18 Signs of Manipulative People

18 Signs of Manipulative People

Table of Contents

What are Manipulative people?

A manipulative people are someone who uses deceit, guile, psychological manipulation, and emotional exploitation to manage or exert influence over others for their own benefit.

Those who are manipulative are skilled at using psychological strategies to gain power, achieve their goals, and manipulate the emotions and behaviors of others without regard for their well-being.

The manipulation of people is the exercise of influence that is harmful—those who manipulate attack the mental and emotional sides of others to reach their objectives. The manipulator, or the individual who does the manipulation, attempts to establish an imbalance of power. They leverage their power to gain control, advantages, and/or privileges.

Manipulation can transpire in either close or casual relationships, but it is more often observed in closely formed relationships. It involves any effort to manipulate someone’s emotions to encourage them to act or feel in a particular manner.

18 Signs of Manipulative People:

Manipulative people are a common form of toxic people that it is advantageous for you to avoid in your life

there are some indicators of manipulative behavior that you should be aware of in order to identify when someone is employing it against you.

1-They Don’t Respect Boundaries:

Manipulative people are often fixated on achieving their objectives, regardless of the harm they may cause in the process.  You can try to protect yourself from their toxicity, however, they will extract emotional support from you while disregarding your need for personal space. You will find interacting with them to be exhausting, degrading, and detrimental to your mental well-being.

2-They’re always criticizing you:

Emotional manipulators have a tendency to dismiss or degrade others without utilizing jest or sarcasm. Their objective is to slowly diminish the individual’s self-esteem

The manipulator uses ridicule and marginalization to belittle and isolate you. Often, they do this to compensate for their own insecurities.

3-They give you the silent treatment:

The use of silent treatment is a common tactic employed by manipulative individuals to emotionally manipulate others. This strategy is typically utilized when individuals are upset and are deliberately used to elicit a desired response.

They refrain from responding to your calls, emails, direct messages, or any other form of communication. When they do not respond, it can create negative emotions such as anxiety and doubt. Manipulators aim to evoke such feelings so that when they eventually respond, you experience positive emotions such as relief. This is a way for them to have control over their emotions and well-being.

4-They have a great ability to use psychological techniques :

Manipulative people possess a high level of skill that they use to control others. Their tactics are so subtle that it is often difficult to realize what is happening. They have the ability to twist a previous conversation or replay it to suit their needs. When they hurt someone, they can turn the situation around and make the victim feel guilty while justifying their actions.

5-Location Advantage :

A manipulative person will seek to displace you from your comfort zone and bring you to unfamiliar places to gain an advantage over you. This can occur in any location where the manipulator has ownership or control.

6-Good First Impression:

Manipulative people often make an exceptional first impression. They possess exquisite physical features, are quite charismatic, exhibit impeccable manners, or have a winning smile to divert others’ attention from their true motivations. However, the mask of a manipulator will eventually slip when one spends time with them.

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When attempting to maintain a discussion on a particular issue or behavior, they may attempt to divert the conversation or change the subject while downplaying concerns. At this point, it is imperative to be watchful and alert. Because they use diversion and distraction tactics to move people off-track, divert attention away from their own negative conduct, and advance their own selfish agenda.


If someone frequently makes disparaging or hurtful comments about your family, weight, appearance, or occupation, take this as a warning sign. Manipulative people are attentive to others  vulnerabilities and weaknesses and use these to undermine their confidence. They employ shaming to make their targets feel unworthy or inadequate, and, in turn, become submissive to them.

9-Guilt Tripping:

If you find yourself feeling guilty or being blamed for things by someone on a regular basis, it could be a sign that they’re trying to manipulate you. Manipulative people exploit their victims’ good nature, seeking to keep them in a state of anxiety, self-doubt, and submission.

10-Unsettling Stare:

The eyes of an individual can reveal much about their thoughts and feelings, particularly when their verbal behavior and facial expressions are not consistent. It is advisable not to ignore the information conveyed through their eyes in such cases. Some people may feel uneasy in the face of this frigid stare, while others may find themselves entranced.

11-Generously bestow favors and gifts:

Manipulative people may initially seem sympathetic, kind, and generous toward you when starting a relationship. They may give you valuable gifts, which you may interpret as a sign of love or affection. However, in reality, they are just trying to bribe you with the expectation of receiving larger favors later on.

12-They Always Deflect the Blame:

Manipulative people do not pause to evaluate whether a problem lies with them. Rather, they promptly shift responsibility to others. To a manipulator, relationships are solely about exerting power over others and using them to meet their needs. A manipulative person does not recognize the error of refusing to take responsibility for their actions, even as they compel others to do so.

13-Let You Speak First :

They allow you to speak first so they can establish your baseline and find any weaknesses. Establishing a baseline and evaluating strengths and weaknesses can be accomplished by asking questions, typically both direct and probing. This type of inquiry, which may have an underlying purpose and a hidden agenda, is also present in professional and personal relationships.

14-Negative Surprises:

Some people who are manipulative use negative surprises to throw you off balance and gain an advantage. This can include things like making a low offer during a negotiation or suddenly saying they can’t deliver on a promise. Generally, negative surprises arrive unexpectedly, allowing minimal time to prepare and counteract. The manipulator may ask for additional concessions from you to maintain the partnership.

15-They use your insecurities against you:

When an individual is aware of your vulnerabilities, they can exploit them to harm you. They may say or do things that are intended to leave you feeling vulnerable and distressed.

16-Manipulation of Facts:

A manipulative person is someone who lies, makes excuses, blames others, or selectively shares information in order to achieve their goals and exclude other truths. they do this just to feel they are gaining power over you and demonstrating intellectual superiority.

17-Constant Judging:

Manipulative people are not known for hiding their true intentions behind humor or good fun. Instead, they tend to be very upfront about their tendency to judge, ridicule, and dismiss others, often with the goal of making them feel inadequate. They focus on negative aspects and do not typically provide constructive solutions.

18-Giving You Little or No Time to Decide:

Manipulative people apply pressure to their victims, forcing them to make a decision before they are properly prepared. This type of manipulation is hoped to create tension and control, with the hope that the victim will eventually give in to the manipulator’s demands.


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