The Manipulator’s Characteristics

Mini Online Training Part 2

How does it apply to me?

1/ What is the most typical characteristics of the person(s) I am dealing with?

2/ What are the most frequent games I meet?

3/ How do I feel when I encounter that game?

4/ How do I react when I encounter that game?

5/ My takeaway from this chapter.


Welcome to: “From Strings To Wings” Zita Fekete’s mini online training 2nd part.  I’m happy to have you here.

In this chapter, I would like to talk about the Manipulator’s characteristics, and the most common psychological game they pay.

Most manipulator share these common characteristics:

Black and white thinking

In relationship: it’s either you or I manipulate.

Rejecting responsibility:

Problems are other people’s fault.


Life is a zero sum game.

No empathy:

Not having at all, or they don’t care.

They might have so called “cognitive empathy”; they know exactly how bad you feel, and use it against you.


They are convinced that they deserve to have their needs met without reciprocation.


They create the world around them like they assume by behaving like this.

I get questions quite often: Is it conscious or unconscious?

More often than not manipulation is conscious.

They just want to get their way regardless.

Occasionally manipulation can be unconscious deriving from trauma or neglect – or just following the lead of how they were raised – with manipulation.

Oftentimes: somewhere in between.

Conscious – unconscious is a luxury question:

the response to manipulation has to be the same whether it is conscious or unconscious.

Manipulators often play games

Psychological game is a calculable sequence of human interaction which follows a pattern and has a hidden agenda. The next games are most common.

One Upmanship Expert

Knows everything better than others.

He or she needs to gain a high ground against others.

Most important for them: Position – position – position…

Motives: guilt, anger mixed with fear, fragile ego.

Victim Game

Interpreting any situation as if they were the victim, even when they initiated aggression.

Motives: guilt, anger mixed with fear, fragile ego

Dependent In Charge

Hides behind the sick and weak mask, but successfully commands the life of people whom he or she depends on.

Motives:  learned helplessness, self centeredness, maybe lack of skills.

Best Defense Is Offense

When confronting his or her problem behavior, he or she blasts you angrily with multiple issues, deflecting the attention and accountability from him or her.

Motives: denial, resistance to change.


Forms easily breakable alliances against 3rd parties, and uses them according to his or her interest.

Motifs: becoming a hero, revenge, self promotion

Iron Fist

Uses force, physical or intellectual power to get what they want.

Motifs: they wants and needs are the only priority, entitlement.

Intentional Mis-Interpretation

The player misinterprets words, sentences or full situations.

Motives: deflecting responsibility, denial, gaining unearned advantages


The actor uses attractiveness or sexual action maybe only the promise of it for personal gains.

Motives: attention seeking, self centeredness


Seeing their own dysfunctional actions and traits in others.

Motives: need of superiority, unwillingness to face their own weaknesses, resistance to change

Usually more games are used in the same time, or alternately.

What you can do about it?

– Identify when someone initiates a game with you.

– Try not to participate.

 – Sometimes no answer is the best answer.

All in all

People who habitually engage in emotional manipulation have some character flaws, under-developed conscience, and some missing skills.

Some of them might be characterized with personality disorder.

Coming next: Dirty Tactics