to become.  If we want to keep from being manipulated we need to know when we make the best choices.  How do you best process stress?

When was the last time that I ate?  Did I get a good night’s rest?  What is my attitude right now?  Recently I saw a request out there from a lady who in a moment of anger had blocked her husband from her Facebook account and now that everything was resolved wanted to know how to unblock him.  These sorts of outbursts had defined their marriage so if she knew herself she would have slept on it and then would not have had the problem she now faced.

In her case this was a small price to pay.  If you routinely conduct self examinations and after action reviews on your decisions you will learn when you do best.  Then set up the scenario in your favor.  Well fed, rested and in a good mood and then I will make the best choice possible.  Maybe your picture is hungry, tired and grouchy when you are making your best calls.  My point is that when you know yourself you will keep from being manipulated.


Soon you will be making a major purchase or will be placed in a difficult situation.  Decide today how you are going to prepare for that day.  Do the research, find wise counsel, take your time and expend the energy to know yourself. Then you won’t be manipulated into making a decision that you will later regret.  Oh and get your head out of the sand.  Unless you’re on the beach enjoying a vacation, then go ahead.

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