Help! My Superior Is A Manipulator

The workplace is the second place where we spend the most time, and this is why it is essential to maintain amicable relationships with the people you are working with. This creates good group cohesion and allows you to perform better in the team and strengthen interpersonal relationships.

However, not every relationship will be and remain cordial, and you might even have to deal with some creep out there. Coping with a manipulative boss is hell for an employee. Read this article if your manager treats you like a puppet and you don’t know how to react.

Warning signs


Some managers in a company have a habit of manipulating employees to get what they want: success. They praise them, highlight their quality, and take ownership of their work to achieve their goals. As a result, the credit goes to them and not to their manipulated employees. Their main targets are often highly competent employees who are committed to their work.

In general, a manipulative superior is easy to recognize. According to some psychologists, manipulative managers always go through these three phases (seduction, destabilization, and destruction) to get what they want.

1. Seduction

This is the beginning of manipulation. Your superior is trying to establish a privileged relationship with you. He will do everything in his power to make you fall into his trap. He does not hesitate to do you favors, to offer you very valuable gifts, invite you to a restaurant, etc.

He even insists on helping you with your work. He even insists on helping you in case of problems, telling you this sentence: “Don’t hesitate to call me if you need me, I will always be available for you”.

And after a few months, he starts asking you questions about your private life while memorizing your answers. This aims to move the professional relationship to a much more intimate terrain. This phase of seduction will not stop until you are fully committed to the relationship.

2. Destabilization


After having seduced you, your superior will then proceed to the destabilization phase. With his talent for scrambling, he will try to destabilize you by making you believe that you don’t understand what is being asked of you. However, the instructions he gives are not clear.

If you try to clarify certain points that are a little unclear, you can be sure that he will blame you. He even dares to make derogatory remarks to you in front of your colleagues so that you lose confidence in yourself completely.

3. Destruction

Once you are destabilized, it is easy for your superior to manipulate you. If you try not to submit to his orders, he will go so far as to invent lies based on your weak points. And if you fail, he will not hesitate to blame you. All the credit goes to you, and it is him who appropriates it.



There are several ways to avoid being a victim of manipulation at work. Here are some of them:

  • Keep your feelings: it is important that you take the time to listen to yourself when you are faced with a manipulative superior. To do this, take a step back to analyze the situation.
  • Do not retort: this will avoid making the situation worse. In this case, the best solution is to remain silent. Just listen to everything they have to say and show them that you are not afraid of them.
  • Talk to someone else about your situation: a family member you feel comfortable with, a psychologist, etc.

Good to know: if you are a victim of manipulation at work, you should know that a lawyer specializing in employment law will be of great help.

Sound off in the comments section below and tell us how you would respond if you found out that your superior was a manipulator.

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