9 things a high-level manipulator will do when you call them out

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Manipulation is a dark art. It’s all about getting someone to do what you want while masking your true intentions. But what happens when you blow the whistle on a high-level manipulator?

Calling out a manipulator is tricky business. They’re masters of deflection and deception. And they’ve got a few tricks up their sleeve when you confront them.

In this article, we’ll delve into the nine things a high-level manipulator will do when you call them out. And trust me, it’s not as straightforward as you might think.

1) They’ll play the victim

Manipulators are masters of deception. And playing the victim is one of their favorite tricks.

When you confront them, instead of owning up to their behavior, they’ll turn the tables on you. Suddenly, they aren’t the culprit anymore. Instead, they paint themselves as the innocent victim, unjustly accused.

This tactic is designed to make you feel guilty for calling them out. It’s a clever way to shift the focus of their manipulative actions and onto your supposed ‘unfair accusations’.

But don’t let them fool you. Stand your ground and remember that acknowledging and challenging manipulation isn’t wrong, it’s necessary.

2) They’ll twist your words

I recall a time when I confronted a manipulator in my life. I was clear, calm, and firm. But their response? They twisted my words.

In the blink of an eye, my well-founded concerns were transformed into wild accusations. My urge for open dialogue became a supposed attack on their character. It was as if everything I said was being twisted in a funhouse mirror.

This is a common trick high-level manipulators use. They’ll distort what you say to fit their narrative, making you question your own sanity. It’s a form of gaslighting, and it’s incredibly disorienting.

3) They’ll deflect the blame

Manipulators are experts at dodging responsibility. When confronted, they’ll often deflect the blame onto someone else. It’s a psychological defense mechanism known as projection.

Projection is when a person attributes their own undesirable feelings or behaviors to someone else. In other words, they’re blaming you for their own faults.

When you call out a manipulator, don’t be surprised if they accuse you of the very thing they’re guilty of. It’s a clever way to shift attention away from their actions and keep you on the defensive.

4) They’ll question your motives

When you call out a manipulator, they’ll often turn the focus back on you. They’ll question your motives, your integrity, and even your sanity.

“Why are you accusing me?” “Are you sure you’re not just overreacting?” These are classic lines designed to make you second-guess yourself.

Their goal is to make you feel like the irrational one. They want to undermine your confidence in your own judgment. It’s a cunning way to keep you off balance and maintain their control.

But don’t let them shake you. Trust your instincts and remember that calling out manipulation is a necessary step towards healthier relationships.

5) They’ll make empty promises

Have you ever heard the phrase, “actions speak louder than words”? This couldn’t be truer when dealing with manipulators.

When confronted, they’ll often make grand promises to change their behavior. They’ll vow to do better, to treat you right, and to never repeat their mistakes. But these are often just empty words designed to placate you and divert attention from their manipulative behavior.

It’s crucial to remember that real change doesn’t happen overnight. It requires time, effort, and consistency. So, don’t be swayed by their sweet talk. Look for consistent action instead. 

6) They’ll try to isolate you

There’s a heartbreaking reality when dealing with manipulators – they’ll often try to isolate you.

Why? Because your support network is a threat to their control. Your friends, your family, they’re the ones who can help you see the manipulator’s true colors. They can provide the reassurance and validation you need when you start doubting yourself.

So, a manipulator will often try to drive a wedge between you and your loved ones. They’ll sow seeds of distrust, create misunderstandings, and paint themselves as your only real friend.

7) They’ll make you feel guilty

I remember a time when I stood up to a manipulator in my life. Their immediate reaction was to make me feel guilty. They played on my emotions, making me feel as if I was the one hurting them.

“You’re being too sensitive,” they said. “You’re overreacting,” they claimed. Their words were like daggers, designed to pierce my self-esteem and leave me doubting my own feelings.

This is a classic tactic manipulators use. They’ll try to induce guilt to regain control of the situation. It’s a way for them to escape responsibility and keep you under their thumb.

8) They’ll distract and divert

When you confront a manipulator about their behavior, they’ll often try to change the subject. They’ll bring up unrelated issues, old arguments, or even flattering compliments. Anything to distract you from the topic at hand.

This is a classic diversion tactic. By changing the focus of the conversation, they can avoid answering your concerns. It’s a clever way to dodge responsibility and keep you off balance.

But don’t let them sidetrack you. Stay focused on the issue at hand. You deserve answers, and it’s okay to insist on them.

9) They’ll deny everything

When confronted, a high-level manipulator will often deny everything.

No matter how clear the evidence, they’ll refuse to acknowledge their manipulative behavior. This outright denial is their last-ditch attempt to preserve their control.

Keep this in mind: denial doesn’t change reality. You know what you’ve experienced, you know what you’ve felt. Trust your instincts and stand firm in your truth. It’s not your job to convince the manipulator of their wrongs; it’s your job to protect yourself and demand respect.

Final thoughts: It’s about self-protection

The complex world of human behavior is often a reflection of our instincts and survival mechanisms.

In the case of high-level manipulators, their actions aren’t just about control; they’re about self-preservation. When backed into a corner, their instinctive response is to deflect, deny, and distract to protect their self-image.

In calling them out, you trigger this survival response. But it’s important to remember that their reaction isn’t a reflection of your worth or validity. It’s simply their way of dealing with the discomfort of being exposed.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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