10 Behaviors That Reveal Someone is a Manipulator (And How to Defend Yourself)

10 Behaviors That Reveal Someone is a Manipulator (And How to Defend Yourself)

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Life is hard enough without having a negative person always around putting down you and everyone else. You want a friend that can pick you up and make you feel better about yourself and situations. Additionally, relationships can never be one-sided. You need someone that cares as much about what you have to say as you care about them. A manipulator is a master at the game.

It may be exceedingly difficult for you to identify their character from your first meeting. However, the best way to spot someone who uses manipulation is by the way they make you feel.

Usually, the process goes on, and you’ve become so trapped in their lives that you don’t know how to cut ties and run. Though you want to get away, these people will do anything they can to keep you entangled into their web. Sadly, one of the biggest problems with becoming involved with this person is that they won’t let you go.

They continue to use their games and tricks to keep you entwined in their messy life. If you are involved with a person that you think maybe manipulating you, then here are some signs.



10 Behaviors That Reveal a Manipulator

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1. They Justify Their Actions

If you are involved with a toxic person, then they make all their wrongdoings seem like the only option they had. They have a way of winning you over because they make you feel that they made the right decision.

The problem is that most of them aren’t truly listening to what you had to say, they just want you to see their point of view regardless of what you think or feel.

2. They Play The “Dumb” Card

Toxic people need constant help, and they will drain the energy right out of you. When someone calls them out on it, they will act like they haven’t the faintest clue what you are talking about.



If they solicit your advice about a situation and you give them an answer they don’t like, they may take the stance that they can make whatever choices they want as it’s their life. They would never value your advice anyway as it might damage their high self-confidence level.

3. They Lie and Tell Half-Truths

A half-truth is a whole lie. A manipulative person will use the truth to their advantage. They will leave out the information that might expose them or their misdeeds. They justify this in their mind feeling that it’s better than just lying straightforward.

They will skirt the truth more than a person facing a life sentence in a court of law. They don’t want to pay for their crimes or have themselves exposed as anything less than perfect. Remember, at the crux of most of these people’s lives is trauma that has changed their brain patterns. Some might say it’s a defense mechanism.

4. They Will Put You on A Guilt Trip

A manipulator loves to put you on a guilt trip by making themselves look innocent. If you’re busy with work or your family and don’t have time for this person, they can turn on the guilt and try to make you feel that you’re not there when they need you.



Many people find that they put their own needs on the back burner to attend to this toxic person and their desires. The schemer needs someone to give them advice and soothe their guilty conscience, which they are not going to listen too anyway.

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5. They Redirect and Change the Subject Often

All the lies that the con artist tells you will come back and bite them at some point. If you confront them on something they have said or done, they will try to change the subject into something else. Their goal is to steer the conversation to what they want to talk about and their needs.

Even if you start to talk about your life, they will quickly change the subject back to themselves. Though they may like having you listen to them, their needs are the only ones that they care about fulfilling.



6. They Are Full of Insults About Others

Some people don’t like to be around a manipulator because they are rude and sometimes abrasive. It’s not the same kind of fun that you would have when you are poking at someone. Instead, they take their jabs and blatant insults to the extreme level, and it seems that they don’t know how or when to stop.

They often use this uncouthly tactic when they are in a social setting. They are like a high school bully that still loves to make fun of others and make others feel smaller than them by using harsh words. They are not an excellent person to hang around within a social environment.

7. They Play the Victim

A manipulator loves to turn things around and make themselves the victim. They can talk or guilt you into doing or buying something that you wouldn’t ever consider. The fact is that they are using you, and they are not a true friend.

Their lies only have one goal: to manipulate you to give them what they want. They may borrow money, ask you to buy things for them, or even ask you to babysit or do other significant tasks consistently.

8. They Alienate Many People

Because a manipulator is a bully, they will often have few friends. Additionally, they may have few family members that are involved in their life either. When they spread rumors, call names, and act immaturely, it causes many people to alienate themselves from them.

There are many different ways that a person establishes their dominance. The sad fact is that this person is suffering from low self-esteem and needs to make others feel bad to make themselves feel good.

9. They Always Blame Others

Should you ever have a concern about this person or their behaviors, you will find that they blame someone else for the issue. It’s always someone else’s fault. It can be mind-numbing trying to deal with a person that will not accept any guilt.

These people are so adamant that they are innocent that even if you catch them red-handed, they will still find someone else to blame. Schemers are faultless.

10. They Can Turn on You Quickly

While you may like the person who has manipulative ways, don’t ever think that they are your friend. If you don’t see things their way at any time, they can turn on you in an instant.

They will use any dirt they have learned about you to make you take the fall for ending your relationship. Remember, they are not capable of loving and having a healthy connection with anyone until they get help.

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Comebacks for The Manipulator

If you are in a situation where you have no choice but to deal with a manipulative person, then you may want to learn some techniques to handle them. Here are a few things you can say to put them in their place kindly.

1. Use the Words “I Need”

“I need you to stop insulting me, and you will speak to me with kindness, or we won’t speak at all.” By using the term “I need,” you are throwing them for a loop. They see everything in this world revolves around their wants and needs, so when you turn the tables, you will show them how you expect to be treated.

2. Give Directions with the Words “You Need.”

A great way to put someone in check is to tell them that their emotional state is off. When you start any sentence with “You need,” then they are going to listen. A manipulative person doesn’t want to hear about what they need to do.

You should let them know that you are not going to engage in their behaviors unless they calm the fear or anger down.

3. Say Nothing at All

If you find that a person has crossed ethical barriers and has made you feel bad, then the best thing to do is walk away. You could stand there and defend yourself, but you’re wasting your breath.

They have a skewed view of the world where everyone is against them. They promote themselves from within to make up for this low self-worth. Sometimes, you say it best when you say absolutely nothing at all.

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Final Thoughts on Handling a Manipulator

It’s difficult dealing with a manipulator. You want to be their friend and try to like them, but they give you 101 reasons to walk the other way. If you have no choice and the manipulator is a relative or colleague, then using some of the techniques above can help you to put their behavior in check.



Life is hard enough without having a negative person always around putting down you and everyone else. You want a friend that can pick you up and make you feel better about yourself and situations. Additionally, relationships can never be one-sided. It would be best if you had someone who cared about what you have to say as you care about them.

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