1. Be Rational
In emotional manipulation situations, you must recognize them also for what they are—a form of manipulation. Secondly, one must decide within themselves that they will not choose the negative situation and give in to this person’s “hook”.
2. Be Calm: BREATHE
Instead of giving in, you can change the circumstance by remaining calm and rational. Take a step outside of yourself and view the situation rationally. If it is a heated discussion, perhaps try to take a step back to breathe for a moment, and then come back later to handle it more efficiently.
3. Know When to Walk Away
Ask yourself, “is this a battle worth fighting?” We must learn at some point pick & choose our battles. Some fights aren’t worth doing. You will learn to distinguish this as time goes on. If it is not, walk away. If it is a battle worth fighting, you need to tell them that you both are going to decide to focus on the present, not the past.
4. Agree to Disagree
If they cannot agree, you have done all you can do. You can only control yourself, not your partner or friend.
5. Find Common Ground
If they agree, then discuss the present situation with them without time constraints and in a private, safe place free of distractions. Set aside the time to work out this problem.
6. Respond not React
These solutions counter bad habits and, in a way, trains the manipulator to see that their manipulations will not work with you, and they can learn to not use these manipulations on others. You must be consistent in your approach.
7. Is it Worth the Effort?
Keep pressing forward and choosing to look for their “hook”. If you are noticing negative, consistent patterns of manipulation in a certain relationship, it is probably best to reevaluate if it is a relationship that is worth staying in.
8. Choose to Invest
If it is, then great! You now have some new tools to use. If not, then kick them to the curb because they are not worth being a part of your life.