Updated: Mar 8
synonyms: scheming, calculating, cunning, crafty, wily, shrewd, devious, designing, conniving, disingenuous
We have all known at least one person during our life that has “manipulative” written in bold letters across their forehead. Whether we were in
*Insert manipulative relationships*
Ex-boyfriends, ex-friends, and even ex-bosses, have all shown manipulative behavior and it was like a moth to a flame. I was the flame and they just kept coming until I learned that I was the problem. I trusted too easily, I unintentionally exposed all my weaknesses, and I gave them access to manipulate me without even knowing.
Some call it “sick puppy” syndrome. I call it “lack of self-esteem”. I was unable to focus on myself and take care of my own issues, but I was really good at taking care of others.
The signs were there from day one. The red flags were blatantly obvious but I wasn’t focused on determining if these people were good or worth my time. I was too concerned on being accepted and liked. As I have gotten older and wiser I have been able reflect on these relations and see where I let myself down. The moment I dropped my walls, to be exact! So, to ensure you avoid making the same mistakes and wasting precious time, here are eight signs that your partner or friend is manipulative:
They Make You Question Your Sanity
This is prime evidence of psychological manipulation. If your partner is constantly making you question your sanity or they're making you feel like you are mentally unstable or irrational, it is probable that they are manipulating you. By making you feel weak and less than, they are gaining control and feeling a sense of empowerment.
Ultimately, this then puts you in a dependent state which could lead to you consistently looking for validation from your partner and others. You will begin to rely less on your own intuition and judgment and need the approval and opinions of others.
The Guilt Trip is Real.
Manipulative people thrive on guilt. Their sense of powerful is never fully satiated. If they are making you feel guilty for absolutely nothing, or always playing the blame game, they are trying to make you feel weak and inadequate, which ultimately allows them to “level up” if you will. They have a hard time taking responsibility for their actions and/or apologizing. If they are playing mind games with you and making you believe that you were in the wrong, they are manipulative.
Resolution Only Occurs in the Form of the Silent Treatment.
Arguments with manipulative people are never really resolved. Their way of ending an argument typically occurs in the silent treatment. Another power tactic. They will give you the cold shoulder and ignore you until you apologize and mentally submit. If you notice that you are apologizing for their actions, walk away and don’t look back.
They Butter You Up When They Want Something.
Another sign that you are being manipulated is when they sweet talk you and butter you up, only to then ask for a favor or something in return. The only sweet talking I want out of my relationships in life is that of compliments and honesty. This is an easy trait to pick up on because the request always comes after they boost your self-esteem. Deny, deny, deny, my friend!
They Feed on Lack of Self-Confidence.
To piggyback on the sign before, manipulators love when you have no self-confidence. It’s they epitome of a predator and prey relationship. They are able to pick up on your lack of self-esteem and use it to their advantage. Whatever your weakness is, they use it against you to consistently impose superiority against you. Once again, it’s a dominant vs. submissive relationship. Know your worth, know your power, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The Relationship Doesn’t Progress, Even When they Say they Want it to....
This one is oh, too good, probably because it has happened SO MANY times. The ultimate mind game is that of the manipulator going on and on about how they want to take the relationship to the next step, but they never do. All talk no action! Do not let someone string you along. We often times find ourselves giving them the benefit of the doubt, and even if their reasoning seems valid, it is most likely not. Relationships can be simple. If they like you enough, they will want to be with you and the effort will be there.
You Are Always and Will Always be Wrong.
Whether it’s revolving around arguments, debates, conversations, or even things that you take interest in… It’s wrong or you are wrong. You will never be right, and that is again their power.
They Encourage Insecurities.
If you find your partner or friend validating your insecurities, that is one unhealthy relationship. If they are nitpicking your outfits, your interests, hobbies, friends, the way you look, etc. they are deflecting and projecting. They are taking the spotlight off of themselves and shining it very brightly onto you. Projecting is a very common thing and the more you understand it and why people do it, the better off you’ll be.
If any of these popped out, take a few moments today to say 5 things you LOVE about yourself. Repeat them three times and know you are worthy of all things AMAZING. Let go of the trash and go find your gold.