Does it feel like you’re always giving—and one of your friends is always taking? Or does it seem like your friend never makes time for you—but always expects you to be there for her? Your pal might be playing you for a sucker. How did you fall victim to a one-sided friendship? “People who have a poor self image and suffer from insecurity get a false sense of power and control in their lives by taking advantage of their friends and family, says Michael Salamon, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist and a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Other people manipulate their friends because they’re simply narcissists. “They truly believe that they know better than anyone else and the perspectives that other people have are irrelevant,” explains Dr. Salamon.
Don't Blame Yourself
#1: She isn’t listening when you speak.
#2: She’s got nothing nice to say.
#3: She only gets in touch when she needs something.
#4: She lays on the guilt.
#5: She needs to be in charge.
#6: She doesn’t have time for you.
#7: She asks for favors.
What you should do
"The best way to stop manipulating behavior is to first acknowledge to yourself that it is happening," says Dr. Salamon. "Very few people are actually aware that they are being taken advantage of, at least initially." Once you are aware that you are being manipulated, he says, it is best to not respond to any and all manipulations. If you do, the manipulator may try harder to keep you in her grasp.
"If there is, in fact, an important reason to preserve the relationship, you have to ask if the manipulator is aware that they are taking advantage," he says. "If they are not, that usually means the friendship will get tuned down a notch, maybe to the level of an acquaintanceship or perhaps even less, to no contact at all." The most important thing if you are going to try to maintain a relationship with a manipulator: You have to develop a strategy to protect yourself, and make sure it works.
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