Are you feeling confused or guilty and not sure why? You could be sensing manipulation. Identifying the signs can help.

Signs Someone Is Manipulating You

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Some manipulation tactics can be so subtle that you may end up constantly examining your own behavior rather than the other person’s. Emotional manipulation in relationships can be difficult to recognize.

Being on the receiving end of manipulation tactics in a relationship can have an impact on your mental health. But by learning to identify the signs, you can protect yourself and act on the situation.

There are different types of manipulation. Three of the most common ones are:

Guilt induction.

The person manipulating you may imply something negative has happened to you because of someone else, or or they may play on your insecurities to make you feel guilty. This includes playing the victim.


They may deliberately establish themselves in your good graces to get something from you or to get ahead.


They may be dishonest by misrepresenting or hiding the truth.

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But manipulation in relationships can also come in other packages that may not be as straightforward or easy to identify.

Other manipulation techniques may include:

Love-bombing. They may give you intense and persistent attention and affection to quickly create emotional interest and dependency.

Gaslighting. They may dismiss you to make you doubt and question yourself.

Passive-aggressive behavior. They might make sarcastic comments or jokes that can be later dismissed with “I was just joking” or “You take everything too personally.”

Triangulation. They might bring another person into the mix to justify an opinion or make you feel insecure.

Covert or overt threats. They may want to instil fear in you with certain comments or behaviors.

Silent treatment. They may ignore you or cease talking to you as a form of emotional punishment.

How to protect yourself from Manipulation

Identifying the signs of manipulation in relationships is the first step to protecting yourself. Here are some other precautions you can take:.

Be aware of your emotions as you interact with someone.

Try to pay attention to how you feel around this person.

If you experience uncomfortable emotions like self-doubt, fear, or guilt, consider taking some time away from them to think clearly about what’s happening.

Keep the conversation on topic

People who use manipulation tactics often divert conversations off subject. This could be to either distract you from the real issue or to further their goal of leading the interaction.

Remaining laser-focused on the topic can help prevent the conversation from going in the direction they desire.

Establish boundaries

Unclear boundaries in relationships can make it easier for manipulation to occur. It can be helpful to identify the boundaries you’d like to establish in this relationship and work towards implementing them.

Although it’s easier to establish boundaries early in a relationship, it’s never too late to consider gently yet firmly communicating what you will or won’t tolerate.

Although everyone occasionally uses manipulation tactics, some people use them persistently in relationships.

Some manipulation techniques may be harder to spot, but identifying them may help you stay protected and make decisions about your relationship.

Staying in a relationship where manipulation tactics are constantly used may have a great impact on your confidence and mental health.

Change is possible, but it’s up to the other person to initiate it. This is why it’s important to focus on yourself first and come up with ways to establish clear boundaries.


Please consider making a donation to Silent Rights to enable us to keep helping victims of abuse and violence. You can make a donation through paypal here.

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