Women who are pleasant on the surface but manipulative underneath usually display these 8 specific behaviors

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Some women are so good at being fake nice that they should win an Oscar.

They seem so caring and so sweet…in fact, they act like your BFF and Mother Teresa combined!

But while they’re showing you their best performance, they’re already thinking of how they can use you and manipulate you.

Careful, they bite!

That’s why you gotta figure them out before they turn you into a puppet.

Don’t worry. Trust me—they’re so easy to spot if you know what behaviors to look for.

To help you along, here are 8 behaviors of women who are pleasant on the surface but manipulative underneath:

1) They shower you with praise

“Oh, I really looooove your make-up. You look exactly like Victoria Beckham!”

“You’re my favorite cousin. You’re smart, successful, talented, generous, kind…”

“You’re such an angel to me. You’re a blessing to the world.”


A bit too much, eh?

While some people just naturally suck at giving praise, you must know that praise is one of the favorite tactics of master manipulators

You see, they know that when we receive praise, we feel instantly closer to the person giving it. We tend to associate them with positive feelings, and therefore we start to trust them, too.

So when someone gives you praise excessively, get a magnifying glass and start examining them.

Ask yourself what they could possibly want from you.

Are they about to sell you something?

Will they ask for favors?

Are they trying to influence you to change your mind?

Basically, how will your closeness benefit THEM?

Manipulators know we’re hungry for praise and that’s why they use it to get what they want from us.

2) They give you gifts even if there’s no occasion

You received a bunch of flowers from your new friend Jane. 

Seems strange because…it’s not your birthday and you’re not really that close!

Then a week later, they pop into your office to “just say hi” but then of course, before leaving, they’d go “Oh, before I forget, I have a small favor to ask…”

Just like showering you with praise, giving you gifts is a manipulator’s way of buying your affection.

By doing sweet things to you, they expect you to say “yes” to whatever it is they ask from you.

3) They tell you about their “sad” life story

You didn’t ask them but…

They’d tell you about their abusive childhood.

They’d tell you about how they always have bad luck.

They’d tell you about how unfair the Universe—and everyone— is towards them.

Women who are pleasant on the surface but are actually manipulative are experts in telling “poor me” stories.

Why are they doing this?

To condition you to give them favors, of course.

The really good ones make sure they’ve planted enough sob stories in your head so that you’ll subconsciously accommodate their needs.

After all, what kind of a person are you if you’d add to their misery? 

You have no choice now. You have to play the role of the savior!

4) They make you believe you have a lot of things in common

You’re both into Japanese food? They’d make a big deal out of it.

“OMG, I’m glad I found someone who’s into Japanese, too!”

That’s strange because…it’s not really that uncommon, right?

You’re both into jazz? They’d squeal and say “OMG, I’m glad we have the same taste in music!” and they’d go on and on about it.

Again, so strange.

Your compatibility and connection feels so forced because they’re trying too hard.

Well, ask yourself why they’re doing this.

While there are some people who are just desperate to have BFFs, if you realize that she has an ulterior motive, step back and assess your friendship.

There’s a chance they might just be pretending to like you because they’re trying to manipulate you.

5) They gossip about everyone

But then they’ll tell you “this is just between you and me, okay?”

Or “Gosh, I don’t usually do this but I just gotta tell you…”

Hmmm…why are they doing this?

Well, what’s happening is that once again, they want to get closer to you. 

You see, when we share secrets and gossip, we feel more connected to the people we’re sharing it with.

When someone tells us a secret, we feel “Wow, they trust me enough to share these things with me.”

And you’d act like you’re some exclusive members of a club.

But be careful!

They might be gossiping about other people because they want to manipulate how you view them and act towards them.

And manipulative people are very charming and convincing. 

You wouldn’t suspect they’re manipulating you because you’re having too much fun with them.

You’d laugh and giggle while they attacked your colleague Molly, and before you know it, you’ll start to look at Molly in a different way.

6) They share secrets “to protect you”

Them: “Hey, I have to tell you something…”

You: “What?”

Them: “Nevermind…you might get mad.”

You: “No, please tell me!”

Them: “Okay, I hate being a tattletale, but I just really care for you…”

And then they’d tell you things

Things that might not be true. Things that might be exaggerated so it will make you feel and think a certain way.

What’s funny is that in the end, you can’t help but see them as your hero. After all, they’ve convinced you that they have your best interests at heart.

7) They’re sooo curious about your life

“So, how’s your marriage lately?”

“I saw your mom posting not so nice things. Are you guys okay?”

“What was your childhood like?”

And when you open up to them, they’d ask so many follow up questions that you can’t help but overshare. 

Then, after a while, you notice that you’re the only one talking.

They know so much about you and yet, you know so little about them!

And so you ask them “Well, how about you?”

Their replies are short, of course.

Well, that’s to be expected. They’re only curious about you so they’d know exactly how to manipulate you.

Be extra careful, too. They can use the things you tell them against you.

8) They’re so curious about what you think

“What do you think of our new manager?”

“What do you think about the project?”

“What do you think about our mother-in-law’s new boyfriend?

Knowledge is power for manipulative women.

They’d try to figure out how you think so they’d know how you operate…and so they’d know exactly how to use you.

They could also use your words against you by sharing your thoughts to others, too.

Let’s say you told them you don’t like your new colleague so much because they complain a lot.

They’d relay this information to the manager by saying “Well, Cindy doesn’t like the new programmer” to manipulate the manager into firing the new colleague.


Final thoughts

Some women have mastered the art of manipulation.

And while it’s difficult to see their true colors at the beginning (because women are seen as naturally kind, sweet, and loving), it will get easier once you know what to look for.

If you notice one or two of these traits, it will be easier for you to notice the other traits.

But don’t jump to conclusions and ditch them right away, though.

For me, personally, the only time I stay away from someone who does all of the things above is when I catch them actually manipulating me (or others).

So yes, be careful. But also be careful not to judge them right away.

In other words, give them the benefit of the doubt but keep both of your eyes open always.

But if they turn out to be what you suspect them to be, then do a slow fade. Manipulative people are dangerous to have in your life.

Mia Zhang

Mia Zhang blends Eastern and Western perspectives in her approach to self-improvement. Her writing explores the intersection of cultural identity and personal growth. Mia encourages readers to embrace their unique backgrounds as a source of strength and inspiration in their life journeys.

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