Your relationship is supposed to be your safe haven, a space where you will feel secure, safe, and happy. But when you are with a manipulative person, that’s a distant and impossible dream. This post is all about how manipulators function and examples of manipulation in relationships.
The problem is, most of the time it is difficult to understand that you are being manipulated because this is someone you love and trust. Even thinking that they would use manipulative statements on you is unfathomable. But unfortunately, if you are indeed in a toxic relationship, you need to know and understand the things manipulators say and how manipulative language works.
This doesn’t mean you are stupid or a bad person for doubting the person you love, it simply means that you treating yourself with love and respect. And no matter how much you may love someone, this is equally important
Some manipulative phrases are very in-your-face and these are the ones that are very glaring and easily understandable. On the other hand, there are some phrases manipulators use that are very, very subtle and might not even seem like manipulation, but are equally problematic like the former, if not more.
So, how to spot manipulation in relationships? Let’s find out some examples of manipulative statements.
Related: 10 Signs Of Romantic Manipulation
10 Examples Of Manipulation In Relationships : Manipulative Statements that are not just hurtful but can make relationships toxic.
1. “You always overreact to everything!”
Never in history has this line been able to stop a conflict and calm things down, rather it has made things far worse. This might seem like a really harmless statement to make in the heat of the moment, but it is actually one of the most manipulative sentences there is.
When your partner knows all your weak points and emotional triggers, they use this manipulative statement to trigger you even more, so that they get to have the upper hand during the argument. And naturally, when you hear this line, you tend to get even more upset and you feel more outraged and humiliated.
2. “Why are you making things up? This never happened!”
This is one of the most manipulative things to say in a relationship, and arguably one of the worst. When your partner questions your reality and pretends as if you are making things up, or you don’t “remember what actually happened”, they are making you question your sanity, which is also known as gaslighting.
Making someone doubt themselves while they are hurting is one of the worst things you can do to someone. So, when your scheming partner behaves as if they are innocent and there’s something wrong with your memory, know that they’re manipulating you.
3. The silent treatment.
The silent treatment is a very good excuse for manipulators to torment and abuse you. They might tell you that they don’t want to talk to you for a while because they want to “decompress” and “need some space”, but all they are doing is punishing you.
This is one of the biggest signs of manipulation in relationships. The manipulator knows that the silence and distance will drive you crazy, and even though you’re not at fault you’ll be the one to apologize to them and give in.
All you want is for them to speak to you and in order to do that, you are willing to emotionally overcompensate for them. And when they finally turn up, you will be grateful for their forgiveness, and you will resolve never to say or do anything that made them “distant” from you.
4. “Do you always have to be so dramatic?”
Another classic example of verbal manipulation, and one which can really make you question yourself and your feelings. When your partner does something that really upset you or hurts you, and you express that to them, they quickly turn the tables and accuse you of being a drama queen.
A manipulator hates it when you see through their bull**** and question their behavior, and that’s why they resort to this tactic. They’re willing to portray you as crazy, just so they can save their own skin and continue to have the upper hand.
5. “You are the reason I’m behaving this way.”
If your partner makes a statement like this, then you should run and never look back. This is one of the most common things manipulators say and is probably the most dangerous one too, in my opinion.
When they hold you accountable for their bad behavior, that is when you know that they are really, really, toxic people. By putting the blame on you, they are trying to justify their bad behavior.
Saying things like, “You made me upset, that’s why I didn’t pick up your calls”, or “I saw you speaking to your male colleague, and that’s why I flirted with a couple of women in the club”, are classic examples of manipulation in relationships.
6. “You need to change how you think and feel.”
Of course, it’s your fault and you should be the one to change how YOU REACT to their manipulation and toxicity. This is just another way to dump all the blame on you, instead of taking accountability for their harmful actions.
When you are in a relationship with a manipulative person, your feelings, opinions, and boundaries don’t matter; only theirs do. All they care about is gaslighting you and making you believe that you are the problem in the relationship, not them.
They know that the only way they will be able to get their needs met is by brainwashing you to believe that you are the toxic person in the relationship who needs to change and they are the ever-hapless victim.
7. “Your friends are a bad influence on you and our relationship.”
Your friends are probably the only people in your life who know what’s REALLY going on in your relationship, and what kind of a person your partner is. So naturally, your partner is going to have a problem with them and will hate the important place your friends have in your life.
Your partner sees your friends as a threat to their perfect plan of manipulating and gaslighting you, and so they will try their best to create misunderstandings between you all, and finally isolate you. The only close person in your life will be your manipulative partner, and without your friends to look out for you, they’ll be able to carry on their psychological and emotional abuse, without any disruptions.
8. “I don’t want to talk to you/ We don’t have to talk about this.”
This is one of the more subtle manipulative phrases in a relationship, but very toxic nonetheless. When the manipulator realizes that you’re trying to hold them accountable for their actions and you just don’t buy their lies and stories, they resort to avoiding you and any sort of conversation.
They will do anything and everything to avoid having a serious conversation with you, and if you insist, they will instantly play the victim. They will say things like, “I had a really hard day today. I just wanted to come home and relax a bit but you just won’t let that happen.”, or “I won’t talk about this just because you want me to.”
9. “If you feel like this, you need to deal with it. It’s not my fault you feel this way.”
Another classic blame-shifting tactic. They know what they have done, and they know how much it has hurt you, but they will never take responsibility for it. Not even for a second. The moment you question them, they will make you feel guilty for feeling bad in the first place.
They hate it if you question their behavior or doubt them in any way, so they simply expect you to change how you think and feel, and just suck it up. No matter how badly they hurt you, they will not do anything to make things better; they will simply expect you to deal with your pain alone.
10. “I will apologize if you…”
A genuine apology never comes with strings, and if your partner apologizes and then tries to justify their behavior, then they don’t regret their behavior at all. The apology they’re giving you is a fake one. If they try to blame you in any way for their behavior, they are not apologizing to you, they are manipulating you.
When you are in a manipulative relationship, this is a common occurrence. If they genuinely understood their mistake and wanted to change for the better, they wouldn’t try to shift the blame on you. They would simply apologize and try to not make that mistake again.
How To Deal With Manipulation In Relationships
1. Set strong boundaries.
This is one of the best things you can do when it comes to dealing with manipulation in relationships. Setting strong personal boundaries will keep negativity and manipulation out of your life, and will clearly give off the message that you know your worth and you are not somebody to be messed with.
No matter how much fun you might have together, knowing when to keep them out of your life, and knowing when to draw the line will keep them on their toes and wary of you. This way, they will never be able to exploit your weaknesses.
2. Call them out whenever you suspect they’re trying to play you.
One of the best ways to respond to manipulative phrases is by calling them out directly and without mincing your words. When you show a manipulator that you can see right through them, they will be forced to backtrack.
Don’t be scared of conflict because the more respect you give and try to let things go, the more they will try to play you. So whenever you feel like something is up, don’t beat around the bush and get straight to the point.
3. Go all “Gray Rock” on them.
The Gray Rock method means you go all silent on your manipulator when you realize the games they were playing with you. You cut off all contact and stay away from them, and no matter how many times they call you or text you, you don’t respond.
Gray Rock is one of the best things you can do when it comes to handling people like them. No matter what they tell you, or how many times they apologize, don’t trust them; be very very wary of them during this phase because they will pull out all stops to get in your good books.
Hold your ground, stand strong, and have faith in yourself. Don’t let them in and show them that they messed with the wrong person.
4. Lean on your loved ones for support and advice.
Dealing with manipulation and abuse can take a lot out of you, but you don’t have to go through this alone. When things seem very disheartening or when you feel like you can’t do this anymore, don’t hesitate to lean on your close ones for love and support.
Listen to what they have to say, and take their advice because, at the end of the day, they love you and only want the best for you. Just because you are on the other end of manipulation and abuse, that does not mean you can’t seek love and help from your loved ones.
If you ever have been manipulated and exploited by someone you love, then please don’t think that it’s your fault. Always remember that you’re not the problem, they are. Love yourself, be kind to yourself, and most importantly, give yourself the time and patience to deal with this and move on.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below!
Want to know more examples of manipulation in relationships? Check this video out below!