Tic Tac Toe

Here I am, once again, and thank you for your smiling welcome, once again.

What do you do when someone close suddenly asks you –  Don’t you think you should have done that for me? Don’t I deserve your time, attention and more?

At the spur of the moment, you look for answers and at times, you may not say what you really wanted to say. You may end up saying what eases the situation.

My dear friends, you have been manipulated.

We all have been unexpected victims of these manipulative people, once, or maybe more. Why do we fall prey to them?

Well, we fall prey to them because we do not know how to identify them.

Today, I am going to talk about some of the verbal clues you can get about such people. Not just that, we will also talk about the kind of responses we can give, and fend ourselves.

Without much ado, I shall start with the verbal clues.

The first set of statements, that can help you identify a manipulative situation, or a person, is – A question, disguised as a statement.

Manipulative people hate asking questions because it means they may loose control. So they may use a disguised question.

For example, he or she would say –

I was wondering why you ……..

Or – Perhaps you can……

Or  – I wish you could….

And so many of them….  Yes I can see some of you can recognize these statements

How do we deal with these?

Train your ears to understand these and similar phrases….

Make sure you answer questions only, and not a statement.

For example, when asked – I wonder why you keep ignoring me.

Now the person is not asking – Are you ignoring me?  He or she is making a statement – I wonder why you keep ignoring me.

What do you do? 

Simply, repeat the last 3 or 4 words back to the manipulator, forcing him to admit that it was a question, with a question look on your  face.

So the answer would be – keep ignoring you.

The manipulator will weaken down.


Some manipulators make personal statements pretending it is someone else.

This helps them to disown the responsibility of what they are saying.

For example – Everyone thinks you are a jerk…

Or – They said – you need help these days.  And so on…

How do we deal with them?

Again simple..

Ask directly – Why are ‘they’ or ‘everyone’ …

They will hardly have an answer.

Now, I would move to the most popular kinds – Guilt trips.

The manipulator tries to take you on a guilt trip.

Statements are like –

If you ever loved me ….. blah blah blah…


Every decent person would…. Blah blah blah..

Or even worse …

I just knew you would say that..

Beware, the cunning gamer is manipulating you again.

Fend yourself…

Recognize the statement

Here you need to do more than just say .

One – minimize your exposure to the statement.  Guilt statements are sticky, They get on you. Be alert.

And say – NO. Just NO.

Don’t get in conversation. It’s a bait. Beware.

Just say NO and move out of the situation fast.

Well… moving ahead…

We have a more dangerous kinds … the confrontation manipulators.

They would ask you –

Why do you always… blah blah blah .. ?


Did you hear me?

Or even more..

Are you telling me to …….


I thought we agreed to……

So what do you do? A desperate manipulator now confronts you.

Take it easy. Relax a minute. Don’t rush to respond. This may not be easy, but ist not that tough either.

Don’t respond to bad behavior of that person. Stay calm. Do not get defensive.

Simply say – That’s my decision.

Or – I know you are unhappy, but that’s the way it is.

Even more… ? I prefer it that way.

Be brave and calm at the same time.

If you need time to think – say – I need to think over it. Will let you know.

I guess that’s a lot of information for today.

Quickly, I will cover the ultimate one too.

The great silent manipulator.

There are no verbal clues here. The person just stops talking.. stops communication.

He or she waits how long will it take to crack you. If you break down, the manipulator will keep using this tactic over and over again. Just let the person take his or her time… relax and be calm.

So don’t react in panic to these manipulators. Now that you are equipped with some of the tools you need, keep them handy. Be alert.  Stay happy.


Stay away from anxiety.
How.. well this I shall cover in some other speech some day 🙂  I promise..

[Most things I say somehow have reflections of my NLP learnings]


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