How to Cut Manipulative Friends Out of Your Life

Ask an adult expert on how to remove the manipulator if you can't do it yourself.
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Whether you have a friend who is pressuring you to do something that you know is wrong or your supposed BFF schemes and lies to manipulate you, getting that person out of your life may seem like a challenge. Cutting the manipulator out is one way to get rid of the peer problems plaguing your social life.

1 Identification Elaboration

Before you can cut the manipulator out of your life, you'll need to actually identify the behavior. If you're unsure if your "friend" is manipulating you, or you're just being overly sensitive, look for clues that signal true manipulation. Keep in mind that some manipulative behaviors may not seem outright underhanded. For example, erratic behaviors -- according to Nando Pelusi, Ph.D. on the Psychology Today website -- may indicate manipulation. For example, if your friend is often unpredictable and flies off the handle just to shock you into doing something, you likely have a manipulator on your hands. After identifying the manipulator, you are ready to choose a tactic to cut that person out of your life.

2 Clique It

If your group of friends is based more on power and tyranny than on support and caring, it's likely that you're in a clique. Clique members typically manipulate each other -- or wannabe members -- to get them to fall in line with the group's needs or ideals. Instead of following a manipulative leader, cut the entire clique out of your life. Dig deep and use your own voice to speak up and tell the clique leader -- or members -- that you don't believe in what they're telling you to do.

3 Exploring Options

Finding new friends to hang with can help you to cut the more manipulative ones out. If you're not the type of person to make grand speeches or confidently confront the manipulator, pulling away from her and moving towards a new group of true friends can make the transition less stressful. Look for friends who share common interests, who support you, who value your opinions and encourage you to act in your own special way. Spend your time with these, more positive, people instead of the manipulative ones. For example, if your "friend" is always telling you how smart you are just so you'll write her literature paper, ditch her for a friend who takes you out for coffee when you get an A.

4 Assertive Behavior

Instead of letting a master manipulator lord his power over you, show your assertive side and tell him to get out of your life. An assertive attitude gives you the upper hand when dealing with your manipulative friends. Assertive people can speak up for themselves in a respectful manner, according to the experts at the TeensHealth website. This type of attitude differs from aggressive behavior in that an assertive person doesn't get loud or domineering, but instead is confident and calm. Tell the manipulator that you're on to his game and you don't appreciate the disrespect. If he offers an excuse, tell him that you don't need people like him in your life.

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.