Are You Being Manipulated? Keys to Hidden Aggression

Man with puppet stringsWe all engage in manipulation from time to time. When your boss asks you what you thought of his or her terrible presentation and you render lavish praise, you’re concealing your real feelings in an attempt to elicit the reaction you want from someone in power. But in close interpersonal relationships, manipulation can take on a much darker hue, leaving its targets never quite knowing where they stand.

The very nature of manipulation makes it challenging to know when you’re being manipulated. Manipulators attempt to conceal their motives and feelings, and their targets—who often struggle to sustain an honest, open, and manipulation-free relationship—may have to do some detective work to determine whether they’re being played.

What Is Manipulation?
Manipulation is the process of trying to change another person’s feelings, beliefs, or behaviors through indirect tactics. Rather than asking for what they want, manipulative people tend to use deception, coercion, even threats to get their needs met.

Manipulation is associated with a number of mental health conditions, including borderline personality disorder, passive-aggressive personality disorder, addiction, antisocial personality disorder, and narcissism. Not all manipulative people have mental health issues, but when manipulation becomes a primary style of interaction, it can indicate an underlying psychological issue.

Tactics Manipulators Use
If you’re concerned that you’re being manipulated, examine the tactics the other person is using. If you find yourself caught up in a web of deception and unclear motives, it could be manipulation.

Some common tactics manipulators use include lying, withholding information, denying feelings, playing the victim, blaming the victim, minimizing others’ feelings, pretending to be confused or ignorant, guilt, shame, and pretending that his or her tactics are intended to serve a higher calling such as God or a political cause. Manipulators also frequently use gaslighting—the process of provoking someone into an extreme or angry reaction, then blaming the other person for his or her reaction.

While anyone can be manipulated, expert manipulators tend to target people with and take advantage of certain personality traits. These traits include:

  • The desire to be liked or to please; these people are more likely to take extraordinary measures to gain favor
  • Low self-esteem
  • Dependency; people who tend to be dependent upon others will be more easily swayed by threats to withdraw love or support
  • Naiveté or ignorance
  • Loneliness
  • Impulsivity, greed, and materialism
  • Low assertiveness
  • Fear of anger, sadness, and other negative emotions—either in oneself or from the manipulator

Why People Manipulate
For some people, manipulation may be an inadvertent strategy for dealing with a cutthroat world in which discussing feelings is often taboo. Manipulation is part of the normal range of behavioral tactics, and most people engage in manipulative strategies from time to time. People whose primary style of interaction is manipulation, however, tend to share some traits in common. These include:

  • A need for control or power over others
  • A need to raise their own self-esteem
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, or hopelessness
  • A willingness to prioritize their own feelings and desires over the needs and well-being of others

How to Handle a Manipulator
Many of us are highly aware when we’re being manipulated, but are still left unsure of what to do. Because manipulators often play the victim, some victims of manipulation might excuse their behavior or insist that the manipulator doesn’t really know what he or she is doing. Manipulators thrive on hiding their motives, so it can be challenging to get them to admit their true intentions, and many people will refuse to do so even under pressure. Instead, try the following tactics:

  • Avoid allowing yourself to be shamed or guilted into doing something.
  • When a manipulator makes a covert threat, ask him or her about the threat.
  • Ask the manipulative person if he or she can tell you directly what he or she wants.
  • Avoid sharing how the manipulation makes you feel, as these feelings can later be used as a tactic by the manipulator.
  • Be direct, clear, and honest, and refuse to participate in the escalating game of manipulation.

References:

  1. Psychological harassment and psychological manipulation. (n.d.). Psychological Harassment Information Association. Retrieved from http://www.psychologicalharassment.com/psychological_manipulation.htm
  2. Simon, G. K. (n.d.). Dealing with manipulative people. RickRoss.com. Retrieved from http://www.rickross.com/reference/brainwashing/brainwashing11.html
  3. Spotting emotional manipulation. (n.d.). Cassiopaea. Retrieved from http://www.cassiopaea.com/cassiopaea/emotional_manipulation.htm

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The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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  • yvonne

    March 22nd, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    What if I am married to the master manipulator? What then? He needs serious help but I am almost afraid to tell him that because he makes me feel like I am the one who is crazy when I know that isn’t true! He always gives me these guilt trips, and yes, I let it happen, but he will do anything that he needs to to get his way. And it’s not just with me- it’s that way with everyone and we all feed into it. How do I get him to loosen some of that control and power? I know that it is a change that I have to eprsonally make but I am not sure how.

  • Susan Beggan Paganie

    March 22nd, 2013 at 10:24 PM

    When someone is a master of manipulation, we are often caught up in their web before we realize what is happening. They can be adept at turning the tables and placing all the blame on you. They can be so good at it that you start thinking you are the one at fault, or just plain crazy for thinking they would “ever do such a thing.” As hard as it is, you can’t fall into the trap of acceptance. This just reinforces the behavior and helps it to get stronger. I think the best methods are working with a professional to rebuild your self esteem that this person has likely diminished. Learn the tips for shaping the behavior, it’s going to be hard but it’s doable. Learn to be assertive rather than aggressive. The most important thing is to take your safety into account. Don’t do anything that might cause you to be put into danger. While all manipulator are not dangerous, you must be able to accurately assess your situation. For people that manipulate, it has likely been a successful way they have learned to negotiate life. Who knows where the roots are bound, but it is a learned behavior that can be charged.

  • Donna

    April 28th, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    I had been in a manipulative marriage of 28yrs. I don’t think I will ever recover.

  • Sloane

    March 23rd, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    The problem is not the one who manipulates, but the one who allows themselves to be amnipulated time and again.

  • Hope

    June 24th, 2016 at 8:25 PM

    That is total manipulative, and im not referring to a bachelor of science.

  • lisa

    March 24th, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Hi Yvonne, Manipulation comes in many forms, from subtle undermining comments to outright attacks. This dynamic is described quite well in a book I’m reading called The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans. There are many suggestions on how to set limits based on what type of attack you’re under.While it’s tough to break old patterns, it is possible!Support from family and friends are important as you try out new ways of setting limits.A therapist can be helpful too.Hope you find the strength to listen to your inner voice.Best wishes in your work on this.

  • tiara

    March 25th, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    “target” seems to have been written all over my face. because just so many people try to manipulate me now I am afraid to even make friends. it is a pity that people have to stoop to manipulating others just to get what they want, I wish better sense prevailed :(

  • EL

    July 22nd, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    I hear you tiara. Sucks.
    Stay strong.

  • monica

    March 25th, 2013 at 11:20 AM

    Me being a manipulater and a good one Yvonne hunny you have to think like a wolf to run w the pack or they Eat the weak so what Im saying is be a wolf watch his movements tobe of voice certain facial features that r reapetative when he is doing this think and act like a wolf to run with the pack u r not crazy they say that we supervise things and don’t tell Wat we r really after (alterior motives) well Im the kind that would and make u believe it was ur idea and get wat I told u I wanted and more Im the great white lol

  • Louise

    May 21st, 2013 at 4:34 AM

    Sloane, to an extent I agree. But we all allow some form of manipulation from time to time. As we all manipulate from time to time. Choosing to be manipulated is as unlikely as choosing to be a victom of crime. I think the problem is more where your non-negotiable limits are. And if you dont know, you leave yourself open to be a victim

  • g

    June 11th, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Sloane – No one is EVER resposible for someone else’s bad behavior, PERIOD.

    No one asks to be treated badly, regardless of the insistance from others that the target of immature,reckless,hurtful, inappropriate actions is at fault. It’s that prevalent shifting the blame to the target that allows other the continue the damaging behavior all around.

  • K b

    October 2nd, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Manipulation and deceit

    a form of abuse and everyday I see it . I want to run from it and or disappear. These monsters are full of deceit and forcing me to be here and I don’ t want to be. It’s controlling and another form of abuse. They believe their own lies. I have been trying to disappear for the longest time from abuse and manipulation. It isn’t all of them. This is the truth.

  • Steve

    February 3rd, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    We need to remember that we can often engage in manipulation with the manipulator. Those being manipulated are not just victims, as their unwillingness to leave the manipulator forces them to engage in the manipulation. In this regard, the victim becomes the victimizer and back and forth it goes. If we have a desire to regain our self-worth with the manipulator, we can quickly engage in their game, as we desperately try to regain our footing. However, they are way better at the game, as they have no real attachment to you or anyone!!! They are absolutely willing to appear as though they let go of you to prove to you that you do not matter! The only way to save yourself is to get out and never look back. NEVER!!! They do not love you! In fact, after a bit of time, it is likely that you do not love them either! If you are in the “web,” you are trying to locate your self-worth, which is exactly what they do not want you to find. If you find it, you leave them! Remember: Why would someone good like yourself be so interested in someone that is so damaged? You too are damaged, and not just by them! Get into therapy and begin to mend your broken heart. It goes back a long ways, so take your time. Look into your childhood and forgive those who harmed you. Learn, but learn while moving away and forward. The manipulator has no sense of Self, and as a result, they will begin to make you feel as you don’t, as they project their lack of Self onto you. Do not let them steal your soul! They are trying to make you feel as they feel: lost, lonely, and absolutely worthless. These are narcissists! They do not truly love themselves. They are NOT genuinely confident. They have no secure attachment anywhere in their childhoods. Their parents were severely selfish. They may claim to “love” their parent SO much, but you will quickly see they use their parent as they use all others. Just as their parent uses them!!! They have no positive/genuine relationship with their parent, particularly the opposite sex parent. However, often times both parents are narcissists. They will often claim to “not remember” their childhoods. This is a result of the aloneness they experienced. You will NEVER save them! NEVER!!! Accept that you are good enough, just as you are. Love your mother and father and move on!!! DO IT TODAY!!!

  • Wolf

    August 18th, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    Okay, what you said here really touched home with me. I am very confused because I can feel someone manipulating my mind, trying to change how I think… Almost brainwash me in a sense. I have no certain proof it’s my mother, though on one occasion I caught her trying to “motivate me” to do something by telling me there was no way I could do it and that I had never given her a reason to believe I could. She admitted to it. I also know she took psychology in college, but she never mentioned it more than twice, and only indirectly… So I don’t know how much or how advanced psychology she knows. I’ve been distraught, and angry, and feeling like I’ve got a blindfold over my thoughts because I cannot figure out who or how… Or maybe I’m not letting myself believe it’s her because I love her too much? I’m not sure, as I’ve said.

    I think of myself as somewhat well-learned in psychological understanding and thinking, because I can watch how people glance or flinch and watch their eyes, to figure out almost exactly how something affects them inwardly. I’ve had people test me on it and I’m not just fibbing. Which is why I can’t understand why I can’t figure this out on my own. I can’t read my mom or my dad the way I can everyone else I know, no matter how hard I pay attention.

    And one last thing, I can be so convicted and form my thoughts for days before I come and argue them to my mom… I’ve tried baiting traps, so to speak, to test her… But every time I confront her, I suddenly cannot think. My mental barriers crumble against her and no matter how I felt before, I end up broken. If anyone can make sense of this… I’d be extremely appreciative.

    P.S. Talking about the parent’s back-story, her dad left them when she was 3 and basically disowned her, her mother married abusive men and finally ended up single to this day, and their relationship is rocky. My dad is kind of a lifeless brick unless he’s angry or in a rare good humor. That might clarify something…

  • Helen Renny

    July 5th, 2016 at 9:04 AM

    Steve, I have been in a controlling/manipulative relationship for the last 2 years. It has steadily got worse and it has totally destroyed my confidence. It has also damaged relationships with family and friends. I have felt like an emotional wreck for the last couple of months and felt completely trapped. Reading your post was a turning point for me and I’m now on day five of recovery (no contact) and I feel like I might just make it this time (after about 50 previous attempts). I just wanted to say thank you!

  • Sparrow Lost

    March 17th, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Read “Snakes in Suits” very insightful.

  • Mena

    August 14th, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    Hi Zawn,

    My sister in-law by marriage (our husbands are brothers) is a manipulator. She regularly demeans me and heavily influences others peoples opinions of me. I have for years now engaged in the manipulations to defend myself, but she is so good at it that I am misunderstood by family members and always made to look like the perpetrator. This week I had enough and after a few of her text messages, I told her to “F!@k Off!” and have blocked her from being able to contact me.
    I just didn’t know what else to say. Have I done the right thing?

  • Nova

    May 29th, 2016 at 6:36 AM

    Zema, that’s awesome! The mouse that roared like a lion! Don’t take any crap from anyone. When I read your statement, I laughed out loud and wanted to give you a hug :)

  • Nova

    May 29th, 2016 at 6:40 AM

    Mena (not Zema :{ ) sorry

  • Hope

    June 24th, 2016 at 8:28 PM

    Amen!

  • Misty

    August 24th, 2016 at 10:16 PM

    What you do…., is control yourself to the point of biting your tongue. Don’t defend, you are being looked at through preconceived notions. So, don’t. We all made the mistake and it is what they want. You to aggressively defend yourself, as she is controlling your behavior and this is where they win. When they use you against yourself. Because who is responsible for your actions. Therefore, the only way to keep your marriage and life as you know it intact….. Controlling yourself, while being completely spontaneous, and remove anything that can’t be replaced. I am in the same sinking ship. Except mines the single white female—esh type. She couldn’t have me. So she tried to replace me. She is very sadistic, as she has exposed me to poisoning on at least 2 dozen occasions. But that’s when she can’t steal, break, hide my belongings to provoke me with later, with the selected audience present of course. How else can they get you to act out if character in such a way that they are now the victim of you. That’s exactly how that happens. Good luck… To the both of us…smh lol

  • Lucy

    August 18th, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    Hi Wolf, I think your best bet is consulting a therapist who can help you work through those confusing feelings and give you some direction. That said, I am reading a book right now about narcissistic personality disorder that is really helpful and interesting called The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists. Though you didn’t say much about your mother’s behavior, your reaction to it and your feelings of confusion about it sound like what the author describes as the difficulties of being the child of an NPD person. I am one myself and it has been really difficult to start defining what I want and getting out from under that boulder even though I haven’t spoken to my NPD father in 5 years. It has been a long road of therapy and I will continue on it and would recommend therapy to anyone who thinks they might have an NPD parent. I would say check out NPD online a little bit and if it sounds like it could apply to your mom, check out the book and look into therapy. And I think therapy is a good idea in any case if you feel in a fog and confused or manipulated! Good luck.

  • Wolf

    October 27th, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    Thank you so much, I looked up NPD and she definitely has it bad. This clarified everything. Even just in one day, I caught her doing things that are clearly NPD-indicative now that I know what to look for. I’m thankfully a few months away from eighteen so I’ll be out of here pretty soon, but the way all of everyone who I know is rigged by her to be a “safety-net” of sorts, it’s going to be rough trying to escape her completely.

    Anyway, I’m so glad I decided to comment, thanks for taking the time to analyze and respond to what I said. It’s greatly appreciated!

  • Ana

    September 11th, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Yes i am! i´m being manipulated by my sons ,by my friends,by my boss,by my assurance companies, by my government,by my Parlament and deputies ,by Obama, By Putin ,by ukraine ,by banques/bankers,by media ,by my own society with their padroons of beauty ,by my finances taxes,by my health system care ,by my religion,by the pope and by God etc….

  • Kathryn

    September 13th, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    Maybe I am going crazy … But I just had something blow up in my face . A few months ago .. I made a mistake, drank too much and cheated on my husband .. In which he has forgiven me for and we have moved on . I didn’t remember much about that night until days later . However, I lied to my “friends” not to save face … But because of what I am about to tell you about the one particular friend . Since I’ve known her, she’s been a chronic liar and a “victim” … Never has she bothered me much with it so I would let her run with her tales whether or not a believed them . A few weeks ago I was hanging out with her and my guy best friend .. I have a crush but he and I know it was nothing more . However after I dropped him off that night, my friend looked at me and was telling me he loved me and we would make a great couple,etc. …. So I fed into her and broke down saying I liked him . 4 days ago a friend of his and a coworker of mine started raiding questions , even went as far as to steal texts from his phone of me asking if he loved me … Not trying to get attention … But because my drunk friend was going on and on about how I have a nice husband but I should be with my guy friend and maybe I should consider a divorce if I’m not happy . She told me how beautiful and perfect I was . Well the next morning my guy friends , friend the one who stole a text from his phone messaged me in which I nicely told her I didn’t want her in my business and I wasn’t trying to lead on my guy friend . She flipped out at me and I blocked her . I even showed my husband and we all thought she was psychotic . I was hanging out with my guy friend later and we were discussing it and I was a little annoyed that he was sort of feeding in to the lies , of them saying I cheated twice and was a liar . However later that night , I was about to go home when he got a message from one of my former friends and my best friends friend . She was saying how if he needed someone to talk to she was there .. And that’s when he told me about how his friend told a bunch of my former friends . I messages them and my best friend lied saying she hadn’t heard anything … Until the 5 of them tore me to shreds saying I wasn’t an angel , I’m a manipulator , I lies about what my best friend had said and threw her under the bus )note it’s five different people beating me down) I was a cheater and I needed to admit it . I apologized for anything I did wrong maybe in my life but not any specifics and they accused me of trying to save face . Needless to say I lost my “friends” who months earlier I had told myself not to be friends with after another incident … But that hadn’t done anything wrong before or so I thought . Last night I spent time in my quiet spot , after quitting my job , having an interview with a new one , realizing the 2 friends I had and my husband … I felt okay … My guy friend after seeing what they did to me apologized for ever believing them. It was now my time to think … I was listening to music, and watching the sun go down when it hit me … I re read the messages … Re thought of what had happens and maybe what I did to start it …. I had studied a little bit of psychology …. And I looked it up ” manipulative behavior ” that’s when I ran into this post … I am a private , and loyal person … My best friend has always showed signs of manipulation , I’m fact just the last two weeks she was playing victim and trying to get a guy fired at our job because she didn’t like him and she even twisted my words . She twisted my words when she attacked me the other night and took her friends of whom were my friends , one protective , one a mouth piece and very caring , one a needs to know it all , and the other gullible and turned them on me … I already had bad standings with them do to my disagreeing with something they wanted me to think was right … I might be a manipulator sometimes … Never one who would do after things if it hurts others … But I had just been manipulated by another manipulator . My guy friend showed me a post by the girl who said she was there of he needed to talk saying she didn’t know what was really going on and was tired of being dragged into things . And he told me about his now ex friends last text to him and how she got all of her information from my best friend , who for months has been sucking me In , making me appear as a drunk, a cheater , a gay hater , and in her own words a manipulative bitch . I am no longer friends with any of them .. But my few friends want to salvage my title …. Bit there’s no way ( someone as my friends say as smart ) as me can go against someone like her and I DON’T want my guy friend involved . I told him months ago don’t trust her she tends to lie … And now I’m playing the fool … The question is, having been her best friend for 12 years, how can I stop her from hurting others and why?

  • Abandoning my Manipulative Family

    November 29th, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    I’m 27 years of age. My family has always hurt me kicked me when I am down, stolen from me, lied to me, etc. This year I was abandoned by them for the holidays right after miscarriage and I just lost the mother that was forced to abandon me. Never got to meet her. But apparently she loved me enough to write every birthday holiday etc.. never got to read her letters cause my dad’s mom kept them. My dad and her are afraid of what’s in those letters. On occassion I have been told there is a 50/50 chance I’m not even related. So I said f*** it and figured I’m not losing much I’m married to a wonderful man and have a strong support group in his family. I said enough is enough and cut all ways to contact me. Didn’t have any effect till I cancelled my dad’s cell and deregistered his kindle. Does he visit? Nope just calls my husband nonstop who is blocking him. Not that he know that.

  • Natalie

    March 22nd, 2015 at 5:03 PM

    It seems it has been organized for me to be manipulated everywhere I go people start saying things they turn around and say to the other person “she says” and makes up a statement. Often I start to get the idea what they say will be something that will happen 2 me in the future. They use mind reading tech or some thing and get lots of people to do it. If I go to a place often they get people to do it. They will also pick out random things and say them usually imlying they are about me or to me. Little things. Usually they chant at me and they get really mad if I get really mad with them and tell them to stop or they ignore me and say no.

    I wonder if my family is in the gang.

  • Katie

    June 26th, 2015 at 3:03 AM

    Hello, I’ve been having a problem for about a year now and need help asap. So I met this this guy while I was in high school. I was 17 he was 27. We started talking and seemed to have everything in common. Like soul mates, it was so unreal. We fell in love. He got evicted from his apartment. I was still living at home. My mother allowed him to stay with us because he literally had nowhere to go. PAUSE.. I’ll pick back up on that first let me describe my mother.. She is bipolar and has multiple personalities and can be a manipulative person at times, depending how she can benefit from situations. Okay let me continue. I was tired of living with her just because of how manipulative she can be. So I had a plan, the day I turn 18 I’m moving out. Well months pass and I turn 18. A month after my birthday my mom got into some fit and decided to make me kick my boyfriend out. No reason given. I told him, he was fine with that. But I was 18… In love.. Tired of the bs going on in my life due to my mother. I was moving out. F&@k it. So we are on our journey together.. Had no where to go, I’m still enrolled in high school at the time. Slept in his car with no change of clothes. ( my mother held all of my possessions hostage, also came to my school threatening me ) so the next day we found a place to stay. I’m still going to school but my mom was making it impossible. Showing up at school starting fights to the point she was asked to leave.. So I decided to transfer schools so she couldn’t just show up and stay on my blue card (information card basically, idk why we call it blue cards) so I did. I dropped all communication with her. But.. Little did I know I was getting into an even more serious relationship with a manipulator. Months went by.. Our lovey dovey relationship transformed into hell. I noticed I lost all contact with my friends. Family. And even social media. I didn’t think anything of it though. I thought nobody cared. Then I started noticing we only seen his friends and family.. And we only did what HE WANTED TO DO. I started having this weird feeling inside of me, that I was unsafe in this relationship but safe at the same time.. We would get into fights until I would be on the ground broken, crying waterfalls. Then he would comfort me.. After how intense our fights were..? I felt distressed, always wrong, scared, insecure and worried. But lately I’ve decided to continue a relationship with my mom.. He didn’t like the thought of that… Would never take me over there (I don’t have a car nor live near a metro station) so I somehow was allowed to spend only 24 hours over there. ALL OF MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY came to visit me… I felt as if it was an intervention even though no one said anything. After everyone left my mom told me they all think I’m in a manipulative relationship. I started wondering.. I went home to my boyfriend and he started apologizing for how he acted about me staying with my mom. Red flag…! Later that day I googled ” how to tell if I’m being manipulated “. He had every single sign of a manipulator.. I’m 100% sure I’m being manipulated. I just do not know how to get the hell out of this relationship. I know you may say “just leave ” it’s hard to do so when he has a kid who calls you mommy.. I need help asap I’m seriously going insane. Help pleaseeeee! 😰😰

  • Katy

    September 7th, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    I went through almost identical situation to you. Only way I got out was when he left me for my boss.

    All I can say is either go to a womens refuse for abused women, get in contact with someone you trust and move in with them after you explain your circumstances and fear for your safety or you can call the cops on him and have him arrested for abuse.

    I hope this helped. X good luck.

  • Nasr

    July 31st, 2015 at 6:44 PM

    uncommon signs and tips you should consider when you are close to knowing that someone is emotionally manipulating you:

    1. Anger: when ever you are about to intentionally or unintentionally expose that person they will immediately become verbally aggressive and show anger to prevent you from going any further, this is done by making the victim feel that they have done something wrong by confronting the manipulator or asking them a question that they are afraid to answer etc..

    2. Denying reality: that person might try to do whatever it takes to make you look like you are living in your own world forcing another reality into your mind, even though the actual realty is no secret to both the victim and the manipulator. At this point they will try to make their confabulations sound as reasonable and as convincing as possible and they want to convince you that you are delusional.

    3. Guilt trips: they will always try to make you feel guilty.

    4. The “list”: the list is not an actual written list but a tool that manipulators repeatedly use in their desperate times. knowing that those people will do anything to put the blame on you, they will keep mentioning things to use against that other person to make them feel that they are the problem, its not hard to tell since they will repeatedly say those things at random times and they will be irrelevant to anything you actually did wether you have done something wrong or right they are always formless and unrelated subjects.

    5. Creating a situation: when the person does not need you anymore they will try to find a reason to tell that they don’t want to associate with you any longer, this is usually done by trying to create an unnecessary conflict for them to use as a reason.

    6. Vagueness: this might happen right after the 4th sign, you can ask for an explanation but their responses will be vague and shapeless or yet very cold and sometimes they would avoid most of the things that you will ask or tell them and only answer out of frustration.

    7. off – balance: they leave you confused, frustrated, doubtful of your self, immobilized, guilty for calling them out, and making you feel guilty for even trying to find out.

    8. Defensiveness: they are always ready to defend them selves and they will never admit to anything.

    9. False hopes and promises: they would usually say “yes” if you nicely requested them to do something, but they will deny it later and of course show an angry aggressive behavior to support it, and they pretend to forget anything you say no matter how important it is, they also have ways in twisting things you said before to make you look demanding and needy so you can feel guilty about it.

    10. There is no hope in them: at the end of the day you can actually write down the things and the lies that they tell you and you can show them a solid proof, but then they will question your trust and faith in them and they will always try to find a loophole, this determines all and thats when you learn the sad truth.

    Tips:
    1.Never expose your vulnerability, its one of the common mistakes people do, and people who emotionally deceive take advantage of it, sadly kind hearted people can easily suffer being in a relation with those people, be kind hearted but be careful and be strong when needed.

    2.know when to stop being nice, set them straight, do not let them step on you, this another common mistake.

    3.Do not try to solve anything with that person if he/she is showing you a resistance.

    4.You might think that there is good in them, and its true but you shouldn’t let that be a barrier, end your relationship with them no matter what.

    5.Only trust people who wont appreciate you and give you positive energy.

  • Goerge

    November 17th, 2016 at 1:06 PM

    NASR

    So I will tell you I am in my 40s and never had a girlfriend ever in my life, and never really been intmate, and this unbelievably hot girl agreed to meet for lunch one day and she started texting me like she liked me and I was like holy crap, wow!1 this can’t e real and over time, she did so many things that clearly was using her beauty and what I believe to be charm, to control me especially because she seemed so nice, and caring towards me, and also talks about caring about causes, and older, younger, animals, etc.. but she didn’t know fully about my situation until about 5 months after. but I can certainly tell you she was always asking me to sit in bed, and always letting me touch her, except a few times here and there, a few minor times she screamed at me about it even though she always clearly let me do it, especially since she has a boyfriend who clearly makes her a puppet, but she alays was the biggest cock tease, always did every single thing any PUA or dating guru tells you is signs she wants you to make a move, YET< she would be talkinga bout the boyfriend and /or something else at the same eact time, always would call me first, would do things lke make me dinner, encourage me and push me a couple times to better myself, but always was seductive, but yet, in retrospecgt, it feels like she usally needed me for something else much of the time, even though she made me feel like I was special. it seems recently half her family has pushed her away and so forth, should have been a sign. I was the hard rock, event hough she had a guy who was clearl using her for sex and fun, would not marry her in 6 years, and they break up 1000 times already. well 100 anyway. she will always be quick to talk smack and put down others, not usually yourself, and then go back to them, no matter what. she would do that with me too,. for things that are so tirival she would a few times end the "friendship" or more or whatever we had. it was moer than friends but less than what I wanted. if you take my meaning. and I would always act like I don't really care. and she would always say, well we can be friends, and I would silghlty apologize for stuff that I didn't need to, then she would still seduce me and hav eme in the bed. she did and said lots of stuff. she also seems to, when something happens, playes the victim and makes sure everyone knows every detail and says, well you know I would not do that would they/
    also, she has stories that seem to change over time like she can't remember what she said a few months ago about say the same subject. well recently even though I got nothing, and she knew I wanted it, I finally wrote this whole thing out and she told me about it one day, didn't sound mad at all, and neither did her guy. hell she invited me over 3 days later to cook dinner for me.
    but recently I had started not giving into her beck and calla and kept distance but she would constantly be the one to call me. and recently she aksed me eto fly out to drive long distance with her because she needed someone because someone conned her out of a couple hundred dollars but got what she wanted anyway.
    and expected me to do it, I didn't, and then the day after the dinner. she called and demanded I just drop everything I do and come get her right now, not even n actual reason. it really made me mad. believe me
    and so I didn't pick up the phone the 2 times she called later.
    I got home and explained I was busy but hope she had a ice day
    oh , she just totally cursed at me and said I am never alloed to see her again so I told her that it was all good because she uses me and doesn't resepct meh she wasn NOT ready for this. never thought I would have the balls to say it.
    she said in no certain terms I used her for her body, that touching was never welcome, but yet she had me touch her a lot of times, many times she asked for the touching I did and the times she didn't she never pushed me awa with the hand or said to stop and she always talked wonderful abuot me, even to her family, her friends, she seemed to go out of her way for me but I assusre you I went way more out of my way for her,.
    so she was mad, and told me she ordred a protection/private order or whatever it is called.
    I responded saying she dn't need to and let her know, exposed/called her on about 5-6 things she manipulated /used me on and alos one was about someone else I met through her.
    she also said immediately before getting mad, I am not to contact anyone she knows.
    she kept saying not to contact her but all she did was contact me, to make me feel pitiful, ugly stupid, everything you can think of even though she said the opposite forever til that night.
    then she messed with me, then she got very violent as I as not responding to any texts or VM except fr like 3 and she started giving me threats of violence, said to watch my back and wished I was deceased and how happy she would be. I mean we are talking some seriously sick stuff, but she is so kind compassionate and caring, but she says I ruined her life.
    I blocked her from all forms of communication though. she never expected this lol.

    So would you say the horrible reaction was the fact I was mostly a doormat and I called her out exposed her on her using me and not giving in to her constant texts.
    ?

  • Ellen

    September 7th, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    I had a close friend when I was in high school. She was always pulling things to have her way with me. When she asked me if I wanted to go to church with her, I made the mistake of accepting the invitation. She, as well as her mom were always using church to manipulate me into complying with things. Anytime I said no, they both had the audacity to go to my mother about what they wanted, and my mom fell for their tactics and made me do what they wanted. I had to listen because she was my mom, and I was under her roof. My friend’s mom was always using God to manipulate, and she was always justifying her hypocritical ways by using religion and the crap about God forgiving as the excuse. I knew that it was wrong what they were doing, but I did not know how to approach or address the problem. My friend and her mom would not take no for an answer, and my own family would never stick up for me, which I think is one of the main reasons why my friend manipulated because she knew that my mom would cave and never support me. Even the therapist that I used to go to would never offer any insights on how to handle the situation/problem.
    I once in a blue moon see my friend, and she will always ask me if I go to church. I tell her that I go to a Catholic church, which she cannot stand because she and her entire family are anti-Catholic. I need to find a way to approach why it bothers her that I am Catholic and don’t give a rat’s tail about her church. Sadly, other than being concerned about my religion, she has no interest in me or my REAL interests. When I would tell her something, she never remembers anything. She only contacts me when she runs into my mom somewhere. When she does call, she always says that has been meaning to call but she does not consider asking me to so something until after the fact or it is too late. I used to ask her to do things, but she always managed to pull some kind of crap to make the time short of havoc wreaking when we would do something. I really wonder if we ever were real friends or if it some kind of charade.

  • jordan

    October 8th, 2015 at 9:25 PM

    Hello I have a really wierd situation. I had this friend that is married and I have been paying close attention to him and I don’t like the way he acts around my girlfriend. Well anyways it turned out later that he wanted to hang out with my girlfriend alone. Although he would not ask me if it was ok to hang out with her alone.I
    only found out cause my girlfriend at the time told me. And the scary thing is she thought that it was ok and did not see a problem. well it turns out that he changed the oil on my girlfriends car which is fine. But he started manipulating my girlfriend and convincing her to dump me and to start excluding me from party’s that he was attending and convinced my girlfriend to not invite me and she did not even tell me until she told me about her change of plans. Anyways I went straight to his wife and told her how I think about her husband and to be careful and watch. Well it turns out she was in denial and was also being controlled and manipulated by her own husband. Anyways this manipulative friend of mine at the time is almost like a cult leader and everyone around him does not think anything is wrong except for me. He is avoiding me like the black plague. He won’t call me or nothing when I wanted to talk to him. So what do you think I should do?

  • FERNANDO

    November 29th, 2015 at 3:43 PM

    Oh My!.. Dump your girlfriend and get away from the maried couple. Your girlfriend is no dummy and she knows what’s right from wrong… take some time for your self and get to know and love yourself… keep this in mind: don’t give her any explanation. Just leave it as I don’t trust you. she will acts dumm or confused, she is just playing stupid and is wanting to leave you or sleep with someone else with a naivete excuse. If she has a conscies, herguilt will be powerfull enough to find the why you left her without explaining… hard to digist but I know you have a strong gut feeling that knows the trutth just written above… good luck

  • ann

    November 9th, 2015 at 6:04 AM

    hallo i have one relacionship with a married man he ask me for a baby now she is 10 years we have problem sinds my mother died i now that he have
    another woman that is not him wife he called she message and talk everyday with that girl but went i ask him if he have another he say now because he is sick he always miscall me ihave to call him to let my girl talk to him one day he all me a said to me go look for help am in a depress that why we always have problem but now a really wont to now how can i handle this man he is a respon father self esteem he is wachting now how i have to handle with him now

  • hyfr

    December 2nd, 2015 at 6:08 PM

    Two years ago, I had a boyfriend we were in a relationship for 4 years. Problems started between us two. There was that one co-worker starting flirting with me. That man was 7 years old older than me. I actually always thought he was a great man with good attention; always respectful, sweet and fun. When he noticed I had problems with my boyfriend , he started telling me that my bf wasn’t a good person , and that he was stupid of letting me go.Then, I left my bf, suddendly my co-worker left his gf too. He started inviting me out; to the movies, to eat etc. I felt in love with him , he made me feel special and bought me anything I wanted. I thought the feelings were mutual. Suddendly , he stopped talking to me. After a few months I’ve heard that he got married. He didn’t tell anyone he got married and wasn’t even wearing his engagement ring. Months passed by and I received a text from him , asking me to meet him. I met him and he kind of explain himself. He told me that he had pressure from his family to get married but was planning on divorcing. I believed him, we started hanging out together again, just as friend, until he jumped on me to kiss me. Then again a few months later , he left me , and blamed everything on me (the fact that we were acting as a couple when he shouldn’t). Now he doesn’t talk to me out of the context of work. Perhaps, he still do some mixed-messages such as touching me, telling me I’m beautiful. Until yesterday that I found out that I wasn’t his only victim , he is flirting with others women acting and saying the same things as he did to me.

  • lisa

    January 20th, 2016 at 10:15 PM

    What iv just read about a manipulated. Its what I have known all along. My Ex partner. I thought it was me going mad. Ha.

  • Miranda

    February 2nd, 2016 at 10:27 PM

    Hi there. Have just read this article and wow. Mum husband has accused me for so long of being a manipulator and a bully and i was starting to examine myself and say “am I really?”. He is so good at turning everything around and putting the blame on me. If he changed a decision we had made and i become upset about it then it’s my fault and a drama queen and he does not see that it a reaction to what he has just done. He has made countless promises and once we were married, changed every single decision we ever made about how we wanted our marriage to run. With regards to priorities, finance, family, work…and expects me to just listen to him. He made life so miserable for us that we had to eventually leave. He says he still loves me but I don’t know how you call that love?? Help, is there any hope for change and saving our marriage? ?

  • Chris

    March 27th, 2016 at 10:53 PM

    I think underneath it all manipulators are lazy or lack self-efficacy, therefore need to be sly about having their needs met. May not be true, and might be the emotions getting the best of me, as I’m often manipulated, and getting fed up with it. I’m just too nice and too eager to please people.

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    May 11th, 2016 at 4:28 PM

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  • Daggerisafire

    May 20th, 2016 at 12:54 AM

    umm…what if you have somebody in your school who has been for 2 months Manipulating you & Harassing you. This girl in my class we were friends at first but one time she yelled at me & my friend to help her fix a calculator of hers even though their was a teacher there that could have helped which was how this whole thing started. I told her the next day “I don’t want to be your friend anymore” & of course she asks “why” so I told her the calculator story then she said “what? no I did not do that” I immediately gritted my teeth & than walked away so that way I didn’t pick a fight with her inside class. As time went on She started it again but this time asking if she could be my friend again but I said “no” because through out my life i’ve given people too many chances where it’s kinda like I need to stop doing that. I’ve started ignoring her & not communicate with her but the suckish thing was is that we were in a group together, Sooner or Later one time in Library she is like “why can’t you stop talking to me?” even though I was completely silent so I answered ” let’s see here…one you decided to go ahead ask me stupid questions, two you won’t stop being obessed with me(She looks at me, she keeps invading my space, she looks over my shoulder when i’m working)” she than chuckles nervously “obessed?” I nodded & than I decided to go ahead & draw which until she asked me “so what happen to ??? & you?” I stopped breathing for a moment & of course I stayed quiet, I noticed from a corner of my eye she starts taking my binder which was when I immediately yelled “Stop!” & I grabbed my binder closer to me, some of my classmates laughed & to be honest I just had to yell at her since she doesn’t leave me or my stuff alone. After library she looks at me & voice is abit cold “Don’t ever embarrass me like that again.”

    so about a month later my friend starts telling her off since shes now trying to force us into being friends with her. We just both told her “no” & we had to literally yell at her to go away since she tried starting fights with us & kept eavesdropping.

    2 weeks ago in gym after my class got back from a fashion show to my high school next year which I didn’t go to. Anyways, my friend & her are on the bikes & I heard them arguing, she starts moping & says “you know ???, when we were friends m/n said meanthings about you” so he asked “like what?” she changes the subject which was a fail manipulation tactic into blowing me & his friendship into gorge. She immediately says “I’m sorry, will you forgive me?” & he says “No & Double no because you just lied to me.” so she goes to a corner & cries then comes back saying “alright than I guess will not talk to you forever which is when your 86 years old. I will never forgive” she basically flips it around on him & the funny part is he only said “no” to her & that was it.

    Today my friend is not here & she immediately starts asking & as I expected when I brought back at what happened in gym, she declined & changes it & starts going all excited says “see were making progress” I looked & honestly I was in tears, I don’t believe I am a victim but I am just a target, she goes on & says ” I’ve been being trying to be so nice to you & stuff” I shook my head & sat down, shut down the computer I was in the lab & tears start falling. she starts asking me what’s wrong & of course she walks away off to her friends & starts complaining to them about the situation. I have already reported her 2 times but the 2nd time my consolur has not called her down…I want to report her again but…what are they even going to do? she didn’t listen the 1st time…she does not listen to me…she’ll just keep harassing me & honestly I am tired of it…very tired of it…plus the teacher I was speaking to about this did not even hear me for the rest! She just assumed it was about the group thing & just said to tough it out. Poorly advice & quite honestly…even if I try I just can’t keep putting up with this…especially for 2-3 months…

    what do I do?

  • xl

    November 2nd, 2016 at 6:29 AM

    they do not make your life better, they make it worse so they are not worth your time and attention, they are just bored stupid and have nothing better to do in life, you must see them as small as ants to not have influence over you….logically, what good they did to you anyway? when they see you don´t give them attention anymore and don´t care about them, they will find another hobby

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