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Who's Pulling Your Strings?: How to Break the Cycle of Manipulation and Regain Control of Your Life Paperback – September 12, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"She helps readers recognize manipulation, and assess and reduce their own vulnerability, and teaches resistance tactics to use when faced with manipulation."

From the Back Cover

A powerful program to free yourself from manipulators--and regain control of your life

Millions of people, both men and women, can become involved in relationships with manipulators--people who control through emotional manipulation, insults, and mind games. These "toxic" relationships erode self-esteem and make life miserable for the victim. Whether the manipulator is a relative, a spouse or romantic partner, a boss, coworker, or subordinate, or even a trusted friend or advisor, Dr. Harriet B. Braiker, bestselling author of The Disease to Please, shows you how to break this damaging cycle for good.

Who's Pulling Your Strings? will help you end a current destructive relationship, understand how it occurred--and prevent you from ever getting involved in a manipulative relationship again. Using revealing self-assessment quizzes, action plans, and how-to exercises, Dr. Braiker empowers you to:

  • Recognize the signs of a manipulative relationship
  • Spot manipulators and their typical ways of operating
  • Assess your own vulnerability to manipulation
  • Identify the 7 main "Head Games" manipulators play
  • Utilize effective resistance tactics against manipulator's efforts
  • Transform yourself from a "soft" to a "hardened" target
  • Extricate yourself from manipulative relationships that do not change
  • Protect yourself from falling prey to manipulators' control in the future
  • Stop others from pulling your strings once and for all

With insight, compassionate advice, and self-affirming strategies, Dr. Braiker helps you end any manipulative relationship and regain control of your life--starting right now.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (October 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071446729
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071446723
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I found this book extremely helpful in explaining the syndrome of manipulation, and more importantly, it gave me some practical advice for responding and feeling less like a victim. I learned two stark realities from reading it. First of all, do not attempt to reason with a manipulator, as their feelings and needs are all that matter to them and you are wasting your time. These personalities seldom change. Coming to terms with this helped trememdously in releasing frustration. Secondly, manipulation continues because it works - period. One must break the cycle of success, and this book gives some solid tools to facilitate just that.
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Format: Paperback
This book was soooo helpful and I really felt empowered by the practical help that she offers. It's an easy read and very comforting. The best parts are: the insights she offers that explain what goes on in the dynamic between manipulator and "target"; what a manipulator thinks; why the "target" always gets stuck with people like manipulators; you can't reason with a manipulator beause of their insecurities but you can reason with your own insecurities; and best of all are the practical ways you can change your behavior to take back the power. I like that the author addresses your own behavior and actions, the easiest thing to manage in situations like these.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is a must read if you've been in any sort of manipulative relationship weather it be romantic, friendships, or family related. Not only are the hints helpful in recognizing WHEN you're being manipulated, but it provides the tools necessary to combat manipulative situations. Every aspect of this book applied in my life somewhere and in multiple areas such as work, home, love, family, and friends. A MUST read for everyone as we've all been prey to manipulators at one time or another.

On an alternate note, there are also scenarios in this book that might make you think of a time or times that you have manipulated others. It's helpful to have these pointed out and be conscious of your own manipulative tactics even if you weren't aware of them previously.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Who's Pulling Your String gave me essential information on how to act in sadly a bullying situation that I had remained in for years. I strongly believe in personalities being the primary cause of most relationship discord and not the symptoms, i.e. money, honesty, lack of sex, etc. that gets named as cause by most. This mainly gives you insight into how you are being manipulated, how to try to stop it, and if no attempts are successful - as she puts it - EXTRACTION. This was my only option as all attempts at stopping it were unsuccessful. It was the best decision of my life and gave me the impetus for change that would not have happened had I not listened and followed this advice. This book essentially gave me a new life that I am living with all I got until its gone.
2 Comments 40 of 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Dr.Braiker made understanding "manipulation" easy. Kudos to a book well written. Searching for books to learn what manipulation IS is hard to come by. Sometimes in our fast paced world we are so caught up that the art of manipulation can cause denial even to "seemingly" intellegent people. My work environnment was so covertly manipulated by its owner that I preferred to look the other way, due to building a company, rather than force myself into realizing how detrimental my environnment was. Peoples live have been ruined. Whether your in a bad relationship on a personal or professional level Dr. Braiker will defintely help you understand, and ultimately help you gain Your-Self back.
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By lepfan on March 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
I read this book to help me deal with a co-worker who is controlling and manipulative. It's helpful in that it describes the whys' and wherefor's of manipulation but there are not many suggestions for exactly what to say or respond when the manipulation starts. Telling someone who's inadvertantly become the target of a controller/manipulator to "stand up to the manipulator" isn't helpful. People become targets because they don't know how to do that. This book would have been better if there were real responses for dealing with controllers and manipulators.

Still, very helpful in identifying and understanding their motives and actions.
4 Comments 20 of 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Once again Harriet Braiker provides a wake up call and this time it's about manipulators. Not only does she help us recognize the manipulators in our lives but also provides guidance on how to break free from it. Manipulators can show up anywhere in our lives and this book provides great insight on how to be come a harder target for manipulation now and in the future.
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By AJ on September 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The steps at the end of this book are WORTH THEIR WEIGHT IN GOLD!
In a few short weeks I have put an end to so much manipulation in my life. It takes the wind right out of the manipulator's sails. The book is right...the manipulator will blow really hard, so prepare yourself; it's going to get stormy.

It's worth it if you can hold to your purpose. It's great to get back some self-respect and strength of character.

This is a great book...where has it been all my life? I really appreciate the help in figuring out all the fog that people cloak their behaviors in when they are trying to persuade you with emotional force.
I especially appreciate the examples on adult-parent to adult-child pressure.
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