Hello everyone, I’m Savannah Alalia, and welcome to the latest episode of High Functioning Human podcast, where you get to connect yourself. Guess what? As a high functioning human. 

In today’s episode, we’re going to navigate the complex world of Master Manipulators. It’s a topic that’s crucial whether you find yourself in the workplace or at home with somebody who is manipulative. 

So in one of my previous episodes “Under Attack: How to Deal With Criticism Without Losing Your Cool, I discussed transforming criticism into a positive force. However, there’s a critical scenario that you need to be aware of: dealing with narcissists and serial manipulators. 

It’s a common mistake to make that you think you can rationalise with these types of people. In fact, using emotionally intuitive responses is likely to cause more criticism and pull you into a very long winded debate.

And I want to speak about how to understand and handle these challenging interactions. So before we take a look at some questions, I want to share some personal experiences to explain why this topic is actually a really important one for me. 

When I was a teenager, I found myself following a leader, and if I think about it now consciously, I would probably call it a cult. This experience taught me how subtle and insidious manipulative behaviour can be. It’s unlikely to be as dramatic as it’s been portrayed in the media. It can creep into your life unnoticed in this kind of situation. 

I’m sitting here now, and this is part of my history.  And it has actually made me more vigilant in recognizing people who are manipulative or have manipulative behaviours, and underscoring the importance of why I wanted to talk with you about this today.

So I’d like you to ponder, why are narcissistic people drawn to the same victims every single time? Why are they drawn to people who are intuitive or empathic? And the reason for that is because Master Manipulators often target individuals that they perceive as emotionally deep and “tuned in”, those qualities that they lack and desire to control. 

So this has nothing to do with you being weak or there being something wrong with you. It’s about their own inability to empathise and to connect in the same way that you do. They see your emotional depth as a strength that they can basically exploit and use to gain power over you. 

The next thing I want you to consider or ponder is how do you get your power back if you find yourself dealing with the master manipulator and slowly drawn into the depths of whatever they want you to do? I want you to remember, it’s really essential to recognize that any attempt to compromise or rationalise with a narcissistic attack is likely to be used against you. And the best way to protect yourself when you find yourself in this situation is to actually shut the communication down and remove yourself from the interactions. Now, it may be that you need to extract yourself slowly, but essentially that’s what you need to do. It’s about reinforcing your boundaries instead of allowing your rational human emotions to be used as a weapon against you.

Because, trust me, they will be. Lastly, and most importantly, how can you stay alert to manipulative behaviours? And I’m drawing from personal experience because I can understand how easy it is to become entangled in a master manipulator’s web. 

So to safeguard yourself, it’s essential to stay vigilant and to trust your intuition. And here are some actionable steps to help you remain aware. 

  1. Educate yourself about manipulation tactics, understanding common manipulative behaviours and tactics can help you recognise them early. I always think the best place to go and the first line of defence is to know yourself well. And I particularly love the book Codependent No More by Melody Beattie, which will help you identify your triggers for why you might be attracted to somebody who’s a narcissist, whether it’s a friend or for a relationship.
  2. The second thing is listen to your gut. Often your instinct can sense when something is off, even if you’re unable to immediately pinpoint what it is. If you feel uneasy or pressured in a situation, pay attention to that feeling and seek objective perspectives. Because sometimes it’s hard to see manipulation when you’re in the middle of it. And talking to trusted friends or family members about your concerns can basically provide you with a clearer and more objective view. So having those conversations can be super powerful. 
  3. And remember to practise self care on a regular basis. That regular internal reflection can help you to stay grounded in your values and your perceptions, making you much less susceptible to manipulation. 


By following these steps, you’ll be able to develop a stronger awareness of any manipulative behaviours and protect yourself from getting caught in harmful situations.

In conclusion, navigating the labyrinth of a master manipulator is about recognizing the signs, understanding the dynamics at play and protecting your emotional well being. Remember, your emotional depth is your strength rather than a weakness to be exploited. So if you find yourself in such a situation, it’s super crucial to assert your boundaries and prioritise your personal peace.

Again, as always, trust your instincts. Follow your intuition because the world needs your voice and the magic that it brings for us all. 

Remember to jump on my mailing list and stay reminded and connected with your intuition. 

Plus, as always, some special tips that I will only share on email. I look forward to chatting with you next time on High Functioning Human Podcast.

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