How to Stop Being Manipulative (24 Tips + Expert Insights)

Do you sometimes use guilt trips or silent treatment to influence people’s behavior? Have you ever tried to control others or situations to get what you want? If you can relate to this, I want you to know that you’re not a bad person.

Manipulative tendencies often come from a place of fear, insecurity, or unmet needs. The first step to change is recognizing the problem and deciding to do something about it. Why do we manipulate, and how can we stop?

Spotting your own manipulative behaviors can be eye-opening, and deciding to change can be an even bigger challenge. In this article, we’ll see how we can break free from these patterns to build healthier, more fulfilling relationships.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general guidance and educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you are struggling with manipulative behavior or other mental health concerns, consider seeking help from a qualified mental health professional.

Recognize Manipulative Tendencies

The first step in stopping manipulative behavior is recognizing when you’re doing it. I know it can be tough to admit, but take a step back and observe your interactions with others. Manipulative tendencies can be subtle and often unconscious on your part.

Pay attention to your words and actions. If you catch yourself saying things like “If you really cared about me, you would…” or “You owe me this because I did that for you,” recognizing these patterns is the first step in making a change.

If you catch yourself engaging in these behaviors, don’t beat yourself up. By understanding these patterns, you can start making conscious choices to change them

"Take note of patterns that continually show up in the dynamics of your relationships. When you take the time to examine and process the conflicts and breakdowns of relationships in your life, you can begin to understand your part in the dynamics of the often painful conflicts and take steps to change.

Controlling—or attempting to control—others might involve making them:
- Feel guilty or shameful.
- Twisting the truth.
- Withholding affection or resources.
- Blaming others.
- Denying your part in things.
- Failing to respect personal boundaries.
- Refusing to take “no” for an answer.
- Employing pressure tactics like guilt or unnecessary drama to get what you want.

Manipulative behaviors are often symptoms of high stress or personality issues, like perfectionism, clinical mood, or anxiety disorders... Once you see it, manipulation is a pattern you can’t unsee. Once you become aware of the corrosive effect of manipulation on your relationships, you will want to take action to make changes in your life..."

— Dr. Monica Vermani, C. Psych. | Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Vermani Balanced Wellbeing | Author, “A Deeper Wellness: Conquering Stress, Mood, Anxiety and Traumas

Identify Fears and Insecurities

Manipulative behavior often stems from deeper fears and insecurities. We might manipulate others because we’re afraid of rejection, abandonment, or losing control. Often, these fears are rooted in past experiences or learned behaviors from childhood.

Ask yourself: What am I really afraid of in this situation? Try to identify the emotions driving your manipulative tendencies. I’ve found that journaling can help you gain insight into your own motivations. This can be a challenging process, but it’s necessary.

Remember, acknowledging your fears and insecurities doesn’t make you weak—it takes real strength and courage to face them head-on. By understanding the causes of your behavior, you can start to develop healthier coping mechanisms.

Understand Your Behavior’s Purpose

Now that you’ve identified your manipulative tendencies and the fears or insecurities behind them, it’s time to understand the purpose of this behavior. What are you really trying to achieve through manipulation?

Here’s a quick exercise to try:

  • Think about a recent situation where you used manipulation.
  • Ask yourself, “What was I trying to accomplish?”
  • Dig deeper and identify the underlying emotion or need.
  • Consider healthier ways to address that emotion or need.

So, take a moment to reflect on the needs behind your manipulative behavior. What are you really seeking? How can you meet those needs in a direct, honest way? For example, If you’re seeking control, focus on what you can control within yourself rather than trying to control others.

"Ask what purpose the behavior is serving. Understanding why we do certain things is helpful because we can, more easily, replace the unhealthy behavior with something healthier that allows us to reach the same goal."

Jocelyn Patterson, LMHC, ATR | Licensed Mental Health Counselor | Registered Art Therapist, Better Help

Identify the Root Cause of Manipulation

Take some time to reflect on your past experiences and how they may have shaped your current behavior. Did you grow up in an environment where manipulation was the norm? Were your emotional needs consistently ignored or invalidated?

Understanding the root cause of your manipulative tendencies can be painful, but it’s a necessary part of the healing process. Your past experiences may explain your behavior, but they don’t excuse it.

By identifying the root cause, you can start to develop self-compassion, break free from old patterns, and learn healthier ways to meet your needs.

"Manipulation tactics usually come from places of insecurity and lack of healthy boundaries and honoring other people's boundaries... 

To stop being manipulative means having enough self-awareness to understand that you are manipulating someone or a situation... and having it makes it easier to acknowledge when you may need to work on yourself."

— Silvi Saxena, MBA, MSW, LSW, CCTP, OSW-C | Licensed Social Worker | Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Choosing Therapy

Find Motivation for Change

Changing deeply ingrained behaviors like manipulation takes a strong motivation. As we talked about earlier, recognizing the negative impact of your actions is an important first step—but it’s not always enough to keep you going when things get tough.

To stay motivated, I recommend focusing on the benefits of change:

  • Your relationships will be more fulfilling when you’re not relying on manipulation.
  • You’ll have greater self-respect and integrity when communicating your needs openly and honestly.
  • You’ll free up more emotional energy when you’re no longer constantly managing and controlling others.

What does this look like in practice? Start by setting small, achievable goals for yourself, like practicing active listening in one conversation per day.

"Of course, the first step to changing any behavior (including manipulation) is motivation to make the change. A manipulative person may start to realize that the nature of their relationships is quite surface-level."

Jocelyn Patterson, LMHC, ATR | Licensed Mental Health Counselor | Registered Art Therapist, Better Help

Develop Self-Worth

Developing a strong sense of self-worth is important to overcoming manipulative tendencies. When we don’t feel good about ourselves, we’re more likely to resort to manipulation as a way to feel in control or win others’ approval.

However, true change comes from within. Developing a strong sense of self-worth is essential for breaking free from manipulative patterns. Here are a few ways to start:

  • Practice self-compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, just as a good friend would.
  • Focus on your strengths: Recognize and celebrate your positive qualities and accomplishments.
  • Set healthy boundaries: Learn to assert your needs and wants without resorting to manipulation.

Most importantly, remember that your worth isn’t determined by others’ opinions or your ability to control situations. This soon turns into a positive cycle: the better you feel about yourself, the less you find yourself manipulating, and the less you manipulate, the better you feel.

"Focus on self-care, self-love, and compassion for yourself. Bring in healthy habits like exercise to increase serotonin, hobbies, and interests to expand your own life and bring you joy."

— Dr. Monica Vermani, C. Psych. | Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Vermani Balanced Wellbeing | Author, “A Deeper Wellness: Conquering Stress, Mood, Anxiety and Traumas

Practice Self-Awareness

Self-awareness means understanding your emotions, your triggers, and the reasons you might feel the urge to manipulate. Start by observing your interactions with others. Notice when you feel tempted to sway situations for your benefit and ask yourself why.

One of my personal favorite ways to practice self-awareness is to write down thoughts and experiences that can help you gain clarity and insight into your motivations and behaviors. When you’re self-aware, you can recognize your feelings and actions in the moment, allowing you to make better choices.

"The first step toward avoiding being manipulative is recognizing how you have been manipulative. Once you have identified these behaviors, you can work towards understanding why you are acting in this way..."

— Alexander Burgemeester | Neuropsychologist and Owner, The Narcissistic Life

Take Responsibility

Taking responsibility for your actions is a part of breaking free from manipulative behavior. It’s easy to blame others or make excuses when things go wrong, but true growth happens when you own your choices and their consequences.

  • Apologize sincerely to those you’ve hurt and take steps to make amends.
  • Recognize that you can choose your actions, regardless of your circumstances or past experiences.
  • Acknowledge when you’ve engaged in manipulative behavior without making excuses or minimizing the impact on others.

I know it can be challenging to take responsibility, especially if you’ve been using manipulation for a long time. But remember, you’re not defined by your past actions. Every moment presents an opportunity to make a different choice and move toward the kind of person you want to be.

Communicate Openly and Directly

When it comes to stopping manipulative behavior, open and direct communication is the key. It involves saying what you really think and feel without hidden motives or expecting something in return.

This level of honesty builds trust and clears up misunderstandings before they can escalate into conflicts. Here are some practical tips:

  • State your intentions clearly from the start. This way, everyone knows where you stand.
  • Be honest about your feelings without being accusatory or defensive. It’s about expressing, not impressing or stressing.
  • Ask questions if you’re unsure. Sometimes, clarification is all you need to avoid jumping to conclusions.

Being direct is actually more likely to lead to positive outcomes in the long run. When you communicate clearly and respectfully, you give others the chance to understand your perspective and respond in a way that meets both of your needs.

Practice Active Listening

When you listen actively, you’re fully present and engaged in the conversation, seeking to understand the other person’s perspective rather than just waiting for your turn to speak.

Active listening involves:

  • Give the other person your full attention without distractions like phone notifications or wandering thoughts.
  • Reflect back on what you’ve heard to ensure you’ve understood correctly: “It sounds like you’re feeling overwhelmed with work lately. Is that right?”
  • Ask open-ended questions to gain deeper insight into the other person’s experience: “Can you tell me more about what’s been challenging for you?”
  • Withhold judgment and give the other person space to express themselves fully.

As I mentioned earlier, manipulative behavior often stems from a desire to control the outcome of a situation. By practicing active listening, you’re letting go of that need for control for genuine understanding and connection.

"Paying attention to others and listening to their opinions—This will enable you to understand their feelings and know their decisions and choices on what they want."

— Kire Stojkovski, M.D. | Medical Doctor, Farr Institute

Show Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. When you show empathy, you show that you value the other person’s experience and perspective, even if it differs from yours.

One way to show empathy is through validation. Acknowledging the other person’s feelings without trying to fix or change them. You can say things like “It sounds like you feel…” and be patient as they express themselves, even if you don’t initially understand.

Remember, empathy is not about agreeing with everything the other person says or does. But seek to understand their perspective and show that you value their experience.

Respect Others’ Boundaries

Boundaries are the limits we set to protect our time, energy, and well-being, and they vary from person to person. When you’re used to manipulating situations to get your way, it can be challenging to recognize and respect other people’s boundaries.

Pay attention to verbal and nonverbal cues that indicate someone’s comfort level. For example, if a friend declines an invitation to hang out, respect their decision without trying to pressure them or make them feel guilty.

Here’s how you can start:

  • Ask before assuming. If you’re unsure about what’s okay, just ask.
  • Listen to and accept ‘no’ as a complete answer. It’s a clear indication of a boundary being set.

When you consistently respect others’ boundaries, you create a safe space for them to interact with you.

"Accept people's boundaries and personal space. Remember, it is not personal. Everyone needs to establish healthy boundaries in their lives."

— John P. Carnesecchi, LCSW, CEAP | Founder and Clinical Director, Gateway to Solutions

Respect Different Views

Respecting different views means you’re open to appreciating the diversity of thoughts and experiences that others bring to the table. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with every view, but you seek to understand where the other person is coming from.

To effectively respect different views:

  • Listen actively and keep an open mind. Show genuine interest in understanding their point of view.
  • Avoid immediate judgment. It’s easy to dismiss what doesn’t fit our framework.
  • Agree to disagree. It’s okay to have different opinions. This doesn’t have to be a barrier to connection.
"Many people manipulate because they believe that their views are better or are more "correct" than their peers. Knowing that there's more than one way of doing things and respecting others' individuality helps you become less controlling."

— Ian Sells | CEO and Founder, RebateKey

Build Trust in Others

One way to build trust is to practice vulnerability. This means sharing your thoughts, feelings, and experiences openly and honestly, even when it feels scary. When you show who you are in your relationships, you encourage others to do the same.

Another important aspect of building trust is following through on your commitments. When you say you’ll do something, make sure to deliver on that promise. Also, you have to practice extending trust to others. This might look like:

  • Allowing others to make decisions or take the lead on projects.
  • Delegating tasks and responsibilities to colleagues or family members.
  • Sharing sensitive information with a friend and trusting them to keep it confidential.

Extending trust can feel risky, especially if you’ve been hurt or betrayed in the past. But as you build that trust in others, you’ll find they’ll start to trust you in return.

Tolerate Discomfort

Often, manipulation stems from an inability to handle emotional discomfort. Avoiding these feelings can lead you to manipulate, whether it’s fear of confrontation or dealing with rejection.

Steps to better handle discomfort:

  • Acknowledge your feelings without acting on them immediately.
  • Stay in the moment. Focus on processing your emotions rather than escaping them.
  • Practice patience. Give yourself a moment to consider why you feel uncomfortable and think about healthy ways to cope.

It’s okay to feel uncomfortable—it’s a natural part of life. As you practice tolerating discomfort, you’ll find that the feelings become less overwhelming over time. You’ll develop resilience to handle life’s challenges.

Use Positive Language

The language we use has a powerful impact on our relationships and our own well-being. When overcoming manipulative behavior, it’s important to be mindful of the words you choose and how you communicate with others.

One way to use positive language is to focus on expressing gratitude and appreciation. Instead of criticizing or complaining, look for opportunities to acknowledge the good in your relationships. For example:

  • “I’m so grateful for your help with this project. Your skills and insights have been invaluable.”
  • “I really appreciate the way you listened to me yesterday when I was upset. It means a lot to have your support.”
  • “I know we don’t always see eye to eye, but I value your perspective and the way you challenge me to think differently.”

Using positive language takes practice, but as you learn this new skill, small changes in your language can have a big impact on your relationships over time.

Stop Insisting on Being Right

One common trait of manipulative behavior is the need to always be right. When you’re focused on proving your point or winning an argument, you can damage your relationships, preventing you from seeing other perspectives.

Instead of trying to win every argument, practice being more open-minded and curious. When someone shares a different viewpoint, ask questions to understand their reasoning.

Remember, it takes courage to admit when you’re wrong or when you don’t have all the answers. By letting go of the need to be right all the time, you open yourself up to new insights, ideas, and possibilities.

Do Not Play the Victim

Another manipulative tactic is playing the victim—portraying yourself as helpless, mistreated, or unfairly disadvantaged to gain sympathy or avoid responsibility

If you find yourself frequently thinking or saying things like, “Nobody understands me,” or “Everyone always takes advantage of me,” it might be time to reassess your mindset.

Instead of focusing on how others have wronged you, take a look at your own role in the situation.

  • What choices or actions have you taken that may have contributed to the problem?
  • Are there steps you can take to empower yourself or improve the situation?
  • How can you communicate your needs or concerns in a more direct, assertive way?

Taking responsibility for your own thoughts, feelings, and actions is a step towards overcoming manipulative patterns. It allows you to make positive changes in your life and relationships.

"Playing the victim is the most common trait of manipulative people. Instead of playing the victim card, try to take responsibility for your actions. This will help you stop manipulating and gain the trust of others."

— Erin Mastopietro | Co-founder, Dope Dog

Accept the Lack of Control

At the core of many manipulative behaviors is a need for control. When you feel like you can’t control a situation or another person’s actions, you might resort to manipulation as a way to regain a sense of power.

However, the truth is that we can’t control everything in life. Trying to do so only leads to frustration, anxiety, and damaged relationships. Instead, practice accepting the lack of control and focus on what you can control:

  • Remind yourself that you can’t control your friend’s actions, but you can control your reaction to the situation.
  • Consider reaching out one more time to express your concern, but then let go of the outcome and focus on other aspects of your life.
  • Acknowledge your feelings of anxiety and take steps to self-soothe (e.g., through deep breathing, meditation, or talking to a supportive friend).

As we talked about earlier, learning to tolerate discomfort is part of overcoming manipulative tendencies. Accepting a lack of control is one way to practice sitting with the discomfort of uncertainty and vulnerability.

"Accept that you can’t always have things your way. The two reasons we suffer in life are when we don’t accept people as they are, and we don’t accept situations as they are. Acceptance is a practice of compassion, and each one of us needs to master it."

— Dr. Monica Vermani, C. Psych. | Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Vermani Balanced Wellbeing | Author, “A Deeper Wellness: Conquering Stress, Mood, Anxiety and Traumas

Be Kind to Everyone

Being kind doesn’t mean being a pushover or tolerating mistreatment. It simply means treating others with the same respect and consideration you’d like to receive in return. This might look like:

  • Expressing gratitude for the small, everyday kindnesses others show you.
  • Offering a sincere compliment or words of encouragement to a colleague who’s struggling.
  • Listening attentively and without judgment when a friend shares a difficult experience.

By practicing kindness, you shift focus from your desires and strategies to how you can contribute positively to others’ experiences. Kindness shows strength—a readiness to help others without expecting anything in return.

Remember Your Place in the World

When you’re caught up in manipulative patterns, it’s easy to feel like the world revolves around you and your needs. However, by zooming out and considering the bigger picture, you can start to let go of the need to control others.

Take some time to reflect on your place in the world and how you want to show up in your relationships and communities. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What legacy do I want to leave behind?
  • What kind of impact do I want to have on others?
  • How can I contribute to the well-being of those around me?

Develop Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. You can express your needs and feelings directly, listen to others with empathy, and find solutions to conflicts.

To develop emotional intelligence, try practicing the following:

  • Practice empathy: Put yourself in others’ shoes and try to understand their perspectives and feelings.
  • Identify your emotional triggers: Notice what situations or interactions tend to trigger strong emotional responses in you.
  • Pay attention to your emotions: Take time to check in with yourself throughout the day and identify your feelings.

Remember, emotional intelligence is not about suppressing your emotions or always putting others’ needs before your own. Instead, it’s about developing a healthy balance of self-awareness, empathy, and assertiveness so you can build stronger relationships.

Be Confident in Your Non-Manipulative Ways

Having confidence in your new, non-manipulative ways means trusting that you can meet your needs and build strong relationships without resorting to manipulation or control.

One way to build confidence is to surround yourself with supportive people who model healthy communication and relationships. Seek out friends, family members, or mentors who have the qualities you admire, and learn from their example.

Remember, confidence doesn’t mean never making mistakes or having all the answers. It means trusting in your own worth, staying committed to your growth and learning, and believing in your ability to create meaningful connections without manipulation.

"Work on your self-esteem. Often, those who manipulate have low regard for themselves. Praise yourself about your positive attributes and achievements. Speak positively to yourself daily, known as daily affirmations, and practice having a positive attitude."

— John P. Carnesecchi, LCSW, CEAP | Founder and Clinical Director, Gateway to Solutions

Seek Professional Help

Finally, it’s important to remember that seeking professional help is a sign of strength, not weakness. If you’re struggling to overcome manipulative tendencies on your own, don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist or counselor who can support you.

A mental health professional can provide a safe, non-judgmental space to explore your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. They can help you:

  • Identify the root causes of your manipulative tendencies.
  • Build a stronger sense of self-worth and self-compassion.
  • Develop healthy coping mechanisms and communication skills.
  • Work through past traumas or unresolved issues that may be fueling your behavior.

I think finding a therapist or counselor who feels like a good fit for you is important. Look for someone with experience working with manipulation or related issues and who makes you feel heard, understood, and supported.

"Engage in therapy to gain insight into the causes of your manipulative behaviors and how these behaviors cause conflict with people you love and learn healthier, more positive ways of interacting with others."

— Dr. Monica Vermani, C. Psych. | Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Vermani Balanced Wellbeing | Author, “A Deeper Wellness: Conquering Stress, Mood, Anxiety and Traumas

More Insights from the Experts

“…Here are some steps to help you start today to address patterns of manipulative behaviors in your life:

  • Lower your standards. We often place impossible standards on ourselves and try to control others to meet unnecessarily high expectations. Compromise, delegate, and trust others and their abilities.
  • Treat others as you would want others to treat you. Respect other peoples’ boundaries and differences.
  • Listen and learn to accept the concerns of others when they’re feeling disrespected, controlled, or feel you’re acting with no regard for their boundaries.
  • Learn to take no for an answer. Accept the fact that what someone wants for themselves may not align with want you want, need, or expect from them.”

— Dr. Monica Vermani, C. Psych. | Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Vermani Balanced Wellbeing | Author, “A Deeper Wellness: Conquering Stress, Mood, Anxiety and Traumas

“As you recognize [manipulative] behaviors, you will see they are holding you back from achieving your goals and living a healthy, balanced life. It comes with emotional maturity. You can work through each one to care for your emotional well-being and reconnect with damaged relationships.

So how do you fix manipulative behavior?

  • Recognize it. Once you are mindful of your behavior, you can heal yourself for a better you.
  • Practice the skill of mindfulness. It is intentionally living with awareness in the present moment without judging or rejecting the moment or without attachment.
  • Accept your flaws. There is no need to be a perfectionist or always right. When you accept your flaws, turn them into a lesson and improve them.
  • Learn to listen to others without criticism and judgment.
  • Practice reducing anxiety. Sometimes, anxiety triggers a response to manipulate narcissistic traits. Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercise are helpful ways to calm yourself.
  • Practice being empathetic, compassionate, and grateful to others and yourself in your daily life.
  • Stop, think, then react.
  • Seek out psychotherapy with a licensed mental health professional. Therapeutic modules used to reduce or stop these behaviors are dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) and behavioral therapy. Once you take the time to re-evaluate your emotional well-being, take charge and make a change for yourself.

John P. Carnesecchi, LCSW, CEAP | Founder and Clinical Director, Gateway to Solutions

“We are all manipulative at some time in our lives, and it happens when we are driven by fear-based motivation. The first key to stopping is to recognize the behavior…

There are three core fears and each generates its own manipulation techniques and ways to stop them.

1. Abandonment

  • Fear of being judged, not being liked, being thrown out of the tribe can look like trying to avoid a dressing down by our boss; having a partner/ parent/ friend criticize us.
  • People pleasing, being a martyr – a secret hope that all of this will pay off. Doing the jobs no one else wants to do; throwing yourself into someone else’s drama.
  • Why does it fail? No respect for your own boundaries – others don’t respect you.

Ways to stop: Stop being manipulative by respecting your own boundaries and learning where to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’. When you stop abandoning yourself, all relationships become healthier.

2. Worthlessness

  • Fear of failure creates “the bully effect.” When you have more, you achieve more, and the more you will be happy. You will always be thinking about things like, “I need to be the top dog so that people respect me. If I bend people to my will – they will acknowledge my achievements, and I will be happy.”
  • Comparing yourself to others, feeling the need to bring others down, keep them in their place. Superficial things take on monumental importance and you don’t take risks with your career or relationships.

Ways to stop:

  • Acknowledge your accomplishments without bragging;
  • Acknowledge others’ achievements out loud;
  • Embrace all success no matter where it’s from.

3. Powerlessness

You don’t feel safe to be on your own or trust those around you. This can show up as procrastination and not making decisions. It’s really manipulative to wait for others to make the decisions that will affect you. Or it can show up as micromanaging and controlling as much as you can.

This strategy always fails because you can’t control other people or external events. Attempting to micromanage everything only leads to an increase in fear. Allowing other people to determine what happens in your life also leads to more fear.

Ways to stop: Accept that your choices impact you and your happiness. If you are someone who refuses to make decisions, start small:

  • When asked your opinion, give it.
  • When asked to choose an option, choose one.
  • If you are a micromanager, delegate. Successful people do the things that only they can do – and delegate the rest.

Cat Valentine | Neurolinguistic Programming Master Practitioner and Trainer, Cat Valentine Coaching

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs that I might be manipulative?

Signs of manipulative behavior can include frequently influencing others to get what you want, lying for personal gain, guilt-tripping people, refusing to take no for an answer, and often playing the victim.

Also, if your relationships are suffering or people are distancing themselves, it could signal that your actions are manipulative.

What causes manipulative behavior?

Manipulative tendencies often stem from fears, insecurities, and unmet emotional needs. People may use manipulation as a defense mechanism to avoid facing difficult emotions or feel a sense of control in their lives.

Is it possible to change manipulative behavior on my own?

While self-awareness and self-directed change are possible, professional help such as therapy can provide deeper insights and more structured approaches to unlearning behavioral patterns.

What if I slip back into manipulative behaviors?

Setbacks are a normal part of growth. If you notice a recurrence of manipulative behaviors, reflect on what triggered them and adjust your strategies. Continuous self-awareness and commitment to change is the key.

Final Thoughts

Learning to let go of manipulative behaviors is a powerful act of self-love. It means facing your fears, healing your wounds, and showing who you are in your relationships. It also means believing that you are enough, just as you are, and that you deserve to give and receive love without conditions or hidden agendas.

It’s not always easy to change old patterns, but with practice and patience, you can do it. Remember, every time we choose honesty over manipulation, we make a positive impact—not just in our relationships but also in our personal growth.

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Erika Maniquiz is a certified teacher and librarian with a Library and Information Science degree. She cherishes the calm moments reading books as much as the dynamic discussions she has in her classroom. Beyond her career, she is a fan of Kdrama and loves Kpop's lively beats.