Being manipulated can happen to the best of people, but you can protect yourself.
Sometimes, manipulators are so good at it that it can be difficult to recognize when you are being manipulated.
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Let’s look at some scenarios and see how you can protect yourself from gaslighters and those without your best interest.
Protect Yourself Scenario: Shopping for that new car
Before you left, you vowed that today would not be the day you would purchase the car.
Today, you would see what was out there and get a feel for the car market.
When you left, you were unsure 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.
However, you walked away because you knew it was not the right car in this season of your life.
Yet, that second salesman talked you into getting something way out of your price range and not the right car for your family.
As you drive your new car home, you are overcome by 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 salesman or a family member trying to guilt you into watching their kids!
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, you will never be manipulated.
Unfortunately, this rarely makes anyone happy, including yourself.
You may think you are escaping the world, but it is still out there, changing and impacting the environment.
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 only works if you are on your deathbed with only hours to live.
If not for you, consider one of the four remaining options.
In the long term, this option will not work.
You will also enjoy our article on making the right decision.
Option 2: Stay educated
I finally figured out how to best 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.
The only thing I was uncertain of was which color I should choose.
I did intend to drive away with the car, so that part was negotiable for me.
After calling and researching, 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 dealer’s real best offer, I knew it.
I knew the car was mine while he was back talking with his supervisor.
I was confident and strong because I had done my homework.
The salesman had made multiple offers and suggestions, but I knew the 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 for not being informed.
Option 3: Take time
General Patton believed that you should never decide until you had to.
The best manipulators will try to rush you and encourage you to choose immediately.
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 a night to sleep on it.
Things are often much clearer after a good night’s rest.
Buy yourself some time.
Option 4: Protect yourself and seek wise counsel
I once read of a big-league ballplayer.
When he was a young man, he played for three different baseball teams simultaneously.
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 good at fielding.
Finally, 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.
I should have taken my father-in-law with me when I bought my first house because he is a pro at buying houses.
He could have pointed out a few things that proved very expensive.
My wife and I did not notice these things.
However, someone with experience could have found these things easily.
There are subject matter experts out there for anything.
Just ask around.
You can even post your need on Facebook or Twitter.
People will come out of the woodwork.
I was once getting ready to dig into a plumbing project and was directed to a local plumbing shop.
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 to protect yourself
Most people I know don’t sit down and think about what is important for them. “Who are you really?” and “What do you want to become?” are important questions.
If we want to avoid being manipulated, we need to know when to 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.
Now that everything was resolved, she wanted to know how to unblock him.
These sorts of outbursts had defined their marriage.
She would have slept on it if she knew herself and then would not have had the problem she now faced.
In her case, this was a small price to pay.
You will learn when you do best if you routinely conduct self-examinations and after-action reviews on your decisions.
Then set up the scenario in your favor.
I will make the best choice possible when I am well-fed, rested, and in a good mood.
Maybe you are hungry or tired and grouchy when making your best calls.
My point is that you will keep from being manipulated when you know yourself.
Hopefully, these tips help you protect yourself
Soon you will make a major purchase or be placed in a difficult situation.
Decide today how you are going to prepare for that day.
Do the research, find wise counsel (find a mentor here), take your time, and expend the energy to know yourself.
Then you won’t be manipulated into making a decision you will regret later.
Oh, and get your head out of the sand.
Unless you’re on the beach enjoying a vacation, then go ahead.
Let us know how else you protect yourself from being manipulated in the comment section below!