How To Spot A Manipulator Before He Takes Advantage Of You

One of the things about manipulative people is they can be difficult to spot. That’s what makes them so manipulative to begin with—that we never see them coming. They are out there, though, and there are certain things that you can keep tabs on to see if you might be dealing with one.

That doesn’t mean you should be suspicious of everyone, but pay attention to some of these red flags.

His Words Are Different From His Actions

someone upset lying on a bed
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Anthony Tran
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Anthony Tran

This one is kind of a no-brainer and certainly a dealbreaker, whether not someone is totally manipulative or not. A person who is telling you one thing and then doing another completely, or promising you things with no follow-through could be just doing what they think they need to to keep you hooked.

He Is Just Full Of Excuses

a couple standing in front of a sunset
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Travis Grossen
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Travis Grossen

Bad things happen sometimes, and there is nothing to do about that. However, if you and your boyfriend aren’t getting along, or he keeps doing terrible things and constantly has excuses for himself and never takes ownership, it’s time to leave.

He Comes Across As Super Sensitive

a couple cuddling
Photo Credit: Unsplash / NeONBRAND
Photo Credit: Unsplash / NeONBRAND

Finding a guy who is really understanding and sensitive may seem like you hit the jackpot at first, and a genuinely kind, sensitive guy is a great find. However, if he’s the kind of sensitive that always lands him in the role of the victim, he could be manipulating you into doing things the way he wants.

He Brings You Down When He’s Down

woman wearing a hat
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Seth Doyle
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Seth Doyle

When you love someone, it’s natural that their moods are going to affect yours. However, someone who is going to go out of their way to upset you when they’re feeling upset is not someone you’re going to be able to have a healthy relationship with.

What He’s Going Through Is Always Worse

couple talking by the water
Photo Credit: Unsplash
Photo Credit: Unsplash

When people are struggling with something, let them struggle with it, and be there for them as much as you can. You don’t need someone in your life who is always going to try and one-up you when you’re going through a bad time.

He’s Masterful At Twisting Your Words

couple standing by a pond
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Milan Popovic
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Milan Popovic

Nothing you say is safe with someone who is manipulative. Every word that comes out of your mouth is subject to their interpretation and however they’re going to twist your words to back up their argument.

He Truly Thinks He’s Better Than Everyone

guy playing a guitar
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Toa Heftiba
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Toa Heftiba

It’s OK to be confident. What is not OK is being with someone who you kind of get the vibe thinks he is genuinely better than other people. That’s not a great trait to have and can make them pretty toxic.

He Uses Your Words Against You

couple sitting on a bench
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Djim Loic
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Djim Loic

Just like he twists your words around, he has no problem with using your words against you to trip you up during an argument or to get his way. This is certainly a telltale sign of a manipulative person.

He’s Constantly Talking Over Other People

a bunch of people hanging out
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Helena Lopes
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Helena Lopes

No one likes being interrupted. It’s rude and it feels disrespectful. It’s also a tactic that manipulative people use to make someone feel like they’re not important and that what they say isn’t significant.

He Builds You Up To Break You Down

woman looking over her shoulder
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Gabriel Nunes
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Gabriel Nunes

When you’re with someone who is manipulative, they seem to only operate in extremes. They’re praising you, telling you that you’re the greatest thing that happened to them, then they’re moving on to making you feel like you’re the worst thing that has happened to them.

He Makes You Feel Guilt Or Obligation

woman wearing sunglasses on her head
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Amber Kipp
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Amber Kipp

This is a really big one for manipulative people. If you’re with a manipulative person, then you’re with someone who you feel like you have to do things for, or have to be there for. It’s not always enjoyable for you, and you do it more out of a sense of duty.

He Causes You To Question Yourself

woman looking sad
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Josh Herrington
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Josh Herrington

Being with a manipulative person is hard to do. One of the things that they constantly seem to do is make you question who you are and what your worth is. It’s one of the ways they make themselves important to you, because they act like they have all the answers.

There Are Always Strings Attached

couple sitting around some buildings
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Ayo Ogunseinde
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Ayo Ogunseinde

No matter what you do or don’t do, there are strings attached when you are with a manipulative person. They’ll do you a favor, or they’ll do something nice for you, but they will never think twice before guilting you into returning the favor in whatever way they see fit.

He Gets Mad When You Don’t Do Things For Him

couple standing in a forset
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jose Escobar
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Jose Escobar

You should do nice things for the people in your life, especially your partner, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to expect you to do what they want and get mad at you when they don’t.

He Purposefully Jokes About Things He Knows Are Off-Limits

couple sitting in front of a fire
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Courtney Clayton
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Courtney Clayton

Gently bullying each other is the way that some people like to flirt, and that’s fine. A manipulative person is going to find out what your insecurities are, though, and they’re going to prey on them and make it seem like they are joking.

He’s Overly Protective

couple sitting in a truck
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Toa Heftiba
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Toa Heftiba

Having a jealous boyfriend always seems like it’s a great thing. There is a difference, though, between a boyfriend who wants to keep you for himself and a boyfriend who uses this jealousy as a means to control you.

He Blames You For The Issues In His Life

couple hanging out on a dock
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Toa Heftiba
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Toa Heftiba

No matter what is going on in his life, the issues are going to be your fault, or at least they will be if you’re dating a manipulative person. They will keep you under their thumb by making you feel like you’re the reason for their issues.

He’ll Say Something And Then Deny It Later

woman sitting outside on a patio
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Gokil
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Gokil

One thing you’ll notice that a manipulative person does is say whatever comes to mind, even if it is hurtful, and then deny that they even said later. If it makes them look bad, then it didn’t happen.

He Makes You Feel Dumb For Worrying About Your Problems

woman playing with her hair
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Doğukan Şahin
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Doğukan Şahin

Your problems are valid, no matter what you’re struggling with, and a manipulative boyfriend might try to make you feel dumb for stressing about what’s on your mind. Don’t let them do that! It’s just one of their control tactics.

He’s Really Judgmental

guy walking around with his coat over his shoulder
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Aejaz Memon
Photo Credit: Unsplash / Aejaz Memon

Judgmental people should be avoided in general, however, being judgmental is a hallmark trait of someone who has the predisposition to be manipulative. It’s one way they get the upper hand and make themselves seem better than anyone else.