The Single Defining Characteristic Of A Manipulative Person


I wish I did not have to write this post. But because you and I live in a broken world, we will meet broken people. People tend to manipulate other people in order to feel a sense of control. This in turn fortifies them in a city, where they are the kings or queens, and everyone else is out to take down their monarchy. So what characterizes a manipulative person and how can you personally make sure you do not become one?

I usually give people the benefit of the doubt. I generally think people mean well. This is why it is often a bit of a painful shock when you realize that manipulation was used with you.

Here is the single defining characteristic of a manipulative person:

They rarely if ever, admit or acknowledge that they are wrong. 

Basically, they become an impenetrable fortress to which access is denied.

Here are four things that are perpetuated by a person who falls into this category:

They want you to do things their way, without directly asking you to do so. You are then left in a tough predicament. Whatever you do, they will be the judge of whether it was right or not.

They see life as a game, and they are keeping score to win. Every time they get their way, it is a point in their direction. It is not about submitting to another or admitting that they are wrong. It is about dominating over others and admitting that the wrong doing is always displayed by someone else.

They are expert archeologists. Digging up past issues in order to use them for present conflicts, becomes the mode of operation for a manipulative person. They dip into an inventory of wrongs that have been categorized by date and time. Because you already forgot about many of the things, you are left at the mercy of the opposing party.

Their patience is actually a ticking time bomb in disguise. Just¬†because¬†they agree with you, it does not mean they don’t want to manipulate you. Often, they are waiting for the right timing, to present to you a bullet proof case of why you are the guilty party.

They shower you with compliments, consistently. If we are going to be really honest with ourselves, we are not as good as people say we are. Jesus said that we should be terribly concerned if everyone is speaking well of us. Whenever I get an overt amount of praise from another person, I am often suspicious of it. Not because I do not like it. My flesh enjoys it. But from past experience, I know that there is some motivation behind it all.

Treat compliments and criticism the same. Don’t let it devastate you and don’t allow it to inflate your ego.

How should I deal with manipulative people in my life?

1. Pray for them. Your logical arguments¬†won’t¬†win them over. Only Jesus can change a hard heart, and make it teachable again.

2 Love them. Instead of trying to fix them, love them. People are not projects. Usually, unconditional love demonstrated towards the other party, stimulates reconciliation and peace.

3. Avoid getting angry with them. The person who angers you, ultimately will control you. Pour out your heart to Jesus, instead of pouring out your discontent upon the other person.

4. Display Jesus to them. The only hope for my brokenness and yours, is the restorative gospel of Jesus Christ. The more we display Jesus, the more people will see Jesus in us.

When we realize that Jesus is the King of our city, we will then treat others as fellow citizens of the city, instead of assailant rivals into the city.

The gospel is powerful enough to turn even the most un-teachable among us, to become the most fervent of followers and learners.

Question: Have you dealt with overtly¬†manipulative¬†people in your life? How can you make sure you don’t become a¬†manipulative¬†person?¬†













12 responses to “The Single Defining Characteristic Of A Manipulative Person”

  1. Thank you. Love is the solution.

  2. Very helpful article. One of the best I’ve seen about such topic. I’ve met a couple of very very manipulative people throughought my life and thisbis exactly how they react.
    Thanks for the article.
    God bless

  3. Thanks for writing a wonderful material that has made my day positively. Little to say may our saviour Jesus chrisr shower you with deep insight for more than more

  4.  Avatar

    looked more like you tried to manipulate me to believe in jesus.. but w.e.

  5. People in general are all manipulators one way or another. If were truly honest, we can find instances when we have manipulated others for whatever purpose..that’s human nature, human psychology. So what kind of people do you exactly have in mind? People who pose as close friends but are in fact friends for the wrong reasons? I guess how would you describe the profile of a manipulative person? Cuz I feel like the description above is vague enough to where anyone can fit that descrption, because all of us have our human nature that always focuses on self, and always battles the Spirit.

    1. Very true, that is why we must always give up control to God. The Christian life is all about trusting and obeying the promises made to us in Scripture.

  6. Actually I found the one defining characteristic spot on. Recent months have been a serious endurance test for me dealing with a manipulative new work colleague. At first I was perplexed and thought there was something wrong with myself because I couldn’t see what was going on. This person had such a negative impact on me that I started to question my own integrity as a Christian because I found myself practically unable to respond in a Christian way. So I could not begin to utilise your solutions above. Thankfully this person is leaving the work place shortly.

    1. Joyce hi – glad there was a resolution to the situation.

  7. I’m encountering a master manipulator. I want to participate in an activity, but the manipulator is the head of it and controls everything. He is inappropriate in every way. I just don’t want to give up this hobby that I love. It is such a good outlet for me from my stressful life. I feel that God gave me this hobby to enjoy, and I feel so angry that someone is taking away my joy. I just keep praying…when will things change? Right wins in the end over evil….isn’t this correct? So when? When will things be OK again?

    1. Is there a way you can engage in this hobby in a different setting?

  8. Genelle Avatar

    My dad’s wife is a manipulator. She put him in a home, sold their house, and gained control of all his assist. It hurts cause my dad trusted her and loved her. I ask the Lord every day to help me to forgive her. It’s hard I don’t know how he does it. Prayers please, Genelle

  9. need to know Avatar
    need to know

    Do you have the charsteristics on controll or controlling like you have on manipulative person

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