Manipulation can happen not only in a romantic relationship but also in a family or at work. Here are the signs that you are being manipulated.


According to experts, manipulation is a form of abuse. In many types of relationships like romantic partners, family members, friends, and coworkers, manipulation is hard to spot. 

To help you navigate a manipulator, these are the 10 signs that someone is trying to manipulate you.

Unsplash/  Marco Bianchetti 


You're doubting your own reality
If someone makes you doubt your own reality often, it is most likely that this person is manipulating you. It is one of the top tactics of emotional abusers and it is called gaslighting. 

The word gaslighting actually derived from the 1944 movie "Gaslight" which tells the story of a husband who convinces his wife that she is going insane. In a nutshell, the husband manipulates the gas lights at home and the wife believed it. Today, the term is used on broader meanings. 

Another type of brainwashing, gaslighting is an emotional abuse by manipulators using a series of manipulation and distraction to distort the truth. Thus, it tends to make the victim questions their own reality. With self-doubt, it allows the manipulator to control the victim more easily. 

Isolation from other relationships
Talking things out with a trusted person can help see through better a manipulator. However, sometimes a manipulator can make a person feel like they are the only one they can trust. 

A manipulator knows that it is important to have isolation if they want to continue the manipulative tactics. They prefer to conceal the chance of the victim to gain insights from anyone else.

Playing victim
Manipulators often make their victims apologize for no reason. They are compelled to make the victim feel they were wrong. Additionally, manipulators play victims as a way to avoid the responsibility that they don't want to do. Their strategy is to gain pity or sympathy or to evoke compassion so that the victim would want to help them. 

Bringing triangulation
Third-wheel is probably a common word, but for manipulators, the third-person in the house is called triangulation. With the presence of a triangulator, the tactic makes it harder for the victim to stand up for themselves as manipulators often bring in family, friends, or coworkers on their side. When they bring in their circle, victims will usually be made looked as if they are the problem. 

Going too close and too fast
Manipulators aim for victims' emotional weakness. They share deep secrets and vulnerabilities with the victim right away not long after the first meeting, which will make victims feel the bond with them. Unfortunately, those are just the tactics of manipulators. 

They want to make victims feel special. In the end, manipulators want victims to spill their own secrets so that manipulators could further manipulate the victim. 

"It's for your own good"
Manipulators are highly-skilled sly beings. They are experienced in making victims think that what is best for them is best for the victims. Victims could possibly feel that something is wrong or not aligned with a particular value, but manipulators will grow closer and work harder in adjusting their words so victims could believe in them. 

Projecting feelings
Did your boss ever tell you you’re having an emotional reaction to criticism? This can be one of the signs of manipulators. Some manipulators just want to project their frustration and guilt towards someone else. And this someone else usually refers to someone in the weaker position in a workplace or someone with weaker emotional strength. 

Twisting Facts
Masters of altering reality, manipulators desire to confuse the victims. Misconducting their power, they will speak out lies and misstatements or exaggerate things to make the victim look more guilty. Another way is when the manipulator tried to make themselves look vulnerable, it will allow victims to want to help them or support them. This is another trick to get the empathy of the victim. 

Being rude but saying it's a joke
Making critical or hurtful comments is part of a manipulator's job. However, they don't want to take the fault of it, so instead, they say "it's just a joke" or "It was a sarcasm". Manipulators want to make victims feel bad but at the same time, they don't want to accept the responsibility of their words. 

Mr. (or Mrs.) Always Right
Even after catching a manipulator in a lie or mistake, they will never admit it. Instead, they will try to find a way to defend their actions or words. In the end, they want to make it a backlash to the victims or try to find somebody else's fault. 

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