Today we’re going to learn about 15 signs of psychological manipulation, Now let’s begin. How do you know when someone is manipulating you? Well, manipulative people use small subtle bits of deception to control your behavior. They change their language they tell convincing lies. And if you’re not careful a manipulative person can take over your life but if you know what to look for you can catch these puppet masters in the act.
Here are 15 signs that you’ve got a manipulative person in your life
Manipulator lies to make themselves look better, they want sympathy, attention, and support. So they take liberties with the truth, they rewrite history so they look like the victim. Here’s a common lie that many manipulators tell, say your friend got in a car accident, they ran a red light and smashed into another driver. But when your friend tells the story they did nothing wrong they claim the other driver wasn’t paying attention they act like they were the victim of someone else’s mistake. But that’s not really how it happened. Manipulators don’t take responsibility for their mistakes. They understate their own failures and they pass the blame every chance they get. If your friend refuses to take responsibility don’t feel sorry for them. Your friend is rewriting history they’re trying to manipulate you so don’t fall for their tricks.
Manipulators hide their failures, But they also exaggerate their successes. Alright, let’s say your friend wins a contest it’s a notable achievement so they start bragging to everyone who will listen. But each time they tell the story the stakes get a little bit higher. Now at first, they won a small local contest, then it’s a national competition, and all of a sudden it’s a tournament between the best players around the world. Manipulative people exaggerate their successes for the same reason they understate their failures. They want to make themselves look better. In this case, they want to look like a hero, they want to be impressive and bask in the admiration of others. They want as much attention as they can get so they lie. So if you know someone who oversells the truth, take their bragging with a grain of salt. There’s a good chance their stories are more fiction than fact.
Manipulators put you on the back foot, they want to rush your decisions because time is their enemy. But just think about it when you have to decide something quickly you rely on impulses, assumptions, and gut feelings. But when you have time to think carefully you can do your research and use sound judgment. Puppet masters try to rush you they’ll create unnecessary time constraints, they’ll act like every offer is limited and disappearing fast, But that’s rarely the case. Don’t let anyone rush your choices, those time constraints aren’t real it’s just a tactic manipulator use to cloud your judgment. So stay strong take your time and make good decisions.
Not all manipulators are subtle and strategic, some manipulative people use intimidation to get their way. A manipulative person may for example raise their voice or display aggressive body language. They’ll use fear to control you. These manipulators are bullies. The worst thing you can do is give in just because someone raises their voice doesn’t mean they should get their way. That’s what manipulative people are accustomed to, and that’s why they bully others. So stand up for yourself and don’t let anyone push you around.
Here’s one sign that most people don’t think about. Did you know that manipulative people use space to their advantage? Space gives you power, in your house for example you have the most power, you own everything, you know where everything is. And a stranger by comparison feels out of place. Psychological manipulators use space to exert their power, they force other people to enter their space because they want to maintain a sense of superiority. Now of course a manipulator will never say that out loud, they’ll make up an excuse like I’m too tired can you come over to my place? On the surface it’s an innocent request but if your friend refuses to leave their own space. They may be trying to manipulate you.
Manipulators are self-absorbed. They only care about how they feel so they don’t like anyone feeling better or worse than they do. If a manipulator is in a good mood they’ll criticize anyone who’s bringing them down. On the other hand, if they’re in a bad mood they’ll bring everyone down with them. They think no one can be happy unless I’m happy. Do you know someone who brings the whole room down, It may not feel like manipulation but it is and you shouldn’t stand for it.
Manipulative people find faults in everyone. But they hate when others find faults in them. Alright, let’s say your friend is taking advantage of you maybe they’ve been asking for favors way too often. You’ve tried to be nice about it but it’s starting to wear on you, So you decide to confront them. Instead of apologizing your friend says, I’m really disappointed in you I thought we were better friends than that. Now you feel like the bad guy, you feel guilty, but you’re not your friend is manipulating you they’re spinning your story to preserve their own image. This is one big way that manipulative people control others. They weaponize guilt to keep others under their thumb, but you have nothing to feel guilty about the more you beat yourself up the easier it is for someone to control you.
Manipulators don’t like to be outdone if they think they’re being overshadowed, they’ll tear you down. They’ll undermine your accomplishments and sabotage your success. Because manipulators don’t care how you feel, they just want to be on top. Oddly enough manipulators do the same thing with Pain, Hardship, and Trauma. They don’t want anyone to fly higher or fall lower than they have, a manipulative person may compete with you to see who suffered more. Okay let’s say for example you didn’t sleep well last night, A manipulative person will try to one-up you by saying, well, at least you slept I didn’t sleep at all. In their mind everything is competition and they’re too insecure to lose.
Manipulators thrive on an emotional obligation. They want others to owe them favors, they want people to feel compelled to help them. So they create a sense of obligation everywhere they go. They may use pity and sympathy to pull on your heartstrings, they may throw mistakes in your face and the worst part is it usually works. Their guilt-tripping creates that feeling of obligation and you end up doing whatever they want. As obligated as you may feel remember that you always have a choice, you may feel bad about leaving them out to dry but sometimes that’s the right thing to do.
Your manipulative friend may be the nicest person you know, they go out of their way to do favors for you or anticipate your needs. There’s always a catch, they expect something in return even if you didn’t ask for their help, maybe you didn’t want their help but you got it anyway. Now you’re on the hook for things you didn’t sign up for if there are always strings attached you’re dealing with psychological manipulation.
Manipulators treat themselves like a rare commodity. Whenever you do something they don’t like they threaten to take their friendship away. They say things like, I don’t have to hang out with you or I had better things to do today. Real friends will never threaten you, they’re as grateful to have you as you are to have them. If you know someone who uses friendship like a bartering chip, they’re a manipulative person.
The Favor Burden
Manipulative friends ask for plenty of favors, but they rarely do them. If you ask them for a favor, they’ll find every reason to drag their feet. They’ll act like your favor is the most difficult thing in the world. They’ll procrastinate and exaggerate because they want to take advantage of you the more arduous your favor seems the more guilty you’ll feel. And once you feel bad a manipulative person takes control.
All right let’s say your friend shows up 15 minutes late for lunch. The next day you ask them why they were late and they say what are you talking about, I was there right on time. You know this isn’t true you remember them showing up late but they insist that you’re wrong. You’re so confident in what they’re saying you start to doubt yourself. You start to wonder am I remembering things wrong, if that happens the manipulator in your life is one they’re trying to break your trust in yourself. They want you to doubt yourself and that way they have all the power.
Capitalizing on Weaknesses
Manipulators use your secrets against you. Whether it’s a personal fear or a future aspiration secrets give manipulators an avenue of attack, a guaranteed weak spot. Whenever they see a chance to turn the tables they’ll throw those secrets in your face they’ll hit you where it hurts because they know that they can.
Manipulators will do anything to avoid something they don’t want to do. One of the most common tactics is playing dumb they act like they don’t understand what you want from them. So they’ll pretend to be innocent, clueless, or naive. Let’s say you and your co-worker are doing a project together you ask them to make a spreadsheet for you, but they say oh you’re so much better at that stuff, I’m clueless. You know they’ve made spreadsheets before but they pretend they can’t do it. That’s how they manipulate you they act like they’re helpless because that helplessness surrenders responsibility. Suddenly you’re doing all the work while they’re taking it easy all because they decided to play dumb.
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