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What happens when you ignore a manipulator

So, have you ever wondered what happens when you ignore a manipulator? Imagine being in a situation where someone sweet talks you into doing things you’d never agree to. Or perhaps, someone who makes you question your own decisions, drowning you in a deep-seated self-doubt? 

That, dear reader, is the art of manipulation, and you’ve just met a manipulator.

In our daily lives, we often come across individuals who have perfected manipulation tactics. These manipulative people are puppeteers of the human psyche. They twist every situation for their own gains, leaving us keeled over by their audacity. 

But what happens when you put a full stop to their shenanigans and ignore them altogether?  

Let’s say it gets interesting. Having a complete overview of what happens when you ignore a manipulator is handy. With that, you can manage your expectations and escape the situation as gracefully as possible.

This article will help you prepare for that honest conversation you may want to have with that manipulative person. Here, you’ll also learn how to regain control and avoid their emotional abuse and the manipulation tactics they might try to use to get you back into their corner. So, let’s dive in and arm ourselves against these master manipulators!

dealing with manipulators and puppeteers

What makes someone manipulative? 

Before we look at what happens when you ignore a manipulator, let’s unpack what this manipulative behavior often incorporates. It can originate from a variety of sources. 

Manipulative behaviors often stem from an individual’s need for control, their shortcomings, or mental illnesses.

For instance, some individuals have an overpowering urge to control everything around them. They want to control the actions, feelings, and lives of others. This desire to dominate and dictate can stem from a deep-seated sense of insecurity and low self-esteem.

Further, people can exhibit manipulative behaviors because of their shortcomings. It’s like a mask that individuals wear to hide their deficiencies, flaws, or insecurities from others. Sometimes, they were also the masks to hide from themselves. It’s a defense mechanism to avoid confrontations with their personal issues.

Mental illnesses can also be the root of manipulative behaviors. Certain conditions can prompt individuals to manipulate others to navigate their world or cope with their distress. These behaviors can be involuntary, but there’s a need to address them with proper therapeutic interventions.

Overall, ignoring a manipulator essentially means refusing to take part in this dance of domination, masking, or misguided coping, and in return, you liberate yourself.

What happens when you ignore a manipulator ?

It’s always challenging when trying to confront aggressive behavior. Picture this: you finally decide to ignore a manipulator in your life. Does their influence end there? No, it doesn’t.

Here’s what often happens next. Picture a chess player always plotting their next move. That’s a perfect example of what a manipulative person looks like. So, when ignored, they may feel frustrated and powerless. This causes them to change tactics. 

Another way to describe what happens when we ignore a manipulator is this: Imagine poking a bear. 

What happens next?

Likely poking a bear will provoke them to show their real claws. 

Hence, there are different outcomes you may expect depending on the unique situation. Now, let’s look at the potential results to expect when you ignore a manipulator. 

1. The ignored manipulator might embark on a smear campaign

Once the manipulator realizes you’re no longer under their control, they might launch a full-blown smear campaign against you. In other words, they’ll spread false rumors about you, hoping to taint others’ perception of you. Do you remember high school drama? That’s the level we’re at.

On many occasions, they might twist the narrative to paint themselves as a victim and you as the villain. 

They will spread nasty rumors and lies to hurt your reputation. Their goal with that smear campaign is to paint a negative picture about you to isolate you and make you more susceptible to their manipulation tactics. Their creative storytelling can make one doubt one’s actions and decisions.

2. Manipulative people may try to reach out 

Another manipulation tactic they might try is communicating with you incessantly. They might fill your inbox with messages and calls to regain control and pull you back. In doing this, they might try using words that guilt trip you or even outrightly succumb to emotional abuse. It’s common to see dozens or even 100+ messages and calls from a manipulator trying to get your attention. 

3. The ignored manipulator might create a triangle of conflict.

Keep in mind that the most horrible manipulators often have intimate details about you. Hence, they might use that information, such as involving others, to get your attention. Often, they would use people you know, such as your family members and even your support system. 

4. Ignored manipulators create a fake crisis

Another method they use when ignored is creating a crisis. It might sound dramatic, but it’s all about regaining control. The manipulator knows that in a crisis, people often look for a leader, a role they are ready to step into.

5. They may try to guilt-trip you

One manipulative tool you will also encounter is guilt-tripping. This manipulative tactic involves using your sense of guilt to induce you to get back into their control. Often, this means trying to make you feel responsible for their negative emotions or experiences. Some such guilt-tripping tactics include:

  • Make vague or indirect statements: “I guess I’m just not important to you anymore.”
  • Exaggerate consequences: “If you don’t come, I’ll be alone.”
  • Play the victim, “I can’t believe you would do this to me after everything I’ve done for you.”
  • Compare yourself to others: “Everyone else always helps, but you never do.”
what happens when you ignore a manipulator

6. Manipulators may embark on self-reflection

Occasionally, ignoring a manipulator might cause them to self-reflect and even seek ways to grow. You need to remember that your emotional growth is more important to you. Hence, you should avoid taking the position of trying to help them. Instead, create a great distance between them while encouraging them to examine their actions. And remember that it takes time for such people to stop succumbing to using manipulative tactics against others. 

7. Manipulative persons might attempt to regain favor

When you ignore a manipulator, they might also try to manipulate you further by apologizing or even making amends. Be cautious of accepting the gestures they portray right away. Often, it’s a poly to re-establish control. No doubt, you should accept their apologies. But don’t spend time with them. Instead, create distance between you and them. Remember, a manipulator’s action is always about their interests first. 

8. Manipulative people can also resort to physical or verbal attacks 

Let’s not forget about the possibility of being attacked by the manipulator. It’s valid to feel threatened by a manipulator, although unpleasant and unfair. In terms of physical abuse, they might slap, kick, choke, or use other violent measures. In contrast, they can also cause emotional and verbal abuse through public humiliation, threats of self-harm, financial control, and more. Hence, you must be deliberate about seeking protective measures to avoid conflict and such an outcome. 

9. They might give you the silent treatment

Another form of guilt-tripping a manipulator might use is silent treatment. This often happens when they believe that you may reach out for closure. They might even pretend they are unaware that the relationship is over. If they ever get in touch, they will not acknowledge your past issues and may act like everything is okay. So, suppose you find a manipulator ignoring the topic at hand. In that case, they make you feel guilty and derail your self-esteem. 

Overall, the manipulator will escalate their tactics like the chess player to improve their game. Hence, they will not back down. They will intensify their manipulative behaviors, causing increased emotional distress for you. It’s almost like they are picking at a wound repeatedly, causing unnecessary and prolonged pain. They will actively look for vulnerabilities to explore. This is why you need personal boundaries and external support. 

10. An ignored manipulator may also choose to find new targets 

Finally, when everything fails, an ignored manipulator might lose interest and look for a new target. This is because ignoring a manipulator essentially throws a spanner in their work. Over time, the manipulator realizes their usual tricks and tactics are no longer effective. As a result, they might opt to abandon trying to regain control of you. 

It becomes a futile task trying to control someone who’s not susceptible to their manipulation. When they find you difficult to manipulate, they might give up. Like predators choosing the weakest prey, manipulators often go for easy targets. 

They’ll look for someone who will pay attention to their tactics unlike you. This predatory cycle can only be broken by recognition and firm resistance. Ignoring a manipulator might not stop their behavior, but it’s the first step in protecting yourself. 

So, being impervious to their manipulation could be your superpower to neutralize their control attempts. This way, you can maintain your mental health and emotional well-being while putting manipulators in their place. It’s like saying, “Thanks, but no thanks. I’m not playing your game.”

Hence, ignoring manipulative people isn’t as simple as it sounds. But trust me when I say it’s a journey worth embarking on.

Positive things that happen to you when you ignore a manipulator

Besides all the manipulator’s actions against you when they realize you are no longer under their control, there are other wholesome benefits to you. 

First, you can build stronger personal boundaries when you ignore a manipulator. This means you can reinforce your identity and quickly identify such toxic people. Research in clinical psychology also states that clearly defined boundaries will improve confidence. You will gain more control over yourself and your actions. This growth will also extend to other areas of your life. You’ll be able to focus on building healthier connections and communication patterns in your other relationships. 

Ignoring that manipulator also means that you take a stand against them. You become more self-reliant and resilient. This newfound power helps you make better decisions based on your values and beliefs instead of on the whims of a manipulator.

Increased self-reliance also means more personal growth. And then, you learn to trust your instincts and make better choices. Refusing to engage in their manipulative tactics will also free you from the mental and emotional torture of dealing with their manipulation. 

creating firm boundaries - what happens when you ignore a manipulator

How to manage the fallouts of ignoring a manipulator 

Imagine you’re walking on a tightrope. You’re focused on maintaining a careful balance to avoid a fall. Suddenly, a self-serving, manipulative person enters, attempting to throw off your balance. Life can often feel like this. But how can we deal with such a person? We’ve discussed what happens when you ignore a manipulator; we can consider solutions to the different scenarios. 

  • Be firm about your boundaries.
    Clear boundaries are your most important weapon against manipulative people. You need to tell the manipulator that you won’t tolerate any unacceptable language or behavior. Firm boundaries are like painting a “do not cross” line. Nevertheless, while you do that, you have to avoid being made to feel frustrated. Often, manipulators may try to belittle or mock those boundaries by drawing you into a contest. You must be firm that your needs are your priority and nothing else. 
  • Practice empathy
    Empathy helps you realize that person’s thoughts in more ways than you realize. With empathy, you can quickly see what drives every insulting world or aggressive behavior they try to use to regain control or seek revenge. This is especially crucial when your family is involved. Through empathy, you’ll find it easier to respond without anger.
  • Remain calm
    It’s super important to maintain your composure when facing a manipulative person. For instance, if they give you the silent treatment, avoid trying to fill in the silence or stumble over your needs by second-guessing yourself. Remaining calm is like being in a tranquil lake on a windy day — unruffled and undisturbed. When you avoid reacting to the drama the manipulator tries to create, you can maintain an honest conversation with them and drive home your point. 
  • Seek advice from trusted ones.
    Remember that manipulators tend to know your weak points and will have no qualms about using them to their advantage. This means you have to be on guard. But it also leaves you drained, exposed, and raw.

Again, sometimes, you may need more time to have a complete picture of the horrible impact that manipulative person has on you. Seeking your support system can serve as a guiding compass. Your support system doesn’t have to be friends and family; they can be therapists who can provide the emotional backup you need. They can give you a different perspective and valuable advice on dealing with the manipulator.

So, these are the paths to take when dealing with a manipulator. Remember, it’s all about maintaining your balance and not allowing the manipulator to control your life.

Bottom line

Similar to Narcissistic Relationship, Ignoring a manipulator causes a lot of things to happen within them. When you ignore them, it’s like cutting off their oxygen supply, their life force. You see manipulators thrive on the reactions they elicit from their victims. They feed off it. It’s their fuel. 

However, when you choose to ignore them, they find themselves in uncharted territories, their tactics start to fail, and they feel their control slipping away. Hence, they might seek revenge, taint your image, or resort to emotional abuse. 

The journey can be complicated, but it’s worth it for your peace of mind. Remember, you are the only one in control of your life. You can sway what happens in your life alone, so you shouldn’t try to control how a manipulator acts. Only focus on controlling the power they try to have over your life. Setting boundaries, cutting ties, and remaining calm are the most effective ways to regain control. 

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