5 things a high-level manipulator will do to try to appear like a nice person

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We’ve all met them. Those people who just seem so nice, but something about them just doesn’t sit right. They’re charming, they’re friendly, they seem to ooze kindness from every pore. But there’s a niggling feeling that something is off.

Let me tell you something.

Some of these folks aren’t as nice as they seem. In fact, they could be high-level manipulators, putting on a show of niceness to get what they want.

Here’s the deal.

These manipulators are experts at mimicking genuinely nice people, using specific actions and phrases to create a facade of kindness. But those in the know can spot the difference.

So, how can you distinguish a manipulator from a genuinely nice person?

In this revealing piece we delve into 5 things a high-level manipulator will do to try to appear like a nice person.

This isn’t about fostering suspicion or mistrust, but about building awareness and saving yourself some heartache.

So buckle up as we take a ride into the world of manipulation and deceit, dressed up as good old-fashioned niceness.

1) They’re always complimenting you

We all love a good compliment, right? It boosts our self-esteem and makes us feel valued. 

Of course, manipulators know this. They know the power of a well-timed compliment and aren’t afraid to wield it like a weapon. Their compliments may even feel over the top and excessive, almost too good to be true.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say you just met this person and, within minutes, they’re singing your praises, telling you how amazing you are while barely knowing anything about you.

Seems fishy, right?

That’s because it probably is. High-level manipulators use compliments not simply to make you feel good, but to gain your trust and admiration quickly. It’s a strategy, not genuine admiration.

This doesn’t mean you should never take a compliment, or not believe good things people say about you. Just be cautious of the person’s intentions. 

2) They often play the victim

Ever met someone who always seems to have a sob story? I’ve been there too.

I remember an old colleague of mine, let’s call him Tom, who was always sharing tales of woe. From his terrible childhood to his string of bad luck in adulthood, he seemed to have an endless supply of tragic stories.

At first, I felt sorry for him. I thought he was just unlucky, a victim of circumstance. But then I started noticing something.

Tom was never to blame. Not once. It was always someone else’s fault, from his cruel parents to his uncaring friends. It was as if he had no part in his own life story, just a hapless passenger who life “happened to”.

This is classic manipulator behavior.

High-level manipulators often play the victim to evoke sympathy and deflect blame. They use their tragic tales as a shield, protecting themselves from any criticism or responsibility.

While it’s important to empathize with others, be wary of those who never seem to take responsibility for their actions. It could be a manipulator trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

3) They know just when to step in

Picture this.

You’re having a terrible, no-good, very bad day. Everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. Just when you’re about to call it quits and crawl back into bed, in comes this person. They’re all smiles, offering a kind word or a helping hand, just when you need it most.

Feels like a godsend, doesn’t it?

But wait a minute.

This isn’t the first time they’ve swooped in during your time of need. And each time they do, you find yourself feeling more and more indebted to them. You start to believe that you can’t cope without them.

Now, isn’t that a scary thought?

This is another way high-level manipulators operate. They have an uncanny ability to sense when you’re vulnerable and use it as an opportunity to ingratiate themselves further into your life.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have someone there for you in tough times. But if they’re always there, always ready to save the day, maybe it’s time to ask: Are they really helping me? Or are they just helping themselves?

4) They’re always agreeing with you

You might notice that some people always seem to agree with you. No matter what you say, they’re right there nodding along, echoing your opinions.

It’s a little flattering at first. But then it becomes suspicious.

You see, studies show that people are more likely to trust and like those who share their opinions. It’s part of a phenomenon called ‘confirmation bias‘.

Manipulators are well aware of this. They use it to their advantage, pretending to share your views to gain your trust and approval.

So how can you tell the difference between someone who genuinely agrees and a high-level manipulator? It can be tricky, but watch out to see how consistent they are.

As long as there is manipulation involved, nobody can keep up a facade 24/7 — and eventually you’ll notice that they contradict themselves or some of their stories just don’t add up. 

And remember, it’s nice to have someone on your side, but a true friend isn’t afraid to disagree with you sometimes. After all, it’s in the healthy debates and discussions that we truly grow.

5) They’re quick to offer help (but there’s a catch)

Isn’t it wonderful to have someone always ready to lend a hand? They’re there in a heartbeat, ready to jump in and help with whatever you need. It makes you feel cared for, valued.

But there’s another side to this.

These people always end up wanting something back for their “kindness”. It’s almost like they’re keeping score, making sure you’re always indebted to them so they can cash in a favor whenever they need one.

Here’s the thing.

People who genuinely care about you are happy to help you whether or not they will get something back for it. 

That’s a big part of what being a nice person means — they get joy just from giving others happiness and making their lives easier. 

Manipulators can learn how to give to others, but they can never truly fake the joy that a genuinely nice person gets from it — and everything they do for you ends up coming back around sooner or later. 

Final thoughts

If the signs we’ve discussed ring a bell, it’s possible you’ve encountered a high-level manipulator. It can be unsettling, even hurtful, to realize this — especially if you believed that they were really a nice person.

But remember, awareness is the first step towards change.

You can learn to spot these behaviors and protect yourself. It’s not about becoming suspicious of everyone you meet, but about understanding that not all who appear nice have the best intentions.

As you watch out for these signs, always remember to listen to your gut. If something feels off, it probably is. Take note of how you feel around certain people – a sense of obligation, guilt, or constant indebtedness could be red flags.

This isn’t an overnight process. It takes time and patience. But with each step, you’ll become better at discerning genuine niceness from manipulation.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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