Seducer, psychopath, white knight, narcissistic pervert… What these individuals have in common is that they are manipulators. So how do you recognize them and counteract these behaviors to protect yourself?
Christophe Caupenne, former chief negotiator for the RAID, has written the Petit guide de la contre-manipulation (Little guide to counter-manipulation ) to help you avoid being fooled.
One day or another, we let people into our lives who are understanding and caring. However, some people turn out to be manipulators and give us the impression of being in an episode of the series Criminal Minds. The Little Guide to Counter Manipulation explains how to understand, detect and counter these manipulators. “It is by being in contact with people who lived with manipulators, in their work or in their intimate life that I got the idea for this book ,” explains the author.
So how to recognize these toxic people and to oppose them once they have entered our lives? Christophe Caupenne advises above all to trust yourself when meeting these individuals. There are some that you can see coming from a distance, but others that take longer and can fool you,” he explains. And ask yourself at some point why you changed your mind about it. It’s essential to keep your objectivity at first glance.” How about a little profiling?
The manipulators known as “stalkers”
He is the one who dreams of power and might. In order to manipulate others, he does not hesitate to play his position. He looks for the weaknesses of everyone in order to track them down and better attack them. The stalkers operate in several spheres. The workplace is a favorable place to develop its hold because employees cannot escape it. They usually try to transfer their own stress onto others and if possible onto someone who “accepts” this stress because they are dedicated or simply don’t know how to say stop. In the marital sphere, the stalker has a guilt-ridden hold on his or her partner and will accuse him or her of everything that goes wrong in the relationship.
How to counter it: It is essential not to submit to the stalker. The more you give in, the more numerous and intense his demands will be. The best alternative is to make him aware of the abnormal situation he is creating. Explain how you feel without directly criticizing his or her behavior. A direct confrontation is obviously essential but it can be done through legal channels of complaint to the authorities, trade unions or the courts.
The “seducer” and the “seductress
They both have the same engine, but not the same declination. Narcissists, these manipulators will at first be very attentive, flattering, valuing, making the person they are targeting laugh. ” They do not try to seduce the other person to love or protect him, the other person is only an instrument which allows to reassure through the conquest. Because what seducers are looking for is to be flattered by their ego and they can’t stand failure. Compared to the seducers, the seductresses take up the codes of the male domination and associate the relation of seduction with stakes of power.
How to counter them: vigilance is the key word. The target of the seducers will allow them to satisfy a need of conquest. The best way to get rid of it is probably not to invest in the relationship and not to expect anything from it. Playing the part is a must so as not to feel obliged to give in to everything.
The manipulators “narcissistic perverts”.
This predator thrives on its hold on others. At the beginning, he shows himself to be considerate, attentive and caring in order to build trust… To then better hurt and destroy the other through three types of behavior: seduction, control, manipulation. Once the flaws of his victim are detected, the narcissistic pervert will humiliate him/her, devalue him/her, make him/her feel guilty. “His disproportionate ego prevents him from questioning anything, and in the end, he feeds off the suffering of the other person.
How to counter it: it is necessary not to justify oneself because the narcissistic pervert has an answer for everything. He will always find a way to make the other suffer until he is satisfied with the result. Ending this unhealthy relationship as soon as possible is the best way to escape it. Limit contact and do not entrust anything personal to these people. You must protect your privacy and keep in mind that the best defense is offense. Destroying the social reputation of this person and denouncing his behavior, alerting to his perversity is also a way to prevent collateral damage that this person could cause on others.
This individual has a total lack of empathy, is impulsive and has no remorse. The psychopaths are not emotional but they are charismatic. These manipulators have no trouble using their charms to avoid the anger of others. They question authority figures without reason, and are able to keep their cool when others around them cannot. They are indifferent and have an absence of sentimentality.
How to counter them: this individual is adept at “give and take”. It is better to adopt a direct and pragmatic approach with him. There is no need to try to make him feel guilty, to intimidate him or to move him, only to play on the benefits/losses logic for him and to give him the impression that he is in control. However, he is careful about what is offered to him because he is picky about verbal commitments. ” He is the perfect opportunist traitor.
The “passive dependent” manipulators
For this person, individuals are nothing more than a psychic support. The liability addict takes a person for granted as the most important person in his or her life once he or she has established an unhealthy relationship of emotional dependence. This person has an unbearable fear of abandonment. The person being manipulated embodies a kind of savior for him, but he will remain in a “process of continual victimization that serves to make people feel guilty, especially if he feels that the person is trying to escape the relationship.”
How to counter it: in no case should you try to solve his/herproblems. The more this individual feels supported, the more he locks in the relationship and thus the dependence on the manipulated. All you have to do is give that person a set amount of time (e.g. certain hours, certain days) and set a distance so that he or she does not invade the lives of others. A regulation work to be applied as soon as the relationship becomes abnormal.
The “white knight”
These manipulators are at first sight full of good sense, have values, principles and convictions. Ready to invest himself and defend what he believes in, the white knight becomes a model that we admire and respect. But the more time passes, the more he becomes heavy, proud, expresses a simplist way of seeing or judging… If you have opposing ideas, he will make you feel guilty by denouncing your lack of conviction and commitment. Recognizable by his strong power of persuasion, his enthusiasm pushes those around him to support and adhere to his ideas until his vanity and radicalism become unbearable.
How to counter it: this noble, legitimate and exemplary behavior is nothing but a pretext to exert influence and power over others. In reality, the white knight feeds on conflicts while he pretends to try to avoid them. The best way not to be taken in by this person is not to play his game of criticism, nor to justify his morality. Disloyal, it’s useless to hope to build a durable and peaceful relationship with him. It is better to stay away.
The manipulators “guardian of the temple”
This one could easily pass for a more than exemplary person. He claims to be the most respectful of the rules, irreproachable, who holds the morals of the company… Often high in the hierarchy, he feeds his thirst for power by showing all that respect. Paranoid he is in reality an impostor of political correctness and reveals himself as an evil person who does not know how to remain exemplary. His personality is constructed only to compliment himself at the expense of others whom he uses to pass for the ideal being. Furthermore, even if he is solitary, he knows how to surround himself with people who will be faithful to him, but without reciprocity.
How to counter it: accumulate everything that could be prejudicial to him: malpractices, mistakes… And unpack the evidence of his actions with the hierarchy. ” On the other hand, expect to make a mortal enemy of him. But after all, why should we let ourselves be taken in?
Dealing with one of these types of manipulators is far from easy, whether in our marital, professional or personal lives. How do you realize this and get rid of it? Make an appointment with one of our professionals to help you accept that you may be manipulated. Give yourself the means to get out of it.