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Don’t you wish that the signs to not trust someone were obvious?  Maybe manipulative people should have a scar across their face, wear a scarlet “M” on their clothing, or pet a shaved cat at all times while the air around you turns very stale when they approach?  Yep, that would be nice, right?  However, life isn’t that convenient.  There are times that we’ll open up our lives and our hearts to people who don’t deserve to be there.  Or, they might deserve to be there, but tend to you use you in a manipulative way without them knowing.  Some people might not realize their ways because we all see ourselves through rose-colored glasses.  However, introspection has always been my favorite thing to do, so let’s engage, shall we?

As cynical as this article is going to be, there’s still a part of me that trusts that the people that I’m going to write about, and who appear on “Catfish” are only a minority.  But trust and believe, that cynical part of Kendra is growing each and everyday.  I’ve read multiple books and psychology articles and found a few common traits.  So, let’s look at four clues when people are manipulating you, and add in the comment section of I’ve missed anything:

1.) A Lie is a Lie is a Lie The thing that seems common about manipulative people is that they’re very self-centered.  They’re too busy thinking about how to get things out of people rather than worrying about how they are perceived.  So if you witness a person lying to anyone who is willing to listen, don’t think you’re special.  If that person is willing to lie in front of you, they’re also willing to lie to you.

2.)  Fast Friends… There’s a quote that “Fast Friends are Fake Friends,” and it’s true.  A person who seems very dedicated in making you their best friend, and you’re not on a reality show with them, that person might not be up to no good.  People who try to befriend you (or get in a romantic relationship) extremely fast tend to do so because their motives are foul.  It’s as if they’re trying to get you on their side before you can find out that they’re up to no good.  Beware of speed.

3.)  Timing is everything – Here’s a scenario:  You just got some really horrible news.  You’re distraught.  You’re walking home, fighting back tears, but finally it hits you.  You can’t hold them back anymore, and as the tears come streaming down your face, you see a friend.  The friend approaches you, you try to talk to them, but they seem extremely uninterested, so you go about your way.  Fast forward to a week later and you’re feeling better, you’re at a social function and you run into your friend and in front of all the people there, she shows interest in your plight.  “Hey, so what was wrong with you last week?”  A person that does that is only interested in making themselves look good to other people, at your expense.  The added pleasure of embarrassing you is another tactic, of creating self-doubt in you to cause you to become submissive.

4.)  Their lives are like Lemony Snicket Wrote it – That poor, unfortunate soul.  They seem to constantly have the worse luck.  Everyone is out to get them.  The police just escorted them out of the bank for unfair reasons.  It’s not until you learn later that the person was trying to rob said bank.  People who don’t take accountability for their behaviors, or if they do they always put a guilt trip on you:  “Well I’m sorry, but my life has been horrible.”  BOOOOO!!  Call as much BS as you can, because the person is probably full of it.

So now you know, and knowing is power.

Kendra Koger doesn’t like manipulation, but she would like it if you stopped by her Twitter @kkoger.

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