Recognizing manipulative behaviors early on can help you identify problems early on. If you have a new partner, you want to make sure that they are not a master manipulator. Manipulative people hide their negative ways well, but many of their behaviors will be revealing.
When someone acts a certain way to get what they want from someone, it is an act of manipulation. Manipulators want to have control, and they want everyone to agree with them and do what is beneficial for them. If you don’t serve a manipulative person’s needs, they will react negatively or distance themselves.
Look for signs of deception and shady methods of getting what they want. If you feel like your new partner takes advantage of your vulnerabilities or weaknesses, stay alert. They may be trying to control you and use you to help them.
Behaviors That Reveal Your New Partner is a Master Manipulator
As stated before, it can be hard to spot a master manipulator. Knowing the behaviors that reveal this trait can help you take control of the situation and protect yourself.
Master manipulators are good at subtly playing mind games. You may not even realize what is happening for a while. They twist conversations and situations and make everything work out in their favor.
Manipulative people often make you feel like you are crazy because they make you question your perception of reality. They do this by twisting the truth and leaving out specific information.
2. They are Controlling
When someone is controlling every situation or conversation, it is a sign of something worse. To be controlling signals that someone is a master manipulator. Their desire to be in control stems from wanting to feel powerful and superior over others.
This type of person always wants the focus to be on them, and they seek constant validation. They will act like they know what is best for you, even if it isn’t what you think. Then, if you disagree with them, they often react negatively, making it so that you can never win.
3. They are Unreliable
Manipulative people often agree to doing something or going somewhere and then back out. Sometimes, they won’t even back out, and they will fail to show up, leaving you hanging. Other times, they will completely deny agreeing to something or claim they forgot.
4. They Don’t Own Up to Their Mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes, but manipulative people don’t own up to them. They will not take responsibility for their actions or their words. Plus, they often try to make it seem like the mistake wasn’t their fault and make others feel bad for them.
5. They Don’t Think About the Best Interest of Others
Manipulators only want what they think is best for themselves. They won’t cause about the needs or wants of anyone else. Plus, they will try to convince everyone that their way or their plan is better.
They will do whatever they can to convince others to serve them and help them achieve their selfish goals. Your goals won’t seem important to them, and they won’t support you. They may even make you feel like you must sacrifice so that you can make their life better.
To get you to do what is most convenient for them, they will manipulate your thoughts. They might do this by always pointing out your mistakes or shortcomings. Over time, it could cause you to seek advice for everything because you don’t trust yourself.
6. They Can’t Communicate Without Becoming Upset or Angry
If you correct a manipulative person or tell them that their behavior is bothering you, they may not react well. They might become angry or defensive, and it will seem impossible to get your point across. Manipulative people will be passive-aggressive and try to intimidate you or use threats to make you uncomfortable.
If you try to tell your partner about something they did that hurt you, they will try to invalidate your feelings. They might say that you are overreacting or being sensitive. It is also normal for a manipulative person to make you feel guilty for being upset or wanting to communicate.
A master manipulator will bully you emotionally. They might do this by insulting you, spreading rumors, not letting you speak your mind, or alienating you. Another way your partner might emotionally bully is by telling you that you are wrong if you disagree with them.
8. They Make Excuses
If your partner always says that their negative behavior was their only choice, it reveals that they may be manipulative. They will try to convince you that their decision was right, even if there is evidence to show otherwise. Manipulative people have excuses for everything and will never admit fault or apologize.
9. They Blame Others
Just like they make excuses, manipulative people will also blame other people. They might blame you for their actions or even for the things they haven’t done. Since they won’t admit when they are wrong, they have to find someone else to take the fall.
If you try to explain to them that it wasn’t your fault, they will try to make you feel selfish or ignorant. After a while of your partner doing this, you will find that you feel bad for questioning them. Plus, you might find that you do start blaming yourself or wondering if you are the problem.
10. They Change the Subject When They Get Uncomfortable or Aren’t in Control
When a manipulator knows that they were wrong about something, they won’t want to talk about it. Anytime something related to that subject comes up, they will switch the conversation to something else. Doing this helps them avoid telling the truth or having to make up a lie.
Another time you might notice that they change a conversation is when it isn’t about them. Manipulators want to be the focus and will switch the topic. You may recognize that your partner will only have conversations about themselves or about things that are beneficial to them.
11. They Stretch the Truth to Their Advantage
Master manipulators will hide essential information so that they can be at an advantage. They will also do this to avoid exposing a mistake or a lie. Sometimes, they will avoid questions altogether to avoid being honest.
12. They Make You Feel Guilty
When you are in a relationship with a manipulator, you may notice that they make you feel guilty for everything. They will expect you to sacrifice your well-being to do what they want and will guilt trip you if you don’t. Even when you have tried your best and done everything you could, they still may do this to you.
13. They Are Insulting and Offensive
A sure sign of a master manipulator is that they insult those around them and act offensively. They may try to make it sound like they are joking, but they will cross a line. Manipulative people do this to undermine other people and appear superior.
14. They Minimize Their Behavior
If your new partner always minimizes their behavior, it is a sign of manipulation. They will try to make it seem like the things they have said or done aren’t a big deal.
Even when they know you are upset or hurt, they will continue to minimize what they have done. You can’t expect an apology or improved behavior if they can’t even admit to the problem.
15. They Give the Silent Treatment
Giving the silent treatment is another way your new partner may reveal that they are a master manipulator. It is passive-aggressive behavior and a form of emotional abuse. Manipulators often ignore people to express their displeasure and to try and get you to feel unworthy.
If your partner gives you the silent treatment when they are unhappy, they try to get you to give in. They want you to agree with them or to do what is beneficial for them. You may notice that they are ignoring you if they openly talk to others but not to you.
While it can be hard to recognize manipulation, you can identify it if you know what to look for. If you have a new partner, revealing their true nature is essential. Learning their characteristics and being manipulative will prevent you from becoming too involved if things go bad.