Dealing with manipulative people can be tough. They can make you doubt yourself and be very sly.
Plus, it’s emotionally draining to be around them.
If someone does these 9 things, they have a manipulative personality.
Gaslighting is a tactic used by manipulative people to make others doubt their own feelings, thoughts, and sanity.
That’s because they deny the truth or manipulate perceptions, making you feel crazy for thinking a certain way.
Gaslighting takes many forms, from lying to denial of facts, with the abuser retaining control over the victim and the situation. It can be subtle through language manipulation or overt with insults and threats.
So if someone regularly makes you doubt yourself and causes vulnerability, it could be a sign of a manipulative personality disorder.
2) The manipulator is great at playing the victim
Manipulative people play the victim to gain sympathy and control over others. They twist the truth and often make themselves appear innocent, even if they were the ones who caused the issue.
Usually, insecurities become fuel for them.
So they’ll often make statements that are meant to hurt you, and then deny the intent of their words. They may also blame you for their mistake or make it seem that you’re at fault.
This type of emotional abuse is difficult to detect since it’s not always obvious or intentional.
But beware: whatever affection they’re trying to gain from you by playing the victim often results in my next point:
3) Guilt-tripping and emotional blackmail
You may be wondering why going on guilt trips and emotional blackmail are signs of a manipulative personality.
Guilt-tripping and emotional blackmail manipulate your emotions to control your behavior. They play mind games using jealousy and guilt to get you to do what they want.
Guilt trips and emotional blackmail like “If you really loved me, you would do this” create guilt and shame, even if complying is impossible for valid reasons.
Let’s call it for what it is – manipulation tactics.
The thing is, it can be challenging to identify as these comments may not be intended to be hurtful. That’s because you don’t really feel the vulnerability until after the fact.
But it should still raise some red flags about their personality.
4) Creating drama and confusion
There’s an imbalance of power when a person gives you a hard time and then acts as if they’ve done nothing wrong. This is where creating drama and confusion comes into play.
Manipulative people often bring up unnecessary arguments or debates to divert attention to themselves. They might intentionally bewilder you by providing misleading information or withholding significant details, making it arduous for you to make an informed decision.
This kind of dramatic deception is one of the manipulative tactics that’s meant to keep you off balance and dependent on them.
Talk about an imbalance of power.
It’s a front for them to control you and keep the power in their hands.
5) Manipulating through flattery
Flattery is often used by manipulative people to get what they want. They would praise and flatter you with compliments through compliments without any reluctance to earn your trust and make you feel valued.
However, this is nothing but a mere facade.
Oftentimes, this may be the only way to get closer to you and to manipulate you further.
They prioritize their own reality above all and go to great lengths to ensure their desires are fulfilled.
6) They’re masters at triangulation
Triangulation involves pitting individuals against each other to gain power and attention through manipulation.
Your comfort zone is your safe space, and someone with a manipulative personality will try to bring you out of it. They’ll create false dichotomies (like good versus bad) or use fear tactics to make you doubt yourself and question your own beliefs.
You may say this manipulative behavior is a form of bullying because it involves using power and control to manipulate others.
It’s also used to further their agenda and harm those who oppose them.
7) They seem to blame everyone but themselves
You may be wondering if this forms part of an abusive relationship.
Manipulative people are experts at blaming others for their mistakes and shortcomings. They’re skilled at making excuses and shifting the blame on what’s happening, making others feel responsible for their actions.
Their inability of owning up to their actions is a discomfort for them. They’ll fabricate stories or details to avoid any blame.
8) They are experts at lying
Deception takes many forms, and lying is one of the most damaging, as it aims to manipulate and gain control over others in a situation.
You see, one who has a manipulative personality is skilled at lying.
They’re not seeking truth, but rather control and power.
They’ll lie about who said or did what to win over your trust or even blame you for their actions. They may fabricate stories to shirk responsibility for their actions.
Trust issues arise when someone lies to you, as it can be difficult to trust them again.
9) Emotional manipulation through passive-aggression
Passive aggression is one of the signs of manipulation not just between romantic partners but also with close relationships like a family member or friend.
This form of manipulation could lead to domestic violence because it involves taking out your anger, frustration, or resentment on someone else. It might involve making snide comments, avoiding, giving silent treatment, or keeping people guessing about your true intentions.
In addition, as an emotional manipulator, they’ll use sarcasm and put-downs to make you feel less than you are.
Passive-aggressive behavior can leave a heavy toll on your mental health and well-being, leaving you frustrated, confused, and questioning your self-worth or control over a situation.
It can diminish your confidence, so it’s vital to recognize it.
Don’t play their game
In conclusion, dealing with people with manipulative personalities can be challenging.
They are narcissists who have manipulative tendencies, often avoiding taking responsibility and setting boundaries. Their aim is to dominate, going to great lengths to achieve it.
Recognizing the signs of manipulation is a key first step to protecting yourself from being a victim.
Healthy boundaries are crucial when dealing with these kinds of people.
Don’t allow others to exploit you. Don’t play their game.
However, caring through empathy is vital in understanding their behavior and finding ways to cope with it.
Remember, you cannot change the manipulator who has a narcissistic personality disorder. But you can change how you respond to their behavior.
Prioritizing mental health is vital for a fulfilling life.
At the end of the day, controlling your mind and heart empowers purposeful navigation of life’s highs and lows.