What Happens When You Ignore A Manipulator

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By Oluwaseun Bamisile


Do you know any manipulator and wonder what would happen if you ignored such a person? This article will explain that and more.

I will start by discussing who a manipulator is. Then, we will explore the potential outcomes of ignoring such an individual.

Subsequently, I will provide several tips for dealing with a manipulative person.

This article also has an FAQ section, where I answer common questions people ask about this topic.

Who Is A Manipulator

Who Is A Manipulator

A manipulator is a person who uses tactics to control others for their own benefit, often at the expense of those they manipulate. These tactics include gaslighting, guilt-tripping, emotional blackmail, blaming, and criticizing – so look out for them!  

Manipulative people exploit the vulnerabilities and emotions of their targets to achieve their goals. Additionally, individuals of this nature are often driven by self-interest and a desire for control, power, or personal gain.

They may resort to deceptive techniques, psychological manipulation, and emotional abuse to achieve their objectives. Moreover, their actions are mostly deliberate, planned, and aimed to manipulate the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors of others.

Besides, they often disguise their true intentions and deceive others by projecting a false perception of themselves. They could present themselves as charismatic, charming, and trustworthy individuals.

Therefore, making it difficult for their targets to recognize their manipulative behavior.

Implications Of Ignoring A Manipulative Person

Ignoring a manipulator can be a strategic move. Hence, several things may happen as a result of your actions.

Below are a few possible things that could happen when you ignore a manipulator.

1. They Seek Alternative Targets

Manipulative people will constantly try to persuade you to say “yes” to everything they tell you. However, if you refuse to comply, they will tire and move on to another person.

They could search for new targets who are more vulnerable or easily swayed. By doing that, they can satisfy their need for control and validation from an easier target.

2. Self-Reflection And Growth

Sometimes, neglecting a manipulator can lead to personal growth and self-reflection. This decision allows you to evaluate your boundaries, values, and relationship dynamics.

You can develop a stronger sense of self by prioritizing your well-being and independence.

Besides, by not engaging in a manipulator’s harmful behavior, you might inadvertently encourage them to examine their actions.

Hence, they could consider their impact on others and turn a new leaf. However, that’s rare.

3. They Increase Manipulative Tactics

When you start to ignore a manipulator, they may resort to more extreme manipulative tactics to regain control. The desperation for control can make their approaches more persistent or inventive.

As a matter of fact, they might start playing the victim to get a response from you. They hope to break through your insecurities and regain their influence by intensifying their tactics.

According to Standford’s The Ethics of Manipulation, manipulators often adapt their strategies to manipulate resistant individuals.

4. They Begin To Discredit You

When you neglect a manipulator, they may engage in discrediting campaigns to damage your reputation. They may also decide to turn others against you.

It’s possible for them to spread rumors, lies, or manipulate the truth to damage your credibility. Their main objective at this point is to regain control over you by tarnishing your image.

5. They Become Aggressive

Manipulators thrive on getting emotional reactions from their targets. Therefore, when you ignore them, they may become aggressive and ramp up their efforts to provoke you emotionally.

They might resort to threats, anger, or emotional outbursts to draw your attention and regain power.

They hope to re-establish their control by intensifying their emotional responses.

6. They May Become Friendly To You

When manipulators fail to achieve their goals, they may try to befriend you. They’ll start by acting friendly and then use that relationship to gain access to information that could help them achieve their goals.

In fact, they might try to regain your favor by apologizing when they realize their tactics are ineffective. Thus, be careful of accepting those gestures, as they could be means to re-establish control over you. 

It’s important to carefully assess their sincerity and weigh the value of reconnecting with them. If you accept their apology, maintain clear boundaries to avoid falling back into their cycle of manipulation.

How To Deal With A Manipulator

How To Deal With A Manipulator

Dealing with manipulative people can be emotionally draining and challenging. Hence, it is important to recognize their tactics and learn effective strategies to counter their behavior to protect your well-being.

The following points will explore practical approaches to dealing with manipulators.

1. Set Boundaries

It is essential to set clear personal boundaries when dealing with a manipulator. Communicate clearly what kind of behavior is acceptable and unacceptable to you.

This will help assert your independence and let the manipulator know your limits and expectations.

Setting boundaries is essential to assert your right to be respected and define what you are willing to tolerate. It also lets you maintain control and prevents any emotional or psychological boundary violations by manipulators.

Besides, according to Forbes, setting and enforcing personal boundaries can improve self-esteem, reduce stress, and foster healthier relationships.

2. Maintain Independence

Developing independence is an effective way to counter a manipulator’s control. By cultivating self-reliance and striving for personal goals, you become less dependent on the manipulator’s approval or validation.

This limits their ability to manipulate and maintain power over you.

Moreover, according to psychologist Albert Bandura, cultivating independence and self-efficiency can enhance psychological well-being and resilience.

3. Verify Information

Those who manipulate others frequently use false or twisted information to achieve their goals. Hence, verifying and fact-checking any information presented by a manipulator is crucial.

Seek evidence, gather information from reliable sources, and critically evaluate the claims.

Moreover, research suggests critical thinking skills and information verification are essential in preventing manipulation. It also helps you differentiate truth from manipulation

4. Keep Records And Evidence

It can be helpful to keep track of conversations, emails, or any relevant documentation when dealing with a manipulator. This provides a concrete record of their behavior, which can serve as evidence or reference points.

Keeping a record of events through documentation can aid in maintaining organization. Therefore, recalling specific incidents accurately and defending against manipulative tactics aimed at distorting or denying the truth.

5. Avoid Engaging In Power Struggles

Manipulators often thrive on control and engaging in power struggles. Attempting to play or outsmart their games can frequently lead to negative outcomes.

Instead, focus on preserving your emotional well-being and seeking solutions prioritizing your best interests.

So, by refusing to engage in power struggles, you maintain your integrity and prevent the manipulator from achieving their desired outcome.

Moreover, an article (Power, approach, and Inhibition) by psychologist Keltner Dacher suggests that disengaging from power struggles reduces stress and preserves mental energy.

6. Seek Support

When dealing with a manipulator, reaching out to trusted friends and family is important. Discussing your experiences with others can help validate your perceptions and offer alternative viewpoints.

If the manipulative behavior persists or escalates, seeking guidance from therapists, counselors, or legal professionals may be helpful. These professionals can offer guidance, support, and strategies tailored to your situation.

They can also assist you in navigating complex manipulation dynamics and offer objective perspectives and advice.

Joining a support group can also be beneficial for gaining insight, processing emotions, and developing effective strategies to deal with manipulation.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Ignoring A Manipulator Make Them Change Their Behavior?

Ignoring a manipulator may not necessarily change their behavior. However, it can disrupt their control and limit their influence over you.

2. Who Is A Manipulator?

A manipulator is an individual that uses tactics to influence others for their gain, even if it means hurting those they manipulate. Some of these manipulative tactics are guilt-tripping, emotional blackmail, and gaslighting.  

3. What Are Some Typical Reactions From A Manipulator When They Are Ignored?

If manipulators are ignored, they may escalate their manipulative tactics, becoming even more persistent or aggressive. In some cases, they may even target someone else for their manipulation.

4. Does Manipulators Have Weaknesses?

Yes, most manipulators are incapable of empathy, love, guilt, remorse, or conscience. To them, life is a game of power and control and getting what they want by whatever means. 

5. How Do You Disarm A Manipulator?

To disarm a manipulator, you can postpone your responses, set boundaries, show disinterest, and question their motivations.


Manipulative people are known for their tactics and desperation for power. So, several things could happen when you ignore a manipulator.

You may trigger intensified manipulative tactics as they become more desperate to regain control. They might even resort to aggressive behaviors, harassment, or emotional outburst.

They are also known to redirect their attention and manipulation toward other vulnerable targets when ignored. Fortunately, this article explained who a manipulator is and provided several ways to deal with them.

Hopefully, you found this article insightful and helpful. If you did, we would appreciate it if you could share the article with your friends and family on social media platforms.

If you want to explore more insightful articles like this, please visit our Relationships page.

References And Further Reading

  1. calmsage.com – What Happens When You Ignore A Manipulator?
  2. liveboldandbloom.com – What Happens When You Ignore A Manipulator? 11 Outcomes You Can Expect
  3. abundancenolimits.com – What Happens When You Ignore a Manipulator?
  4. howtogetover.com – What Happens When You Ignore a Manipulator?
  5. bigmatrimonial.com – What Happens When You Ignore A Manipulator?
  6. howisdom.com – What Happens When You Ignore a Manipulator
  7. mentalacademics.com – What Happens When You Ignore a Manipulator?
  8. verywellhealth.com – Signs of Manipulative Behavior

About the Author

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Oluwaseun Bamisile

Oluwaseun is the Lead Content Editor at Ilifeguides.com. He holds a National Diploma in Computer Science (currently studying part-time for his Higher National Diploma). An internet geek with a love for automobiles, he writes relationship articles, travel guides, and general life hacks on the site.

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