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4 Manipulation Tactics You Need to Know

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4 Manipulation Tactics You Need to Know

Manipulation often feels like being pressured or forced to behave a certain way. But sometimes it can be difficult to pinpoint if someone is using manipulation tactics against you. Do you feel controlled by your partner? Maybe they make you feel anxious or second guess your decisions? 

These could be red flags that you’re in a relationship with a manipulator. Being in this kind of relationship is dangerous and toxic. To understand if you’re in a relationship with a manipulator look out for the following behaviors…

Our Guide on Manipulation Tactics to Watch Out For

They always play the victim 

Despite causing the trouble themselves, a manipulator often creates a scenario where they’re the victim. They play on your concern for their well-being so that you feel bad or behave in a way that you may not want to.

Have you noticed that they make you feel guilty for wanting some alone time? Or maybe they constantly justify unfair actions by blaming it on an insecurity or past relationship? 

Confusing your reality to make everything about them is a sign your partner might be gaslighting you. The truth is they want you, and your attention, all to themselves. It’s important to watch out for this behavior so that you don’t risk feeling isolated or unsure of yourself.

They constantly pick on you

One of the easiest manipulation tactics to spot is bullying. Bullies use fear or aggression to make someone else behave or feel a certain way. It doesn’t always have to be aggressive, sometimes it’s passive harassment that can hurt the most. Maybe your partner criticizes your work or decisions? Or do they make fun of you in front of your friends?

Bullying is never acceptable. And it can be extra painful when it comes from someone you love. Your partner should accept you for who you are.

If you notice that they’re always trying to make you feel less than instead of appreciated, then it’s likely this relationship is toxic. Our advice? Move forward from this relationship and surround yourself with people who appreciate you for you. 

They take advantage of your insecurities 

Manipulators often find out about your insecurities and then exploit them to their advantage. This can be particularly hurtful when you have a past that makes you feel vulnerable. They could behave in a certain way that they know triggers or upsets you. Or else make you believe that you can’t survive without them, by acting like you need them for protection. 

We have highs and lows in life, and getting over difficult times should be something we are proud of, not made to feel bad for. If your partner is making you feel otherwise or taking advantage of you in a vulnerable state, they aren’t caring for you. 

They use manipulation tactics to pressure you

Manipulators often put people under high pressure so that they can control a situation. They use guilt, fear and even embarrassment to lock you into their control. This can make you feel helpless.

If you feel pressured by your partner to do things you feel uncomfortable with or are scared of how they would react in some situations, this is not a good sign. Relationships are about compromise and understanding. Under no circumstances should your partner make you feel like you are anything but in control of your own life. 

Manipulators are highly skilled at what they do. Recognizing if you feel controlled or pressured around another person may be nerve-wracking, but it’s the first step in moving forward.

Being a victim of manipulation is not your fault. But by choosing to separate yourself from negative people and their manipulation tactics, you can take steps towards creating a new life with healthier relationships. It can be intimidating to start on this journey, but every brave step towards a happier life is worth it. 

Sherry Gaba helps singles navigate the dating process to find the love of their lives. Take her quiz to find out if you’re struggling with co-dependency, sign up for a 30-minute strategy session, or learn more about how to get over a break-up. For more information visit or sign up today for Sherry’s online group coaching program. Buy her books Love Smacked: How to Break the Cycle of Relationship Addiction and Codependency to find Everlasting Love or Infinite Recovery 

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