We’ve all encountered them – people who seem to have a knack for bending conversations to their will or leading us to question our own perceptions.
They’re master manipulators, experts at subtly twisting the truth to suit their objectives
Let’s shine a light on 10 of their go-to sayings.
Once you know them, they won’t catch you off guard!
1. “You’re too sensitive.”
One classic trick in the manipulator’s playbook is to turn the tables and make you feel like you’re the problem.
By telling you that you’re “too sensitive,” they’re trying to shift the focus away from their own behavior. It’s a sly way of invalidating your feelings, making you question your own reactions.
Instead of addressing the actual issue, they’re making it about your response.
So, next time someone brushes off your concerns with this phrase, remember: it’s okay to express your emotions.
They’re valid, regardless of what anyone says.
2. “I was just joking.”
Ah, the age-old fallback of someone caught saying something unkind or hurtful!
By playing off their comments as a mere joke, manipulative people aim to put the onus on you, suggesting you lack a sense of humor or are taking things too seriously.
What they’re really doing is avoiding responsibility for their words. If they can convince you they were “just joking,” then in their mind, they can’t be held accountable.
Watch out for this one.
It’s a red flag that the speaker is trying to escape blame while making you feel out of touch.
3. “I always feel like I have to walk on eggshells around you.”
I’ve personally heard this one a few times in disagreements, and it always throws me for a loop.
By saying this, the manipulator plays the victim, suggesting they have to be overly cautious about everything they say or do around you.
I remember feeling instantly guilty, thinking I was the cause of discomfort. But over time, I realized it’s just another tactic to divert attention.
Instead of addressing their behavior or the issue at hand, they focus on how “difficult” you supposedly are.
It’s a clever strategy to make you second-guess yourself and your reactions.
4. “Everyone else seems to be okay with it.”
This phrase is a sneaky one. At first glance, it feels like a reality check. I mean, if “everyone else” is okay with something, shouldn’t I be, too?
But the truth is, it’s a classic appeal to the majority, designed to make you question your own perspective and values.
Manipulators use it to create a sense of isolation, hinting that you’re the odd one out.
Yet, from my experience, often not “everyone” is okay with it; it’s just a ruse to pressure you into compliance.
Remember, just because something is popular doesn’t always make it right or acceptable.
Always trust your gut.
5. “That never happened.”
This is a blatant attempt at gaslighting, where the manipulator tries to alter your sense of reality.
They deny events or actions to make you doubt your own memory. It’s a direct and powerful way to gain control.
Always trust your instincts and remember that your memories are valid.
6. “I don’t remember it that way.”
I’ve encountered this phrase more times than I’d like to admit. It’s a subtler form of gaslighting.
Instead of outright denying something happened, they muddy the waters by questioning the details.
I used to find myself backpedaling, wondering if I got things wrong.
But with time, I’ve realized it’s often just a ploy to make you doubt yourself. It’s their way of saying, “I trust my memory more than I trust yours.”
7. “I’m only doing this for your own good.”
This phrase is a curveball.
On the surface, it sounds caring and protective. However, it’s a covert way for manipulators to impose their will under the guise of looking out for you.
By asserting they know what’s “best” for you, they subtly suggest you’re incapable of knowing it yourself. It’s an underhanded method of gaining control while making it seem like they’re doing you a favor.
You’re always the best judge of what’s right for you, even if it goes against the grain of someone’s “well-intentioned” advice.
8. “If you really loved me, you’d do this.”
This phrase is emotional blackmail at its finest.
Manipulators use it to weaponize your feelings for them, pressuring you to bend to their wishes.
By questioning your love or commitment, they hope to make you feel guilty enough to comply. It’s a manipulative tactic that tries to equate love with unconditional agreement.
Real love, however, respects boundaries and doesn’t use feelings as leverage.
9. “I just can’t win with you, can I?”
I’ve faced this phrase in the midst of disagreements, and it’s a tough one to navigate.
It paints the speaker as the perpetual loser and me as the hard-to-please critic.
At first, I would feel guilty, wondering if I was being too harsh or demanding. But over time, I recognized it for what it was: a deflection.
Instead of addressing the issue at hand, they’d shift the focus to how “unreasonable” I supposedly was. It’s their way of making you feel like the perpetual hurdle.
In truth, open communication and understanding are two-way streets.
10. “You always take things out of context.”
This phrase is a manipulator’s defense mechanism.
By accusing you of misinterpreting their words or actions, they aim to deflect blame and muddy the waters. It’s a way to avoid accountability and make you question your own understanding.
However, it’s essential to remember that context matters, and if a pattern of behavior or speech is consistently hurtful or misleading, it’s not just a contextual issue.
Stand firm in your perspective and seek clarity rather than letting the conversation get derailed.