Some people reveal their true faces and intentions only after they’ve already hooked us in and we’re head-over-heels in love with them.
That’s obviously not a great situation to be in. Still, how can you be sure they’re manipulating you?
Well, that’s where this article comes in. In it, you’ll discover the warning signs you are, in fact, in love with a master manipulator.
So, let’s begin!
1) You find yourself doing things you aren’t comfortable with because you feel pressured by them
Master manipulators are great at employing a range of tactics to push you into doing things that make you uncomfortable.
These often include emotional manipulation, relentless persuasion, or even threats.
This way, they exploit your vulnerabilities, making it almost impossible to set and assert your own boundaries.
It’s an incredibly ungrateful situation to be in because no one should feel pressured into doing things they don’t feel comfortable with.
2) You’re constantly second-guessing yourself and your decisions in the relationship
Another thing manipulators are good at (unfortunately) is undermining your self-confidence.
Their constant criticism, contradicting statements, and emotional turbulence simply leave you second-guessing yourself.
So much so that you begin to question your competence and judgment. Now, that’s not something that should happen in a normal and healthy relationship, is it?
What’s more, they also have an uncanny ability to explain away their behavior or actions.
They provide plausible-sounding excuses, making it tricky for you to question their motives.
This constant deflection results in you doubting your intuition, as it seems they have an answer for everything.
It’s actually terrifying that they have this skill set for manipulating others. And you’re probably not the only person in their orbit they’re manipulating.
I bet you they’re doing this to their coworkers, family, and even their bosses.
3) You feel like you can’t escape the relationship, as they have financial or emotional control over you
They also often have a hold on your emotions, always making you feel like you owe them something or you’re not good enough without them.
On the other hand, they could be calling the shots with your finances, making you dependent on them for money or resources.
If they have all this control, it will naturally make you feel trapped, like you’re stuck in this situation, even if you know deep down it’s not healthy.
Breaking free can seem like an uphill battle because they’ve set things up in a way that makes it tough to leave without feeling like you’re losing everything.
4) They often use guilt trips to get their way, making you feel responsible for their happiness
Another warning sign you’re in love with a master manipulator is if they use sob stories or emotional appeals to make you feel responsible for their happiness.
You see, guilt is a powerful weapon in the manipulator’s arsenal.
This guilt can override your own desires and boundaries, making you prioritize their needs above your own.
It’s as if you’re walking a path dictated by their emotional manipulation instead of making choices based on your own feelings and values.
5) Your feelings and needs don’t seem to matter to them, and they prioritize their own agenda
In a manipulative relationship, your needs and desires often take a back seat to the manipulator’s wishes.
It’s as if they believe the relationship should revolve around them, and your concerns aren’t as important.
That’s an unfortunate situation many victims of master manipulators easily find themselves in.
As I already said, they typically unveil their true face when you’re already in a relationship or marriage with them, and that complicates things a lot, especially if you don’t have an assertive bone in your body.
6) They’re excellent at playing the victim and making you feel sorry for them
Manipulators have a remarkable talent for acting like they’re the ones who’ve been harmed and mistreated, even when they’re the cause of the problem.
They put on a show, like pretending to be sad or hurt or insisting they’ve been treated unfairly, all to get you to feel sorry for them.
This is a clever way to divert attention from their own hurtful actions or mistakes, making it seem like they’re the ones who need sympathy and support instead of taking responsibility for their actions.
For example, suppose your partner frequently resorts to emotional manipulation, like giving you the silent treatment.
When you confront them about this unhealthy behavior, they act as though they’re deeply hurt by your accusation and say, “I thought you understood me better than this. I’m just trying to protect myself because I’m so afraid of being hurt again.”
7) They’re skilled at deflecting blame and responsibility onto others, including you
So, you’re dealing with a manipulator, right? When they make mistakes or do something wrong, instead of owning up to it like most people, they’re pros at shifting the blame elsewhere.
For them, it’s never about taking responsibility for their actions. They might point fingers at external factors, like saying they were stressed, tired, or had a bad day.
This crafty tactic makes it super tough to hold them accountable because they’re constantly dodging the responsibility for their actions.
It’s like trying to pin the tail on a moving donkey at a kid’s birthday party – they’re always elusive, making it hard to nail them down for what they’ve done.
8) They use gaslighting techniques to make you doubt your own memory and perception of reality
Gaslighting is like a mind game that manipulators love playing. Gaslighting is when someone messes with your head to make you doubt yourself and what you remember.
They say things like, “I never said that,” even though you’re sure they did. This leaves you feeling like you’re losing your grip on reality, making you wonder if you’re going crazy or just forgetful.
They love creating confusion and self-doubt to keep you under their control.
9) You feel isolated from friends and family because they’ve created a divide between you and your loved ones
They can be very cunning about it. They create conflicts, gossip, or make you feel like you can’t trust your loved ones.
It’s a bit like building an invisible wall between you and the people who genuinely care about you.
This isolation makes you rely even more on the manipulator because they become your primary source of connection and support.
Before you know it, you find yourself feeling more and more dependent on the manipulator for everything, which is a pretty tough spot to be in.
10) They often use flattery and charm to manipulate your emotions and gain your trust
Manipulators can be real smooth talkers. They often dish out compliments and affection, especially when they want something from you. They turn on the charm to butter you up, and you start feeling like the most amazing person in the world.
It’s like a rollercoaster of emotions, with the charm being the high point and the manipulation lurking behind it.
So, it’s important to be aware of this because while compliments and affection are nice, they shouldn’t be used as tools to control or manipulate you.
It’s all about recognizing when someone’s being genuinely appreciative versus when they’re trying to pull the strings.
11) You’re always walking on eggshells, afraid of their reactions and mood swings
Being in a relationship with a master manipulator is like you’re constantly tiptoeing around, trying not to set off a landmine.
You’re walking on eggshells, always on edge because you’re afraid of how your partner might react.
One minute, they might seem perfectly fine, and the next, they could be upset or even explode with anger.
This kind of environment leaves you feeling stressed, anxious, and like you’re always on guard, which isn’t a healthy or sustainable way to be in a relationship.
If you don’t stand up to them, manipulators slowly chip away at your self-esteem. They use constant criticism, devaluation, or comparisons to others, making you feel inadequate or unworthy.
They also frequently alter the rules of the relationship. They move the goalposts, change their expectations, or introduce new boundaries to their advantage.
This instability leaves you feeling disoriented and powerless.
Above all, master manipulators are experts at sending mixed signals. They’re sweet and loving one moment and cold and distant the next. Because of that, you’re uncertain about their true feelings and intentions.
Recognizing these signs is the first step toward addressing the manipulation you’re subjected to in your relationship.
Seek support from trusted friends, family, or a therapist to help you solve this challenging situation and work toward a healthier, more balanced partnership (if possible).