You won’t like hearing this, but often when you “can’t stand” a certain quality in people, it means you need to develop the positive version of that quality in yourself.
The solution to dealing with manipulators is to develop a small dose of your own manipulative side in a positive way, namely, learning to be diplomatic and take into account your particular audience.
If you completely disown your manipulative/diplomatic side, you may unconsciously draw manipulative people into your orbit, becoming an easy victim. Also, a manipulative side that remains unconscious is in danger of erupting out of the shadow when you least expect it and to everybody else’s total surprise.
The benefits of having access to diplomacy, shrewdness and discretion include self-preservation and being able to deal with different types of people. While honesty generally promotes trust, it can be considered rude to be too honest in some cultures and subcultures. When dealing with manipulative people, it can be foolish and even self-destructive to be too honest.
Healthy flexibility in your ability to relate with different types allows you to enjoy and protect yourself with a wider range of people. Also, many positive skills require some diplomatic framing; how could you get and hold a job or flirt without a little diplomacy?
by Alison Poulsen, PhD