6 Types of Toxic People Who Become Involuntary Manipulators

By Anna LeMind, B.A.

April 30th, 2020

passive aggression.

Passive aggression is a favorite tactic for negative, secretly jealous, and insecure personalities. So almost all of the above types of toxic people can use it, especially the approval seekers and the enviers.
They lack the emotional toughness to speak their mind openly and face conflict. Thus, they throw out sneaky comments and wistful statements that make you feel bad and bring them temporary emotional satisfaction.

An example situation:

Your friend Bob tells you about his financial difficulties. He has lost his job and doesn’t know how to pay his bills the next month. You are comforting him and give him advice. At some point, the conversation turns to you and you tell Bob about the detention your unruly son received at school. Bob has an absent expression on his face and says, “I wish I had your problems”.
The result? You are feeling guilty for worrying about such trivial issues while your friend is going through a really difficult time in life. In reality, though, Bob didn’t mean to cause you discomfort or guilt. He is just overly self-absorbed right now because of the hardships he is facing, so anyone else’s problems look like a joke to him.

2. Guilt trips

The needers often use guilt trips to get what they want. In fact, needy people are natural manipulators and may not even know how toxic they can become. Since they are used to relying on others and hanging their happiness on people and external circumstances, they are intrinsically skillful in evoking guilt in those around them.

An example situation:

Ian proposes to Melissa while they’ve been in a relationship for just three months. She is not ready yet and not sure whether Ian is the one, so she takes some time to think it over. One day, Ian tells Melissa about his past heartbreaking relationship and throws out a comment like, “That breakup was a real disaster. It was a struggle to get over it. If our relationship doesn’t work out either, I’m not sure if I can handle it”. As a result, Melissa feels sorry for him and accepts his proposal.
This may sound deviously manipulative at first, but Ian is not a bad person. He is just prone to black-and-white thinking and gets too enthusiastic about people. He also has an intense fear of loneliness and gets emotionally attached to women too easily. So he meant every single word of what he said to Melissa.

3. Playing the victim

Some people genuinely believe that they never did anything wrong and all their failures are due to the outside circumstances. They may blame the unkind people who took advantage of them or the unfair society that ruined their chances to succeed. Maybe they were born in the wrong time or had a too underprivileged family background to achieve anything significant in life. They may even go on to believe that all their misery stems from a generational curse or God’s will.
The core reason for this toxic attitude is that people with a victim mentality are afraid of responsibility. There is always someone or something else to blame for all the adversities life throws their way. So, they have a natural talent for playing the victim and distorting every situation accordingly.
They don’t do it because they are evil manipulators, however. In reality, they are simply too mentally weak to accept their faults and deal with their responsibilities. Many types of toxic people use the manipulation tactic of playing the victim. In our list, the misunderstood genius, the needer, and the complainer will do it more often than others.

An example situation:

Elliot’s business has failed, which totally ruined his motivation. He now stays at home, watching TV all day long and doing nothing. His wife Ashley has a good job and is the only person who is supporting the family now. After a few months, Elliot still doesn’t look for a new job or business idea.
Ashley is tired of supporting the family on her own and at some point, she insistently asks her husband to get a job. Elliot says, “How can you be so heartless? Don’t you see that I’m depressed? These people took from me everything I had worked for so hard and you are suggesting I should just forget about it and work for someone else now?”
Elliot is clearly playing the victim to avoid responsibility and make Ashley feel sorry for him. Still, this is unintended because he is convinced that it’s not his fault that his business failed. Also, he thinks that he is too gifted for a regular 9-5 job, so even suggesting him to get one causes annoyance.

4. Criticism

Negative and controlling types of people are sometimes so critical of everyone and everything that they become truly toxic. It’s not easy to be around a person who always has to say something critical, unkind, or disproving. Thus, critical people become involuntary manipulators because they make those around them feel worthless and often start conflict out of nothing. Sometimes they do it to feel better about themselves or because they really believe that they are always right.

An example situation:

Jane just got a promotion at work and shares the exciting news with her elderly mother, who happens to be an overly critical person. She gives her daughter an indifferent look and says, “Good for you. Too bad that you still haven’t started a family at this age that you are though. Your younger sister has two children already, and you are still single”.
With this kind of remark, Jane’s mother makes her feel inadequate despite her career achievement. She downplays her daughter’s success and shifts focus to her relationship failures, which is a sensitive topic for her. As a result, Jane starts to doubt herself and feels miserable. She forgets about the promotion and begins to think that her life is a failure.

5. They become parasitic

Some types of toxic people become emotionally or financially parasitic to those around them. Parasitic individuals make their partners, friends, or family members feel responsible for their life. This manipulation tactic can be a combination of guilt-tripping and a victim mentality and is often used by needy people as well as the misunderstood geniuses.

An example situation:

Two adult siblings live entirely different lives. The younger brother Tom has become a successful lawyer while the older brother Jack fails one business after another. Jack has already borrowed a great deal of money from his brother and never paid him back. He is now asking him for a new loan.
Tom has had enough of supporting Jack and denies it to him. Jack says that in this case, the bank will take his house and he will have nowhere to live. Moreover, he feels heartbroken and betrayed by his brother. He accuses Tom of being ungrateful for all the good things he did to him. Jack even goes on to remind him how he babysat him and helped him with homework when they were children.
The situation now looks like Jack is a victim and Tom is a villain. This makes the younger brother feel guilty and ironically, responsible for his older brother’s life. As a result, once again, he decides to give Jack the money he is asking for.
As you can see in this example, Jack is inducing unjustified guilt in Tom. In reality, he is just exploiting his brother as it’s much easier to borrow money from a wealthy family member than to find a job to pay off your debt. But Jack is doing this unconsciously. He may genuinely believe that he has done too much for his brother, so Tom owes him.

The Involuntary Manipulators Are Those Types of Toxic People Who Don’t Mean to Do Harm

In the end, the individuals we discussed above have no ill intent. These unconscious manipulators are usually pretty good folks at their core but just lack mental strength, which makes them use unhealthy coping mechanisms.
So the bottom line here is that these types of toxic people tend to be deeply unhappy and discontented with themselves, hence their manipulative tendencies.
This means that they are more likely to change and stop their toxic behavior than devious manipulators like psychopaths or narcissists, who have the power to make you question your sanity. Establishing firm personal boundaries is often enough to stop their toxic influence.
Does any type of these toxic people sound like someone in your life? Please feel free to share your experiences with us.

Anna LeMind







About the Author: Anna LeMind

Anna is the founder and lead editor of the website Learning-mind.com. She is passionate about learning new things and reflecting on thought-provoking ideas. She writes about science, psychology and other related topics. She is particularly interested in topics regarding introversion, consciousness and subconscious, perception, human mind's potential, as well as the nature of reality and the universe.

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publicado por achama às 02:11