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The 8 types of manipulators: how does each one work?

The 8 types of manipulators: how does each one work?

July 19, 2024

One of the characteristics of manipulators is, precisely, to act in such a way that they can not be recognized as such.

One of the factors that serve to understand how they can go unnoticed in this way is that, instead of a pattern of behavior typical of manipulation, there are different types of manipulators, or manipulation strategies to follow . This makes it not always easy to recognize when someone is being cheated for their own benefit.

  • Recommended article: "6 manipulation strategies used by abusers"

The main types of manipulators

Despite all the difficulties, it is not impossible to detect these cases of continued deception.


Then I describe the main manipulation strategies adopted by manipulators according to their personality or the context in which they try to cheat someone.

1. False victims

Some manipulative people hide in a disadvantaged situation that in many cases is fictitious and that, if it is real, they always try to exaggerate. The objective is clear: to give pity .

This is a strategy that appeals to the parts of the brain most related to the limbic system and emotional memory and that has a powerful effect on the behavior of others. In fact, some people can not help but give in to everything that these types of manipulators directly or indirectly ask for, despite the intuition that they are being deceived.


2. Care seekers

In certain people with narcissistic features attention is such a precious resource that they are willing to elaborate strategies whose ultimate goal is to achieve this element. And, in many cases, these strategies include a part of deception and manipulation . For example, it is what happens in people who pretend to have a power that does not have just to have a way to stand out without doing too much, or that simulates interest in other people just to make this interest born to oneself by the other.

In addition, this type of manipulative people know that for others it would be so strange to suppose that everything they do for the attention that they do not even think about it, and therefore it is unlikely that they will be discovered.

3. Authorities in the field

This class of manipulators They endorse the fallacy ad verecundiam to exercise control over others . The idea, simply, is that they know a lot about a particular topic, and therefore they should be the leaders and those who have the last word on a given topic.


Of course, the moral position on which they decide what others should do is simply a façade that fulfills its function: deceiving others.

4. Echo camera manipulators

These are people who want to grow socially or economically giving the reason to an authority figure that is, refraining from offering their point of view in exchange for reinforcing decisions of someone powerful.

This hurts others so much that they see how there is a very clear imbalance of power (a person who is already important is counting on the unconditional help of another person) as well as the person who is a leader, since they can not get there to be informed of when their decisions and opinions are flawed.

5. Discreditors

If the two previous types of manipulative people are based on authority, with this class the opposite happens: you try to damage the position of someone to not have competition .

For this, these people can systematically position themselves against what this selected person does, and they will frequently speak ill of it behind their backs. It is not manipulated who wants to harm directly, but their environment.

6. False prize manipulators

These types of manipulators are characterized by offering a long-term reward in exchange for following a plan . Of course, when the time comes to give the reward, they will disappear. It is a style of manipulation that is linked to a specific object and a specific task.

7. Adulators

These manipulates they go out of their way to speak well of someone so that someone believes they are in debt to them and agree to do what they ask . As with the false victims, it is possible to fall into their trap despite being partially aware that they are being manipulated.

8. Argumentative trileros

These are people who, to manipulate, opt for a strategy based on a verbal game: they make statements that after a while they manipulate to make it look like they were saying something else , and do the same with the speeches of others as long as it seems they have said something else.

This happens a lot in discussions, to win public opinion.For example, if someone claims that a candidate for mayor has no studies and another person indicates that they do have a degree, the manipulator will respond to this, suggesting that a university degree is a determining factor in being a good mayor is ridiculous. In this case it is played with the distractions and with the memory of the audience to manipulate it, speaking a posteriori about things that have not happened.

  • It may interest you: "The 10 types of logical and argumentative fallacies"
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