If you recognize these 7 signs, you’re dealing with someone who manipulates people

Isabella Chase by Isabella Chase | May 9, 2024, 8:13 pm

We’ve all encountered them—the crafty characters who know how to bend people to their will.

You can think of one right now. That person who can twist words and situations to suit their agenda leaves us feeling used and confused.

Yes, I’m talking about manipulators.

They hide in plain sight, often disguised as friends, colleagues, or family members. It’s a chilling thought.

But don’t panic just yet.

If you recognize these seven signs, you deal with someone manipulating people.

1) Their words don’t match their actions

I once had a colleague who always promised to help with complex tasks, but when the time came, they were nowhere to be found. Their words were sweet as honey, but their actions? Well, they were nonexistent.

Manipulators are masters of deception. They tell you what you want to hear, making grand promises they have no intention of keeping.

This is not a one-off; it’s a consistent pattern. You’re dealing with a manipulator if their actions don’t match their words.

2) They play the victim card

Growing up, I had a friend who was an expert at playing the victim card. No matter the situation, somehow, she always ended up being the innocent one wronged by the world.

Manipulators use this tactic to gain sympathy and control. They portray themselves as victims to manipulate your emotions and make you feel guilty for them.

If someone consistently presents themselves as the victim, chances are they’re manipulating you.

3) They use gaslighting techniques

Gaslighting is a psychological manipulation tactic where a person makes you doubt your memory, perception, or sanity.

In real life, manipulators use gaslighting to make you question your own experiences or recollections. They might insist that an event didn’t happen or happened differently than you remember.

The purpose? To undermine your confidence and make you more dependent on them.

4) They exploit your insecurities

We all have our insecurities. They’re part of what makes us human, but they can become weapons in the hands of a manipulator.

A manipulator will often identify your anxieties and play on them, using them to their advantage. They’ll make you feel inadequate or inferior to gain control over you.

It’s a heartbreaking realization when someone you’ve opened up to uses your deepest fears against you.

Remember, your insecurities are not a tool for others to wield; they’re simply facets of you that deserve understanding and acceptance.

5) They make you feel obligated

I’ve experienced this one first-hand. I had a friend who had a knack for doing me small favors, only to use them as leverage later on.

It felt like I was constantly in his debt, and he was more than happy to remind me of all the times he’d helped me out.

Manipulators often create a sense of obligation. They go out of their way to do something for you, then hold it over your head. They’re keeping a scorecard, and you always owe them.

When you feel indebted to someone for everything they do, they may use this manipulation tactic on you.

6) They’re constantly shifting the blame

In my experience, manipulators always find someone else to blame. They’re quick to point fingers and slow to self-reflect. It’s always someone else’s fault, never theirs.

This tactic helps them escape the consequences of their actions while causing others to doubt their competence and self-worth.

7) They isolate you from others

It’s frightening how subtly this can happen. I once dated someone who slowly, over time, made me feel like all my friends were against me. I started doubting my relationships and withdrew from my loved ones.

Manipulators often use isolation as a strategy to gain control. Turning you against the people you trust makes you more dependent on them and more accessible to manipulate.

Remember, real friends, encourage your connections with others, not sever them.

In conclusion, manipulation can be hard to spot, especially from someone we care about. By recognizing these signs, you can better protect yourself and maintain healthy relationships.

Every person deserves respect and kindness—don’t settle for anything less.