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5 Signs Of A Manipulative Person Or Manipulative Relationship


Have you ever felt as though someone is taking advantage of you in a manipulative way, using you for their gain? Maybe they only get in touch when they need something from you, or they use their power to exploit you. You might feel as though your friends are manipulating you, or that you are in a manipulative relationship. If you find yourself agreeing with this, or maybe you are not entirely sure and can’t quite work out if they are manipulating you, then this article should be able to help you.

I am here to let you know some telltale signs on how to know if someone is manipulating you. But first, let’s take a look at what causes someone to be manipulative.

What Causes Manipulative Relationships And Behaviour?

It may be worth mentioning to start with that some personality disorders can cause this characteristic, which we will list below. Some people are worse than others, and some may not even know they are being manipulative to anyone.

Let’s take a look at what causes someone to be manipulative:

  • Personality Disorders such as Borderline Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder etc, can cause this characteristic.
  • Social and Environmental factors are taken into consideration when it comes to what causes someone to be manipulative, this can just be how certain people react due to their social and environmental background.
  • This can be a heritable trait. Manipulative behavior can, in some case, just be a characteristic that is past down from generations.

Signs Of A Manipulative Person And How To Spot Them

So that you can identify who and if someone is manipulating you, we have put together a list of signs to look out for. It can be hard to be around someone who is manipulative, it can feel draining and cause you stress and lack of confidence.

You may not even be 100% sure if someone is manipulating you or not, and need to know what to look out for. This article may help you find the answer and show you that if someone is manipulating you, it may be worth removing yourself away from that person and the situation as soon as you can.

Here are some characteristics of a manipulative person.

1. They Will Guilt Trip You

Manipulative people will often not accept the blame, which we will talk about a bit later, but they will also try to pass the blame to you or guilt trip you. You may not have done anything wrong on your part, but they will most likely try to make you feel bad and guilty about the situation.

They can often turn things around on to you, accusing you of not caring (when you most likely do), they can try and make you feel guilty for being better than them or having more in life, which is often something you cannot control.

When this happens, it can make you feel anxious, guilty and also have some self-doubt.

2. Manipulative People Will Undermine Your Self Confidence

Manipulators will often want you to have little to no self-confidence, as this will be easy for them to take advantage of you and have more power over you. This means that they will often try to make you feel less than them, and put you down.

A manipulative person will see things that you are not confident about, and comment on it, making you feel more self-conscious and more likely to lose your confidence. This could be from your manipulative friend, partner or family member. If they can make you feel down and unconfident, they can feel better about themselves and will be able to take advantage of you. This can cause you to become quite negative and sad, which is why it may be worth taking a look at how to remove negative energy (and people) from your life.

3. They Will Never Accept The Blame

Many manipulative people will not want to accept the blame on to themselves and will try to pass the blame onto you, even when it is not your fault. They will want to make you (the victim) feel that you did wrong so that they can have more power over you and take advantage of you.

This will always put a strain on you, whether it's in your relationship or friendship group as when something happens and someone is to blame, it will always be your fault and never the manipulators.

This can cause stress and anxiety and can be hard to change as the manipulative person will always want to win and have power over you.

4. Manipulative People Will Often Change The Subject

Another sign of a manipulative person is that they tend to only care for themselves. This will mean that, if you are having a heated discussion or argument, they will often change or avoid certain subjects that show their manipulative traits.

If they are in the wrong, they will steer the conversation away, either back to you or to something completely unrelated so that you will stop questioning the situation. This helps them avoid the truth, they cannot be blamed and yet again, have the power over you in the situation.

You may then feel hopeless and know that you won’t win, so you carry on a different conversation with them, letting them take advantage of you. This often shows that they don’t care what you have to say and are emotionally unavailable unless it is about themselves.

5. Manipulators Rationalise Their Behaviour

Even if a manipulative person is in the wrong, they will never want to show it. They will normally do what they can to make it seem like they are right and rationalize their behavior. This way, no matter what arguments you give back to them, they will always be right and will always rationalize their behavior to themselves.

This means that they won’t listen to what you have to say and will instead let you finish and then justify themselves, insisting that their behavior was OK (even when you know it wasn't). This means that they will always be right, and will always feel that their behavior is fine and justified, even when it isn’t.

How To Deal With A Manipulative Relationship

You may be asking yourself how you should deal with a manipulative person now that you have identified them.

Perhaps they are a member of your family or a manipulative partner or friend; how do you take action?

If someone is taking advantage of you, and exploiting you for their own gain, it may be worth keeping your distance for a while. Take some time away, and only go back when you really have to. This will give you some space and you can reflect on the way you have been treated.

You need to know your rights and know that people should respect you, not manipulate you. It may be worth, if you cannot get away from the situation, asking the manipulative person questions and see what they say.

In certain situations you can ask ‘Do you think the way you are treating me is fair?’, or ‘Do you think this is reasonable of you to say?’. This will get the manipulator to have to think on their feet, and will hopefully start to question their actions and see that what they are doing is wrong.

If you cannot get them to see what they are doing and have no hope, it may be time to remove yourself from them and from your life. You do not need toxic people in your life and should remove these toxic people. You should also know that you deserve to be treated much better.

Move On From Toxic, Manipulative People And Manipulative Relationships Today

Being involved with manipulative people can be straining, not only will it cause stress and anxiety to yourself, but it can also affect your mood and day to day life.

If you feel as though your relationship with this person is causing this to happen to you, it’s probably time to end the toxic relationship.

Table Of Contents

Katherine Hurst
By Katherine Hurst
Katherine Hurst, is a Law of Attraction expert, best-selling author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on psychology, life design, structured thinking and emotional wellbeing.

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