Manipulation 101: 15 Common Signs Of Manipulative People And How To Identify Them


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The 15 Signs of Manipulative People You Can't Ignore

In today’s world, it seems that humanity is becoming less and less important, and manipulative individuals are becoming more prevalent. These people use their cunning ways to take advantage of those around them, leaving their victims drained and empty, which is why it’s crucial to know the signs of manipulative people.

It is no secret that psychopaths and narcissists are infamous for their manipulative behaviors. Studies have been conducted to understand their personality traits and how they interact in relationships. As someone who may have experienced the abuse of one of these individuals, it is essential to trust your instincts and recognize the warning signs.

It is essential to remember that manipulative people are often skilled at hiding their true intentions. However, recognizing these warning signs can help protect you from becoming a victim of their manipulation.

So, what do manipulative people do? Let’s find out the classic traits manipulative people.

Related: 15 Things Manipulative People Do To Control You

15 Major Signs Of Manipulative People

Signs of manipulative people

1. Showers you with love, praise, and attention.

Manipulative people often use flattery and attention to gain control over their partner. While it is normal for partners to compliment and appreciate each other, excessive or unwarranted praise can be a warning sign.

If you feel uncomfortable with the amount of attention and flattery you are receiving, it is important to trust your instincts and consider the motives behind the behavior. Always remember that this is one of the biggest red flags of manipulative people.

2. Displays excessive affection publicly.  

Manipulative partners may use social media to show off their affection for you. This can include excessive messaging, constant contact, and public displays of affection on social media.

While public displays of affection can be a sign of a healthy relationship, excessive posting, and messaging can be a sign of control and possessiveness.

3. Calls you their soulmate within just a few days of meeting you. 

Manipulative people who pretend to be nice do this a lot. They create an illusion that they are your perfect match, your soulmate, and that you are meant to be together. While this may seem romantic, it can be a sign of manipulation.

The goal is to make their partner believe that they are the only person in the world who truly understands and accepts them, leading to dependency and control.

Related: 9 Traits of Manipulative People To Watch Out For

4. Devalues you through comparisons with others.

One of the major traits of manipulative people is the constant comparisons they draw of you with others. They tend to alternate between the idealization and devaluation phases.

They will constantly compare you to others, such as friends, exes, or family members. This can gradually erode your self-esteem and create a sense of insecurity, making you more dependent on your manipulative partner.

Signs of emotionally manipulative people

5. Withholds attention to trample your self-esteem. 

Manipulators use love bombing as a technique to gain control and then withdraw their affection, attention, and love to make you doubt yourself. They may act disinterested, indifferent, and aloof, making you feel inadequate, insecure, and undeserving of their love.

This can damage your self-esteem and make you believe that you are the problem and that you are not good enough for them.

6. Their lies and excuses are unending.

Understanding manipulative people requires you to understand that most of the time, whatever comes out of their mouths are lies. Manipulators often lie and make excuses to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.

They may blame you for their mistakes or make you feel guilty for something that they did. This can make you doubt yourself and question your own judgment, leading you to doubt yourself and slowly lose your confidence.

7. They love belittling you and insulting you with a condescending attitude.

One of the major signs of manipulative people is this. They will mock your feelings, sensitivity, and achievements, making you feel inferior and unworthy.

They use your weaknesses to belittle you and undermine your confidence, making you doubt your abilities and your worth. This can lead to feelings of shame, embarrassment, and self-doubt in you. Gradually, this takes a heavy toll on your mental and emotional health.

Related: 9 Tactics Through Which People Take Advantage Of You

8. Uses social media to evoke jealousy and insecurity while maintaining their innocent guise. 

One of the classic manipulative people traits is using social media to manipulate your emotions by posting pictures or comments that make you feel jealous or left out.

They may engage with their ex-partners or potential partners, leaving you feeling excluded and insecure. This can damage your self-worth and dignity and make you question your worth in the relationship.

9. You are slowly turning into a detective.

Emotionally manipulative people make you feel so insecure about yourself and your relationship that you start obsessively checking their social media or tracking their every move, trying to uncover any signs of infidelity or deception.

This can lead to paranoia, anxiety, and a loss of trust in yourself and in others. You constantly feel like something is wrong and you start to lose your sanity and mental peace in the process.

10. They constantly make you question your value in their life.  

One of the major signs of manipulative people is that they will treat you as an option rather than a priority, making you feel unimportant and undervalued.

They may surround themselves with other potential partners and subtly hint that you are not good enough for them and that they can leave you at any given moment. This can amplify your insecurity and make you feel horrible about yourself. They do this because they want to make you feel unloved and unwanted.

Signs of manipulative people

11. You are the only one who is able to see through their farce.

Manipulative people try to isolate you from your friends and family, making it difficult for you to seek support or advice, when you desperately need it.

They might use triangulation to turn others against you or make you feel like you are overreacting or being unreasonable. This can make you doubt your own perceptions and reality. And the more this happens, the more you realize that you have got no one in your life to turn to, except for your manipulative partner.

Related: 5 Hidden Signs Your Good Guy Is Actually Manipulating You

12. They never empathize with you nor give you any emotional support. 

One of the most prominent signs of manipulative people is that they severely lack empathy and fail to understand or acknowledge your feelings or needs.

They may minimize your pain or dismiss your concerns, making you feel unheard and invalidated. This can make you feel like you are being a burden on them and make you doubt your own worth and feelings, whereas your feelings are completely justified.

13. Readily point out your mistakes while ignoring their own. 

Manipulators tend to deflect blame and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. They may blame you for their mistakes or use your faults to divert attention from their own wrongdoings.

This can make you feel guilty and responsible for everything that goes wrong, leading to a loss of confidence and self-worth.

14. They gaslight you all the time.

Manipulators use gaslighting to manipulate and distort your reality and make you doubt your own perceptions and memory.

They may deny or distort the truth, make you feel crazy or irrational, or turn the conversation around to make you feel guilty or responsible. This can make you feel confused, disoriented, and insecure.

Signs of manipulative people

15. They constantly make you feel like your relationship is a tightrope walk. 

Manipulative people tend to make their partners feel like the relationship is always at risk of collapsing, and that any misstep could lead to the end of it. This constant feeling of being on a tightrope creates a situation where you feel like you are walking on eggshells, always careful not to upset your partner.

They may use fear, threats, or emotional blackmail to keep you in line. They may also employ gaslighting techniques to convince you that you are the problem in the relationship and that you need to change your behavior to keep the relationship intact.

This can cause a significant amount of emotional distress, and you may feel trapped and helpless, unable to break free from the cycle of abuse.

Related: How To Manipulate A Manipulator: 10 Psychological Tricks


Developing intuition and awareness around manipulative signs takes time, but it is essential to protect yourself from potential emotional and psychological trauma. It’s important to remember that not everyone out there is seeking to manipulate and hurt you.

While some may be genuinely in love with you, it’s crucial to identify the differences between authentic love and manipulation.

It’s essential to trust your intuition when it comes to relationships and defending against manipulative people. If you feel like something is off, don’t ignore it.

Manipulators often use tactics such as gaslighting to make you doubt yourself and your perception of reality. If you feel like you are walking on eggshells, constantly worried about making a mistake, or if conflicts are always one-sided, it could be a sign of manipulation.

Being in a healthy relationship means feeling safe, secure, and respected. It’s important to set boundaries and communicate your needs clearly with your partner. If you feel like your partner is not respecting your boundaries, it’s time to re-evaluate the relationship.

Want to know more about how you can deal with manipulative people? Check this video out below!

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